15 March 2017

Announcing Tracks: Geelong!

Express Media is delighted to present Tracks, a travelling, pop-up program for young writers that brings the best of Express Media’s workshops, masterclasses, networking opportunities and special events to communities across Australia.

In 2017 we’re bringing the Tracks program to Geelong, partnering with Writers Victoria and Courthouse Youth Arts to bring the best of Express Media right to your backyard. If you’re aged 14 to 25 and have a love of writing and storytelling, Tracks: Geelong is an exciting day-long event just for you.

Tracks is free for Express Media members to participate in and attend. If you’re not a member already, Tracks: Geelong costs $25 and includes membership to Express Media (normally $25) and Writers Victoria (normally $55).

Plus, the first ten participants to register will also receive a free one-year print subscription to Voiceworks (normally $60).


8.30am – 9.00am

Hi, Hey, Hello

9.00am – 9.30am

Grab a cup of coffee and join us to meet other young writers like you.

Fiction Masterclass with Markia Takolander

9.30am – 12.30pm

Join Maria Takolander and explore the building blocks of the fictional form and learn how to create effective and compelling short stories through strong characters, tight plots, and evocative atmosphere. You’ll also learn what makes a story authentic, and how to best edit your work and the work of others.

Nonfiction Masterclass with Jenny Valentish

9.30am – 12.30pm

Spanning a range of forms, nonfiction can be broad and unwieldy. Join Jenny Valentish to unpack the fundamentals of good nonfiction storytelling, exploring how to frame the narrative and represent character, as well as explore the role of the writer in the work. You’ll delve into the ethics of writing real-life, and be introduced to the arsenal of skills a good nonfiction writer has up their sleeve from interviewing sources to gathering research.


12.30pm – 1.30pm

After a big morning of writing, join us for a bite to eat before firing up your brain again for a jam-packed afternoon.

Pens and Pathways: Opportunities for Young Writers

1.30pm – 2.30pm

Where do you start when you want to write? How do you get your work in front of a reader? Join Express Media and a line-up word-nerds from publications and organisations to find out what opportunities there are for you in Geelong and beyond.

With Amanda Sherring (Forte Magazine), Maryanne Vagg (Word for Word Nonfiction Festival), Julie Barnes (Courthouse Youth Arts), Claire Capel-Stanley (Writers Victoria), Khalid Warsame (National Young Writers Festival & The Lifted Brow), Lucy Adams (Voiceworks), and Fiona Dunne (Express Media).

Ready to Read: Sharing Your Work with Candy Bowers

2.30pm – 3.30pm

Sharing your work with other people is always nerve-wrecking, but what happens when it’s also off the page? Join Candy Bowers for a crash course in how to perform your work aloud to build your confidence, build your community, and improve your writing.


Editing and Publishing: First Times and Best Practice with Khalid Warsame

2.30pm – 3.30pm

What happens once you’ve finished writing your story? Is an editor just a grammar-pedantic wielder of a red pen? Join Khalid Warsame to unpack the relationship between writers and editors, how to prepare your writing for submitting, and what to expect when you’re selected for publication.

Afternoon Tea

3.30pm – 4.00pm

Showcase Event & Literary Networking

4.00pm – 5.00pm

Hear some of Geelong’s best young writers share their words in this special line-up.



Amanda Sherring | @forte_mag

Amanda Sherring is the editor-in-chief at Forte magazine and has been for just over a year after jumping up the ranks from contributor to deputy editor and then editor. She’s always had a strong passion for music and combining that with her love of writing is a dream. She studied professional and creative writing at Deakin University and began working with Forte through her last year at university. In her pathway to the role, Amanda completed numerous internships, volunteer roles and contributed to various publications. Aside from music, she has a strong love for travel and tries to get on a plane to somewhere, money permitting, at least once a year. She recently got back from a trip through Central America.

Brianna Bullen | @BriannaBullen

Brianna Bullen is a Deakin University creative writing PhD candidate planning on writing a thesis involving post-humanism, science fiction, neural implants, memory and AI. She has had work published in journals including Wordly, LiNQ, Verandah, Voiceworks, and Buzzcuts. Her interests lie in sci-fi, trashy B movies, disability and politics.

Candy Bowers | @TheCandyBowers

Candy Bowers is an award-winning writer, actor, social-activist, comedian and producer. The co-artistic director of Black Honey Company Candy graduated from the Bachelor of Dramatic Arts- Acting course at NIDA in 2001. Her original works: Sista She, Australian Booty, MC Platypus, Who’s That Chik? and Hot Brown Honey have toured Australia and the UK. Her stage acting highlights include, Camae in The Mountaintop  for Queensland Theatre and Charles Penworth in Lilith the Jungle Girl by Sisters Grimm at Melbourne Theatre Company which gained her a 2016 Green Room Award nomination for best Female Performer. This year you can catch Candy on the small screen in Newton’s Law and The Ex PM (ABC/Netflix.)

