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

Season 2 (July – November 2020)

Toolkits: Graphic Narratives 

Toolkits: Digital Storytelling

Toolkits: Regional Playwriting

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 in 2020 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.

Holden Sheppard  is a Geraldton born-and-bred author. His first novel ‘Invisible Boys’ won the 2018 City of Fremantle‚ T.A.G. Hungerford Award and the 2017 Ray Koppe Award. In 2019 ‘Invisible Boys’ also won the Kathleen Mitchell Award from the Australia Council for the Arts. This is for an outstanding novel or novella by an Australian author aged 30 or under. His novella ‘Poster Boy’ won the 2018 Novella Project competition and was published in ‘Griffith Review’. 

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.

Mira Schlosberg is a writer, comics artist, and editor originally from Arizona and currently living in Birraranga (Melbourne). Their comic Guidebook to Queer Jewish Spirituality is published by Glom Press. You can find them online at

Elena Gomez is a poet and freelance editor living in Melbourne. She has published a number of poems, essays and chapbooks, and her full-length collection, Body of Work, was highly commended in the 2019 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards. She is currently Reviews Editor for Cordite.

Rory Green is an editor for Voiceworks Online and 2016 alumni of the Toolkits: Poetry program. They have presented on digital writing at the MCA Zine Fair, Digital Writers Festival and Freeplay Festival, and their work has been published in Rabbit, Plumwood Mountain, Running Dog, The Lifted Brow and Hobart among others. Rory lives on unceded Gadigal land. For more information visit:

Jessica Bellamy is a playwright and theatre maker based in Melbourne. She has worked with companies in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, regional New South Wales, Singapore, and the Philippines during her career. Jessica is the co-writer and performer of Thick Beats for Good Girls (Checkpoint Theatre Singapore) as well as writer and performer of Shabbat Dinner, which has had three Sydney seasonsRecent collaborations include (After)Hero with Monash University Student Theatre, and collaborations with Albert Park College, Local Peoples, and Sydney Living Museums. She won the Rodney Seaborn Playwrights Award for Sprout (2011). Jessica has devised theatre with groups including Sipat Lawin Ensemble, Everything is Everywhere, Teen Makeouts, and Clockfire Theatre Company. She has run workshops or residencies for Arts Centre Melbourne, Dreamhouse Theatre, atyp, NIDA, OTYP, Back to Back Theatre, and in many schools.

Tasnim Hossain is a playwright, dramaturg and director. As a playwright, she has worked with ATYP, Shopfront Youth Arts and Canberra Youth Theatre and has written and performed solo work independently around Australia. She has worked with Q Theatre, BMEC, Arts OutWest, CuriousWorks, Performance Space and Playwriting Australia as a dramaturg. She was the assistant director on Banging Denmark for Sydney Theatre Company and The House at Boundary Road, Liverpool at the Old 505 Theatre and has also directed readings for several new works. She has been a STC and Contemporary Asian Australian Performance’s Directors Initiative participant, a Griffin Theatre Studio Artist, a MTC’s Women in Theatre program participant, and Resident Playwright at ATYP. She was also a co-creator, co-writer and performer in Carpark Clubbing, a web series for ABC iView, and is currently serving on ATYP’s board.

Fleur Kilpatrick is an award-winning playwright, a director and arts commentator. She holds a postgraduate diploma of directing and a Masters in playwriting from the VCAM. She is a lecturer at Monash Centre for Theatre and Performance and the co-founder of Lonely Company, working to support emerging playwrights create sustainable careers.

Fleur’s plays have won the 2019 Helen Noonan Award (Whale), 2018 Max Afford Playwrights Award (Whale), 2016 Jill Blewett Award (Blessed, Poppy Seed Festival) and 2015 Melbourne Fringe’s Emerging Playwright Award (The City They Burned, Melbourne Fringe, Brisbane Festival). In 2019, she directed her adaptation of Slaughterhouse Five to critical acclaim and Whale premiered at Darebin Speakeasy. In 2018 her new play Terrestrial toured South Australia with the State Theatre Company of South Australia and her play Yours the Face received a new production in Sydney. Writing credits include Insomnia Cat Came to Stay (Quiet Little Fox, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth Fringe, Brisbane Festival, TINA), Yours the Face (Quiet Little Fox, Adelaide Fringe, Perth Fringe,Flight Festival) and Welcome to Nowhere co-written with Daniel Keene, Angus Cerini, Zoey Dawson and Morgan Rose (Monash University).

Fleur appears fortnightly on 3RRRs Smart Arts with Richard Watts.

Lee Lai is from Naarm (Melbourne), Australia, and currently makes comics and illustrations in Tio’tia:ke (known as Montreal, Quebec). She writes and paints comics in short and long form fiction, and has been featured in The New Yorker, The Lifted Brow, Room Magazine, and Meanjin Journal. Her first graphic novel Stone Fruit is due to be released by Fantagraphics in 2021, and has been translated into four languages.

Marc Pearson is a cartoonist, risograph printer and small press publisher based in Melbourne, Australia. He is a former Art Editor at The Lifted Brow (issues 25-32). He founded and formerly edited the cartoon advice column Advicecomics. He is currently drawing an ongoing comic series called ’The Flamingo Diamond’, drawing graphic medicine comics for Orygen Youth Health & co-running a risograph press called Glom Press.
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.

Toolkits: Regional Playwriting is presented by Express Media in partnership with Carclew and Country Arts SA.

This project was made possible by the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund Strategic Initiatives, which supports the arts in regional and remote Australia.