5 May 2023

Meet the Toolkits: Nonfiction 2023 participants

The Express Media team is so excited to announce the ten young writers who will be taking part in this season of Toolkits: Nonfiction!

Facilitated by writer, editor, arts worker and educator Hasib Hourani, this 12-week intensive course aims to guide participants through the form, skills and ethics of nonfiction writing, combining theoretical approaches and practical exercises to guide young writers through the development of new work.

Participants will meet as a group with their facilitator fortnightly on Wednesday evenings, offering opportunities for skill sharing and development. These meetings will foster community, encourage writers to develop a regular working practice, and open a space to receive encouragement/guidance. During the off-weeks, the group and their facilitator will participate in writing jams, utilising the tools and ideas explored throughout each session.

As part of this Toolkits: Nonfiction season, there will be two livestreamed guest presentations which will be available to watch publicly on our YouTube channel: Ruby-Rose Pivet-Marsh, 11th July & Micaela Sahhar, 12th July – keep an eye out on our socials for more details coming soon. But for now, say hello to the class of 2023!

Elena Perse is a Master of Arts student, an Aquarius and a bookseller (not necessarily in that order).

Lily is a writer currently living and working on Yugambeh land. She likes 90s Grrrl punk, realistic female literary characters, and Bob Dylan.

Tayla is a disability advocate and writer living on Wurundjeri land. Through her nonfiction prose and poetry, she explores themes around grief, purpose, identity and belonging, drawing on her lived experience with a rare neuromuscular disorder. She has written for HireUp and an online exhibition piece for Bunjil place. Tayla is a 2023 ambassador for Muscular dystrophy Australia, and was a speaker at two 2022 Melbourne disability expos.

Julia Rose Bąk is a queer, Māori-Polish writer, researcher, organiser and abolitionist who lives and works between Boorloo and Narrm. Julia’s writing touches on themes such as access, interdependence, care, collective healing and collective liberation, as well as their experience growing up with complex chronic illness. Julia was a 2022 Hot Desk Fellow and their work can be read in Overland, Bitch Media, Archer, Cordite, and others.

Phoebe Thorburn is an emerging writer, cook & creative living in south-east Melbourne on unceded Boon Wurrung country. They studied Sociology and Film at Monash University (2019) and have been making soul-singingly good, plant-led, allergy sensitive recipes on ‘Honeybunch of Onion Tops’, since 2016. She started her vegan & gluten-free microbakery ‘Biscuit Tin Bakery’ in 2022, which serves inclusive modern takes on nostalgic bakery favourites.

Phoebe’s writing spans mental health, girlhood, bodies, food, family, trauma, late-stage capitalism and living in a world made for neurotypical able-bodies. Phoebe has worked with Frankie Magazine & ABC Everyday and been interviewed for ABC Radio National, local radio & The Jerk Store (issue 07). When recharging from the world, Phoebe is communing with the trees, retreating to her imagination, stimming to film scores, sifting through dusty op shops and eating kimchi.

Pop-culture fiend most likely to quote the opening two-hander in The Social Network (2010) verbatim. Lover of cats and any associated iconography, especially Hello Kitty. Unabashed maker of iron deficiency to be a personality trait. Long-time theoriser of Megan Fox’s film career and fan of boardgames that make things socially uncomfortable.

Tyberius Larking is a Mirning man of trans experience, who writes and is involved in activism on Kaurna country.

Ada grew up in lutruwita/Tasmania. She’s written for the Hunter Writers Centre, ABC News, Voiceworks, and the Guardian. She is currently a writer in residence at Lighthouse Arts.

Indigo Bailey (23) is a writer and nonfiction editor who lives below the mountain kunanyi in lutruwita/Tasmania. She recently completed her Honours thesis about futurity and care in feminist autotheory at the University of Tasmania, graduating with a University Medal. Her writing has appeared in Senses of Cinema, Rough Cut, and First Word, and she currently enjoys witnessing children’s sprawling imaginations while working in a primary school.

Michelle Guo (she/her) is an emerging fashion/art curator, writer and historian. She uses an interdisciplinary approach in her practice, combining research from across arts and humanities to examine how our relationships to visual culture inform how we interact with it on a personal and systemic level. She is interested in interactions and intersections of art and fashion with high/low culture more broadly. Her work has been published in Memo Review, Verve Zine, Fashion Forward Zine and Fashion and Race Database.