1 March 2022

Announcing the 2022 Kat Muscat Fellowship Shortlist

Express Media and the Kat Muscat Fellowship Committee are thrilled to announce the shortlist for this year’s Kat Muscat Fellowship, which offers support and development to a young Australian writer and/or editor of an underrepresented gender.

The 2022 Kat Muscat Fellowship shortlist is:

Naima Ibrahim is a Somali-Australian writer living and working on Dharug country. Her work has appeared in Collisions, dichōtomi, Kill Your Darlings, Red Room Poetry, Sweatshop Women: Volume One and ZineWest’19. She has been shortlisted for the Monash Prize in Creative Writing and longlisted for the Liminal Fiction Prize. Naima was the recipient of the 2020 Heyman Mentorship Award and is currently working on her debut novel.

Lou Garcia-Dolnik is a poet and editor working on unceded Gadigal land. Their writing has been awarded Second Prize in Overland’s Judith Wright Poetry Prize, an Academy of American Poets University Prize from the University of Texas at Austin, and has been shortlisted in the Blake Poetry Prize, the Arts Queensland Val Vallis Award and the LIMINAL and Pantera Press Nonfiction Prize. An alumnus of the Banff Centre’s Emerging Writers Intensive, they were a 2020-21 Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellow and Varuna Residential Fellow.


Munira Tabassum Ahmed  is a 16-year-old writer. Her work is published in Best of Australian Poems 2021, Meanjin, Australian Poetry Journal, SOFTBLOW, Emerging Writers’ Festival, Runway Journal, The Lifted Brow, Cordite, and elsewhere. She was a 2020-21 youth curator and moderator for the Sydney Writers’ Festival, and co-host of a 2021 Culture Makers Lab workshop with the Immigration Museum, Melbourne. Currently, she edits Hyades Magazine.


We are also excited to share that two young writers’ were selected this year’s highly commended; congratulations Joanna Rosochodski and Natasha Hertanto!

Jo Rosochodski grew up in Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Country (the Macedon Ranges), but now lives in Taiwan. In her creative nonfiction and fiction, she uses supernatural elements to explore feelings and memories. She studied creative writing and publishing at the University of Melbourne, and learned to write digital poetry in the Express Media Digital Storytelling Toolkit. Her prose has been published in Australian literary journals, while her poems were recently featured in a collaborative pop-up exhibition of abstract art and ekphrasis poetry in Taipei.

Natasha Hertanto is a Chinese-Indonesian storyteller and dog-mom based in Naarm. Her work can be found on Kill Your Darlings, Voiceworks, Australian Multilingual Writing Project, Archer, & more. In 2021, she completed The Wheeler Center’s Hot Desk fellowship and won the Ultimo Fiction Prize. She studies International Development at RMIT.


The 2022 Kat Muscat Fellowship offers professional development up to the value of $5,000 for an editorial project or work of writing by a young person aged 16-30. Now in its seventh year, the Fellowship aims to continue Kat’s legacy and further develop the future of defiant and empathic young Australian feminists.

Veronica Sullivan, chair of the Kat Muscat Fellowship custodial committee, said of this year’s shortlist: The Kat Muscat Fellowship custodial committee were deeply impressed with the standard of applications for the 2022 Fellowship. Applicants demonstrated strong engagement with the Fellowship’s theme of ‘challenge’ through their writing and editing, whether personally, politically or creatively.

In an extremely competitive field, the three shortlisted writers blew us away: their work embodies Kat’s legacy of defiance, feminism and empathy. Their writing ranges across poetry, fiction and personal testimony, and thematically they explore crucial and urgent ideas including colonisation, language, community, queerness, immigration policy and diasporic experiences. The future of writing in this country is incredibly bright in the hands of writers like Lou, Naima and Munira, as well as the two brilliant highly commended writers, Joanna and Natasha.”


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. This year’s Fellow will be announced March 7th, 2022, with our Kat Muscat Garden Luncheon event occurring on the 5th (governmental restrictions permitting). 

The Kat Muscat Fellowship is made possible through the generous support of our community. Please follow the link below to make a one-off or regular recurring donation to support the development of empathetic and defiant young writers and editors.

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