14 May 2021

Get to Know the 2021 Toolkits Participants (Q&A)

Our first season of Toolkits for 2021 is almost at an end (what!?) So we decided to pop in on some of our Season 1 Toolkits participants from Toolkits Fiction, Graphic Narratives and Nonfiction, to get to know them better!

What are some of your interests?

Ilona (Toolkits Fiction): I’ve recently started skateboarding, so when it’s not raining and wrecking my vibe, I’m usually doing that. I like to go camping and hiking when I get the chance. Other than that, I love a good TV Show and recently started watching Superstore on Netflix, and it is truly golden!

Julianna (Toolkits: Fiction): When I’m not writing or reading I’m listening on loop to hip hop (and probably damaging my hearing), trying to learn about plants and gardening (and being overwhelmed with it all) and letting limbless stories/thoughts come and go throughout the days. I’m a geek.

Christopher (Toolkits: Nonfiction): Overeating citrus fruits and tofu pudding, radical dharma/socially engaged Buddhism, making film score playlists to the imagined short films that I’ve never made, deep listening and good questions that prompt wholesome contemplation.       

Jessie (Toolkits: Graphic Narratives): I am borderline obsessed with revisionist history. I love reading perspectives that are finally being given the respect and attention they are due; also, sometimes, you need to read about an emperor giving his male lover a mountain and that being an Entire Thing in Chinese culture. 

I also love dragon dancing (It is the one with several people holding a cloth dragon on poles, not the one where two people hide under a fluffy paper mâché head with a cape; this is a lion). I love it for the cultural connection, the physical exertion, and my incredibly dorky teammates.

Michail (Toolkits: Graphic Narratives): I’m interested in storytelling in all its forms, and generally anything that’s ~visually interesting~. I adore drag, filmmaking and comics, of course – I take so much inspiration and put a lot of my creative energy into these art forms. I also love Dungeons & Dragons, Magic the Gathering, Super Smash Bros, and watching most kinds of animated TV (love Steven Universe, Futurama, and 90s CN/Nicktoons).


What are you most looking forward to or most excited for about your Toolkits program?

Ilona (Toolkits Fiction): I’m excited to meet other writers who love fiction and are committed to developing their writing skills. I think that type of community is precious and motivating. I’m also really excited to be mentored by Jennifer Down! 

Julianna (Toolkits: Fiction): I am so looking forward to connecting with like-minded writers supporting each other, creating a community of emerging writers and revelling in the up and down process of writing!! Geeking out about writing and stories in an environment created for us to flourish and better our craft.

Christopher (Toolkits: Nonfiction): Bearing witness to different stories and the chance to be creative in community.       

Jessie (Toolkits: Graphic Narratives): I’m super excited for the publishing info week. I want to have my comics printed in the future and any light shed on the scene would be helpful! Researching it on my own, is, terrifying. 

I’m also looking forwards to connect with fellow comics and graphic narrative nerds – it’s so important to build community when it comes to creative work!

Michail (Toolkits: Graphic Narratives): I’m excited to jump into the world of comics and graphic storytelling! I’ve always loved comics but never really knew how to access the medium as a creative, both from a process and industry standpoint. So I’m keen to get to know a bunch of cool creatives and immerse myself in this beautiful medium.


What are you currently working on/What do you want to work on in Toolkits?

Ilona (Toolkits Fiction): I’m currently working on collecting short stories that I eventually want to make into a podcast. I plan on developing these stories during the program and improving my writing skills in the process.

Julianna (Toolkits: Fiction): At present I am working on a collection of short stories I have been writing since last year. They centre around the margins of society; a rub ‘n tug parlour igniting an unintentional friendship, a woman with daddy issues trigged by a difficult adolescence and an anti-establishment man who questions his authenticity in the cause. I would love the opportunity to continue working on these throughout my time at Toolkits.

I am also finishing editing two smut zines I’ll be releasing sometime next month, deadlines when working on a personal project become a tad blurry.

Christopher (Toolkits: Nonfiction): Writing love letters     

Jessie (Toolkits: Graphic Narratives): I’m currently working on a webcomic that I want to launch after I’ve finished uni. I’m trying to get a buffer together so that I hit the ground running. I am also working on putting together a graphic novel pitch, but I’m most concerned with getting the story as tight as possible before I go into visual development.

 I’m hoping to work on the graphic novel pitch in Toolkits, but I’ll probably bring both projects in to ask what people think of them. In general, I want to learn how to write stories and edit them in an organized and timely way. I can get there, but it takes me a lot longer than I’d like at the moment.

Michail (Toolkits: Graphic Narratives): At the moment I would love to learn how to integrate my illustrative and writing practice. I’m very much used to screenwriting and drawing individual pieces, but I’d love to work on combining the two effectively to actually create sequential art and graphic narratives. I’m currently writing a web-series but I would like to bring a fresh story to the program to develop and flesh out.

Now the absolute most important question…what’s your sign? 

Ilona (Toolkits Fiction): I’m a Virgo!

Julianna (Toolkits: Fiction): I am a Capricorn with no clue what moon was in what when I was born. All I know is the hour and minute of my impatient birth. 

Christopher (Toolkits: Nonfiction): Aquarius!      

Jessie (Toolkits: Graphic Narratives): Libra sun (Pisces moon, Pisces rising. I’m quite damp, astrologically)

Michail (Toolkits: Graphic Narratives): I’m a Gemini!


For more information on our Toolkits and Toolkits: Live program (which you can participate in right now!) visit our website.