15 April 2019

Meet the young writers of Toolkits: Fiction

We’re stoked to be finishing off Season One of Toolkits 2019 with 8 talented young writers from across Australia, participating in Toolkits: Fiction! In the programs fourth year, we received many applications, making the selection process a difficult one.  For 12 weeks, these young writers will be learning the ins and outs of creative writing and editing their own work from the best in the business!

Toolkits: Fiction will be facilitated by Sydney Morning Herald Young Novelist of the Year, Jennifer Down, author of Our Magic Hourand Pulse Points. Jennifer will facilitate the online sessions and workshops, providing one-on-one mentorship and individualised feedback to each writer.

For more information on our Toolkits and Toolkits: Live program (which you can participate in right now!) visit our website. But for now, say hello to the class of 2019!

Grace McCarter, 26, Teneriffe, Brisbane

Grace McCarter is a Brisbane-based freelance writer, QUT Creative and Professional Writing graduate, and past recipient of the SLQ Young Writer’s award. You can find her work in Scum magazine, Hot Chicks With Big Brains, Feminartsy, Design Of The World and Award Winning Australian Writing. Grace works as a content and marketing writer at Josephmark venture studio and trending news content editor at Hash. Grace intends to use Toolkits to carve out some space for her fiction writing practice again after dedicating the last two years to kicking off her career in content strategy. Through Toolkits: Fiction, Grace will challenge herself by examining structure, plot and pacing to reassess her approach to short story narrative. She tweets and ‘grams at @GraceMcCarter.

Madelyne Cummings, 28, Sydney

Madelyne Cummings is a queer writer of short fiction and poetry. She moved back to Sydney in 2018 after living in the US for three years and calls Portland (Oregon) her second home. She is currently working on her first collection of short stories and hopes to complete and polish two pieces through Toolkits: Fiction. Beyond writing, she’s interested in film photography and can usually be found reading on the train.

Georgie Harriss, Albury (not Wodonga)

Georgie Harriss is a young writer hailing from the town of Albury (not Wodonga). She holds an Honours degree in screenwriting from the Victorian College of the Arts where she specialised in television comedy. Since graduation she has concentrated her efforts on the craft of playwriting and has tried to loosen her grip on the three-act structure. During 2018 her debut play “Love Bird” enjoyed successful seasons at both the Butterfly Club and La Mama Trades Hall. That year she was selected to take part in Australian Theatre for Young People’s “Fresh Ink” National Mentorship Program as well as the Tessa Waters Mentorship Program. She was also a 2018 Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellow.

Georgie hopes Toolkits: Fiction will help her refine her prose writing skills as she makes the transition into a less visual, less dialogue-heavy medium. She is particularly looking forward to a bright future full of correct semicolon usage. Her favourite writers are currently Franz Kafka, Sue Townsend and Annie Baker.

Julia Robinson, 23, Sydney.

Julia Robinson is a 23-year-old writer living in Sydney. Her creative writing has previously appeared in Voiceworks. She recently completed her Honours thesis at UNSW on ‘Fictionality after Postmodernism’. Her fiction is atmospheric and experimental. She mostly writes about complicated interactions and relationships between people. Through participating in Toolkits: Fiction she hopes to improve her writing by striking a balance between exciting, experimental prose and engaging narrative. She would also like to develop more nuanced characters to sustain long form fiction. She is looking forward to connecting with a community of other emerging writers.

Hannah Debus, Sydney.

Hannah Debus is a Sydney-based writer. While working full-time in education, Hannah has written short fiction and recently began work on a book-length project. She is excited for the opportunity to workshop her fiction in Toolkits.

Jessie Perrin, Sydney.

Jessie Perrin is a writer and teacher currently based in Sydney. Her fiction has appeared in various publications including Scum Magazine, Ibis House, Voiceworks and Lor Journal, and her memoir ‘Some things I have done and some things that have happened to me in Sydney’ was serialised in Scum Magazine throughout 2018. She has also co-created work for FBi Radio’s All the Best, researched and written for Asylum Insight, and was a co-convenor of Melbourne Free University. She is interested in creating experimental, playful fiction that explores how language works and how this language can be twisted, turned, squeezed and pulled in different directions. Up to this point, her writing has had a strong autobiographical element and she hopes Toolkits will give her new insights into building character, and give her confidence to step into new psyches and voices in her writing. She also hopes she can apply what she learns to help her better craft and structure The Two Girls, her novella-in-progress.

Katherine Smyrk, Melbourne

Katherine Smyrk is a Melbourne-based writer of fiction and non-fiction, and the Deputy Editor of The Big Issue.

She likes to write about real kinds of things – relationships, sex, mental health, social issues – in a real kind of way. She is excited for the opportunity to just write more, with structure and accountability, and to also work on writing dialogue in a way that doesn’t sound super lame. She tweets sporadically at @KSmyrk.

Millie Baylis, 27, Melbourne

Millie Baylis is a writer living in Melbourne on Wurundjeri land. She studies Professional Writing and Editing and is currently working on short stories, personal essays and the early stages of a novel. She uses her fiction and nonfiction to consider mental and physical illness, disability, family, violence, the act of caring, grief, small joys and small turning moments.In 2019, Millie is stoked to be a participant of both Toolkits: Memoir and Toolkits: Fiction. During Toolkits: Fiction, Millie will work on developing a short story about a woman who goes to Gippsland to search for her missing girlfriend, and if there’s time, on the early stages of her manuscript about two siblings trying to keep each other safe over a decade. She looks forward to learning from exceptional Australian fiction writers and gaining new tools to help shape, deepen and polish a story.