8 March 2019

Announcing the 2019 Kat Muscat Fellow

Express Media is honoured to announce Liana Skrzypczak as the winner of the 2019 Kat Muscat Fellowship, which offers support and development for a young Australian woman or non-binary writer and/or editor. 

The annual Kat Muscat Fellowship offers professional development up to the value of $3,000 for an editorial project or work of writing by a woman or non-binary person aged 16-30. Now in its fourth year, the Fellowship aims to continue Kat’s legacy and further develop the future of defiant and empathic young Australian feminists.

Liana Skrzypczak, the winner of the 2019 Kat Muscat Fellowship, says: 

Thank you to Express Media’s board, staff, the Muscat family, and appointed community members for entrusting this fellowship to me and my ambitious, square peg of a novel, The Lore of Jeju.

I hope to be an advocate for Kat’s legacy – a legacy that reminds us how bold prose, brave ideas and fearless delivery can challenge accepted norms and bend the world better one word at a time.

Kat Muscat was a brilliant young mind of the Australian writing community, whose formidable talent was demonstrated through her incisive writing and perceptive editing. Kat was an integral part of Express Media for many years, before becoming Editor of Voiceworks from 2012 to 2014. Throughout her 10 years with Express Media, Kat helped to shape the career of young writers and editors from all around Australia.

The Kat Muscat Fellow is selected by the Custodial Committee of The Kat Muscat Legacy Projects, which includes members of Express Media’s board and staff, the Muscat family and appointed community members.

Adopted from Korea into an Australian family with a Polish background, Liana Skrzypczak plans to use the fellowship to travel to Jeju-do to develop an East-Asian specific myth/magic system and to learn more about the Shamanistic values and culture of Jeju-do. She plans to visit the Haenyeo museum and dive the infamous coastline that continues to sustain the Haenyeo and their families.

Liana Skrzypczak says about her project: 

For centuries, the emerald waters of Jeju island off the south coast of Korea have been ruled by a matriarchy of women – the Haenyeo (sea-women) who dive without oxygen tanks for shellfish, conch and other marine life to support their families.

The Lore of Jeju will take inspiration from these women, East Asian sea mythology and Jeju’s Shamanistic beliefs to tell the story of Shin-yong – a girl born on an island of female prisoners, exiled from the mainland for killing men. It will be about her bid to reconcile the brutal lores of her community and the circumstances of her mother’s exile. When Shin-yong discovers a fatally injured man washed up on Jeju’s beach after a storm, Shin-yong must decide whether to hand him over to The Coven or to kill him herself.

Jae-sun knows he cannot survive without Shin’s help. But how can he convince a girl, who has lived a life of exile on account of brutal men, that he’s worthy of her compassion?

The Kat Muscat Fellowship Custodial Committee were greatly impressed by the high calibre of applicants this year, and awarded the place of highly commended to Caitlin McGregor’s application.

We congratulate both Liana and Caitlin, and look forward to working with Liana. We can’t wait to read the incredible work she will produce.

The Fellowship is made possible with the generous support of the community and the Muscat family. For information on The Kat Muscat Fellowship, find us here.

For media enquiries, please contact Jes Layton | Communications and Administrator Coordinator | 03 9094 7889 | info@expressmedia.org.au