Big opportunities aren’t just for those peddling their pens in the big smoke. Young writers from across Australia can apply for Toolkits – a series of intensive, craft-specific online writing programs.

Toolkits is a rigorous 12-week program for writers aged 30 and under to develop their skills in a unique and exciting online environment. Each program includes one-on-one mentoring and feedback from an established writer, specialised presentations from guest artists and the opportunity to network with other young people working in the same literary form.

Season 1 (March – June 2020)

Toolkits: Memoir

Toolkits: Fiction

Coming in Season 2 (July – November 2020)

Toolkits: Graphic Narratives 

Toolkits: Digital Storytelling

Toolkits: Poetry

Applications to Toolkits are open to all young writers, including high school students, regardless of level of written experience. Young people living in outer-metropolitan, regional and remote areas of Australia are encouraged to apply.

Applications to Toolkits are free for Express Media members. If you’re not already a member, you can sign up here.


Applications for Toolkits: Fiction and Toolkits: Memoir are now closed.


Our Artists 




Amra Pajalic is an editor, teacher and award winning author,. Her debut novel The Good Daughter (Text Publishing, 2009) won the 2009 Melbourne Prize for Literature’s Civic Choice Award. She is co-editor of the anthology Growing up Muslim in Australia (Allen and Unwin, 2019) shortlisted for the 2015 Children’s Book Council of the Year awards. Her latest book is a family memoir Things Nobody Knows But Me (Transit Lounge, 2019). She is completing a PhD in Creative Writing at La Trobe University.

Ellena Savage is an Australian author. Her essay collection BLUEBERRIES is out now with Text Publishing and Scribe UK. Ellena’s writing examines the unbreakable nexus of intimate and public, and has previously appeared in Sydney Review of Books, Paris Review Daily, Meanjin, Cordite, and The Lifted Brow, of which she is a former editor. Ellena holds a PhD in Creative Writing with a focus on feminist literary criticism and the contemporary essay, and she is a 2019-2021 Marten Bequest Travelling Scholar.

Zoya Patel is the author of critically-acclaimed memoir, No Country Woman, essays on race, religion and feminism.  She is the Founding Editor of independent feminist journal, Feminartsy, through which she published the work of writers from across Australia and now hosts online courses and the Read Like A Feminist Bookclub. Zoya writes fiction, non-fiction and memoir, and has had her work published in a range of publications including Junkee, Women’s Agenda,, Right Now, The Canberra Times and more.

Jennifer Down is a writer, editor and translator. She was named a Sydney Morning Herald Young Novelist of the Year consecutively in 2017 and 2018 for her debut novel, Our Magic Hour, and her short story collection, Pulse Points. Pulse Points received the 2018 Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction, and the Queensland Literary Award – Steel Rudd Prize for Short Fiction. She lives in Melbourne.

Melanie Cheng is a writer based in Melbourne. Her debut short story collection, Australia Day, won the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript and the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction. Her non-fiction has been featured in The Age, SBS Online, Meanjin, Overland, The Griffith Review and The Australian, among others. In 2019 her debut novel, Room for a Stranger, was published by Text.

Bridget Caldwell-Bright is a Jingili Mudburra writer and editor based in Melbourne. She works as a freelance editor for Hardie Grant Books as well as commissioning editor for literary journal The Lifted Brow. She was previously co-editor for Archer Magazines First Nations Edition and managing editor for Blak Brow, a Black Women’s Collective edition of The Lifted Brow.

You can stream past Toolkits sessions anytime you want!

Express Media is committed to access, so if you would like to sign up and are experiencing financial hardship, please contact us via to be awarded one of our sponsored memberships.

The only other things you’ll need are motivation and internet connection, so don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity to refine your craft and be mentored by some of Australia’s best literary talent. 

Toolkits is generously supported by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund.