19 March 2021

Meet the young writers of Toolkits: Fiction 2021

We are so excited to begin our Season of Toolkits: Fiction for 2021! We’re kicking off this program with 8 talented young writers from across Australia. During this 12-week intensive, these artists will  join writer, editor and translator Jennifer Down, to explore storytelling and ethics, learn how to craft characters, plots and plans and how to polish work for publication. 

Jennifer will lead the program’s fortnightly online sessions and workshops, providing one-on-one mentorship during the alternating weeks, and support these young writers with individualised feedback.

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 Fiction class of 2021!

Julianna Perkosz

Poet, writer and part-time smut writer my work is heavily influenced by hip hop and the underground. Growing up a misfit this isn’t a far fetch. A first gen Aussie I always found dissonance in such a reality. My work centres on such instances of not fitting-in entirely. When I’m not writing you can catch me being extra with my outfits on daily walks around suburbia.

My work has been shortlisted for the Next Chapter 2020 as well as appearing in local and global zines with a special interest in collaborating with artists of different mediums to my own.

Ilona Mutuku

Hi, my name is Ilona, and I am a writer living in and around the city of Melbourne. I am also a student at RMIT University, studying Aerospace Engineering. I am generally found in a library or behind a computer, but otherwise, I’m outside because natures cool, right?

I write because I can create worlds, convey ideas and take people on journeys that I could never do through a conversation. An experience that I find invaluable and one that other authors have given to me.

I love writing that includes science, whether fantastic or realistic and aim to put some element of that in my work. I post on Instagram @ilonamutuku and am quite active on clubhouse @ilonamutuku for some interesting conversations.

Bianca Breen

I am in my final year of a Bachelor of Creative Arts, majoring in Writing, at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. When I’m not reading or writing fantastical adventures, or exploring new places in video games, I’m a co-host of the Melbourne-based book club The YA Room and an editor of the online KOS Magazine.

Caitlin Overturn 

Caitlin is an Italian to English translator, PhD student and language teacher living in Boorloo (Perth) on Whadjuk Noongar land.

Gajan Thiyagarajah

Gajan is a Melbourne-based writer, having moved there in 1996 at the ripe age of one year old, but was born in India and grew up between Australia, Sri Lanka and Western Samoa, and has lived in Canada and the UK as an adult. He mostly dabbles in screenwriting, short fiction and long-form journalism, but aspires to be a novelist. Currently he’s completing a Master of Urban Planning at The University of Melbourne, and is curious about how the design of cities shapes both the justness of societies and our sense of place and time in narrative storytelling. Gajan is an avid sports follower (and a Melbourne Football Club tragic), amateur musician, armchair political expert and crossword doer.

Maya Crombie

Maya lives in Melbourne, and is currently in Year 9, with particular interest in English, Art, German and Media Studies.  She likes walking through empty places and thinking full thoughts. Her passions are writing short fiction and poetry, and she hopes to release her work out into the world sometime soon.

Maki Morita

Maki is a Melbourne based writer and croissant enthusiast. She likes writing because her brain never shuts up, so it’s good to get some things down on paper.

Maki primarily has experience writing for the stage and screen, although she is now trying her hand at novel-writing. She is currently developing her play ‘Trash Pop Butterflies, Dance Dance Paradise’ for production, and is undertaking a secondment on Ellen Grimshaw’s show ‘We’re Probably Really Really Happy Right Now’ (Theatre Works, 2021). Her short film Mirage was selected for the Melbourne Women in Film Festival 2020 and the Setting Sun Film Festival 2020.

In 2020, she graduated with a Master of Theatre (writing) from the Victorian College of the Arts, where she was awarded the Portland House Theatre Outreach scholarship. She also has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree from The University of Melbourne.

Wai Mun Mah

Wai Mun Mah is an Australian-born, Malaysian Chinese writer. She wears many hats: she’s the marketing manager at Going Down Swinging, an editorial assistant at Hobart, and a reader at Outlook Springs. She cares deeply about making the world a more equitable place. She’s also a big fan of cats, birds, board games, and digital poetry.