Candy’s publications include the compilations She’s having a laugh! (Affirm Press) and Yours Truly (Penguin). Candy also writes for The Lifted Brow, SBS Life, Junkee and australianplays.org. She is currently working on Twelve – a soul musical from the streets (after Shakespeare Twelfth Night) and One the Bear- a fairytale for the hip hop generation. Her awards and accolades include: The Total Theatre UK Award for Experimentation and Innovation of the form, British Council of the Arts Realise Your Dream Award, Australia Council of the Arts Cultural Leadership Fellowship, NIDA Glorias Fellowship, Creative Sydney Top 100 Creative Catalysts List, Philip Parsons Young Playwright Award Shortlist, Melbourne Fringe Best Performance and Director’s Choice Award and Adelaide Fringe Youth Education Award.

Claire Capel-Stanley | @capelstanley  & @Writers_Vic

Claire Capel-Stanley is a writer and arts administrator with experience working in the not-for-profit arts sector and national cultural institutions. She joined Writers Victoria in 2016 and manages their program of online and face-to-face courses, workshops, talks and events. Claire has a background in art history and studied at the Australian National University and Trinity College, Dublin. She writes on art and other things for various publications and has made poetry for the wall, the page and performance.

Fiona Dunne | @ffgeorgie or @Express__Media

Fiona Dunne is the current Creative Producer of Express Media, joining the organisation in 2014. Previously, Fiona has worked with literary journals, festivals, and arts organisations focused on the production, publication and support of new Australian work across both literature and theatre. In 2016 she was selected for Footscray Community Arts Centre’s Emerging Cultural Leadership program and was a delegate of the Australia Council’s India Literature Exploratory supported by UNESCO Melbourne City of Literature.

Jenny Valentish | @JennyValentish

Jenny Valentish is a journalist for The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Saturday Paper, The Monthly and Rolling Stone, and writes band biographies and press releases for record labels. She is the former editor of Time Out (Melbourne) and Triple J’s Jmag, and former sub-editor for Cleo, Dolly, Cosmopolitan, Street Machine and Ralph, where she shaped the structure of freelancers’ copy. She has run two feature-writing clinics for Writers Victoria and has mentored young writers. Her nonfiction book, Woman of Substances, will be published in June by Black Inc.

Jes Layton | @JesonthePage

Jes Layton is an emerging Queer novelist and veteran fanfiction author. She’s interested in writing Australia as a mythic place, and geeks out about popular culture, mythology and things that taste ‘nice’. Along with having a BA in Creative Writing, Jes is the current admin for Voiceworks. Prior to this, she interned as Creative Producer for the Emerging Writers Festival in 2016. While reviewing, reading and gaming, Jes is also refining her debut novel for publication. Her short story ‘Airport Pick-up’ was published in Others: An Anthology of Creative Writing.

Joshua Baird

Joshua Baird lives in Geelong and is currently completing his PhD thesis, a series of short stories exploring elements of masculinity and unreliable narration. He recently began teaching Creative Writing at Deakin University. He wishes he could write better comedy, but his stories always end up examining death and madness and all sorts of grim things. His work has been published inVoiceworks, Tincture, and Otoliths, among others.

Khalid Warsame | @NYWF 

Khalid Warsame is a writer, fiction editor at The Lifted Brow, and Co-Director of the National Young Writers’ Festival.

Lucy Adams | @VoiceworksMag

Lucy Adams is the editor of youth literary journal Voiceworks. She has previously edited Buzzcuts and produced podcasts for the Melbourne International Film Festival. She hails from Perth, where she was a neuroscience writer and brain mapper.

Maria Takolander

Maria Takolander won the inaugural Australian Book Review Short Story Prize, and her fiction has been published and anthologised nationally and internationally. Her short-story collection The Double (Text 2013) was supported by a $25,000 Australia Council grant, short-listed for the $30,000 Melbourne Prize for Literature, and named one of the year’s best books by The Australian. She is also the author of two poetry collections, The End of the World (Giramondo 2014) and Ghostly Subjects (Salt 2009). She is currently finishing a novel, and is an Associate Professor in Writing and Literature at Deakin University in Geelong.

Maryanne Vagg | @WordforWordFest & @GeelongLibrary

For almost a decade Maryanne Vagg has been working in the public libraries in senior public programming roles both in Geelong and prior to that with Gold Coast Libraries.  During her time with Gold Coast Libraries, Maryanne developed and delivered Literati, the Gold Coast’s first literary festival and ran it successfully for three years prior to relocating to Geelong.  During her time with Geelong Regional Library Corporation, she has been instrumental in developing and expanding the broad range of public programs offered by the library service, and for the last three years she has directed and presented Geelong’s literary festival, the Word for Word Non-fiction Festival.

Tracks: Geelong is presented by Express Media in partnership with Writers Victoria and Courthouse Youth Arts.