12 October 2023

Meet the Toolkits: Graphic Narratives 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: Graphic Narratives!

Facilitated by author and cartoonist Bailey Sharp, this 12-week intensive course will explore the forms, skills, and ethics of creating graphic narratives. It will combine theoretical approaches, practical exercises, and group workshopping to guide young writers through the development of new work.

Participants will both learn the applications of graphic storytelling, and discuss the history and innovations of this unique literary practice. The workshops cover a strong foundation in the familiar, such as comic strips, graphic novels, and manga, but aren’t afraid to branch into the experimental. The group will hone their skills in textual analysis, create their own original work (which can be fictional, autobiographical, biographical or journalistic), explore the possibilities of collaboration, and learn how to pitch work to publishers when they’re done.

Congratulations to the Toolkits: Graphic Narratives Class of 2023! We can’t wait to see what exciting new work comes out of this cohort.

Amira Akhtar (22, they/them/he)

Amira is emerging digital media artist who is a settler on the lands on the Wurundjuri Woi- Wurrung and BoonWurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin Nation. They document their life using zines and film.

Lydia Schofield (21, she/they)

Lydia Schofield is a writer and artist from Melbourne. Lydia was shortlisted in Hachette Australia’s Prize for Young Writers two years in a row and has been published in Catalyst and WhyNot. They can often be found talking to magpies and cockatoos or wandering through art galleries.

Alice King (25, they/them)

Alice is a writer and artist currently studying in Melbourne/Naarm. They are particularly interested in ecology, gender identity and landscapes. They have been published in the Bowen Street Press magazines Negative Space and Forkful, and the online journal Critical Disdain. In their spare time, Alice enjoys partaking in nature photography.

Spencer Rodrick (20, they/she/he/ve)

I’m Spencer Rodrick, a queer and autistic creative based in Melbourne, with strong opinions on comfort and accessibility in sci-fi, porches, and fish. Note: the crochet isn’t my work.

Torsten Strokirch (25, he/him)

Torsten is a comics artist living on Boon Wurrung country. His interests are in ecological storytelling and his writing has been published in Voiceworks, Farrago, and Above Water.

Ani Isom (29, they/them)

Ani is a multi-disciplinary visual artist, illustrator and designer. They took a windy path to design—first, following their love of languages into foreign languages and teaching, then diving into the world of visual language through illustration and art-making.

Ani draws, paints and designs to process the world around them. They are constantly inspired by nature! You might find them somewhere outside by the water, or drawing with their cat, Chilli.

Sarah Hult (27, she/her)

Sarah Hult works and plays on Larrakia land. She is currently an educator and facilitator. She is the co-executive director of The Abortion Project.

Slug Strange (25, they/them)

Slug Strange is a multidisciplinary artist living in Narrm/Melbourne. They are currently studying textiles, and have a background in visual arts. They are a fan of Osamu Tezuka and Kenji Watanabe, and an avid toy collector.

Madi Marston (23, she/her)

Madi Marston is a Meanjin/Brisbane based comic writer and illustrator. She creates zines and her work has been published in Voiceworks magazine and The Emerging Writers festival. When she’s not sketching, you can find her reading a good book or playing with her dogs.

Camille Ham (27, they/them)

Camille Ham is an artist living in Naarm/Melbourne. Their practice revolves around people and creatures and the world they inhabit, abstracted from real world influences such as historical art eras like baroque, toys, video games and the natural environment. Camille works primarily in pen and ink, preferring sketchbooking as a method of building a body of work, but also makes needle punch rugs and paints funny animals on clothing when the urge strikes them. They have a keen interest in music, fashion, friendship and birdwatching.