Big opportunities aren’t just for those peddling their pens in the big smoke. Young writers from across Australia can apply for Toolkits Connect– a series of intensive, craft-specific online writing programs.
In season 1 2023, Toolkits Connect is a 12-week program for writers aged 30 and under to develop their skills, workshop their work and connect with other writers. Express Media is excited to present three streams: Fiction, Nonfiction, and Digital Storytelling.
The program includes specialised presentations from guest artists and industry experts, the opportunity to connect with and learn from an established writer and network with other young writers in the same literary form, as well as to contribute to an outcome towards the end of the program (format to be determined by the group and facilitator).
Writers will meet as a group with their facilitator fortnightly on Wednesday evenings, connecting young Australian writers and offering opportunities for skill sharing and development. These meetings will foster community, encourage writers to develop a regular working practice and open a space to receive encouragement/guidance. During the off-weeks, the group and their facilitator will connect and share their work via a private online Discord channel, fostering connection and establishing relationships across the full 12 weeks.
Toolkits Connect will present six live special events with guest artists and industry experts sharing their craft and hints for young writers. These events will be streamed for free on Express Media’s YouTube channel.
Season 1 (April – July 2023)
Toolkits: Digital Storytelling
Season 2 (August – November 2023)
Applications to Toolkits Connect are free for Express Media members. If you’re not already a member, you can sign up here.
Applications to Toolkits Connect: Poetry require a joint Australia Poetry and Express Media membership which you can find here.
Have a question? Need help with your application? Send an email to Express Media’s Creative Producer at email@example.com.
Our 2023 Facilitators
Annie Zhang | Toolkits: Fiction
Annie Zhang is a writer and editor. She was the recipient of a WestWords Western Sydney Emerging Writer Fellowship and her writing was shortlisted for the Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction. Her work has been published by Kill Your Darlings and The Big Issue, amongst others. She has edited various publications including Voiceworks, and is currently working as a book editor at Scholastic.
Hasib Hourani | Toolkits: Nonfiction
Hasib Hourani is a Lebanese-Palestinian writer, editor, arts worker, and educator living on unceded Wurundjeri Country. His practice disrupts expectations of place, archive, and the relationship between the two. Hasib is a 2020 recipient of The Wheeler Centre’s Next Chapter Scheme and his 2021 essay, ‘when we blink’ was shortlisted for The LIMINAL & Pantera Press Nonfiction prize and is published in their 2022 anthology, Against Disappearance. Hasib is currently working on a book of poetry about suffocation and the occupation of Palestine. You can find his work in Meanjin, Overland, and Going Down Swinging, among others.
Rory Green | Toolkits: Digital Storytelling
Rory Green is a writer, editor and digital media artist living and working on unceded Wangal land. Their interactive digital poetry has been published in Running Dog, The Lifted Brow, Cordite Poetry Review, and Going Down Swinging, as well as presented at festivals including BLEED, National Young Writers Festival, Freeplay Festival and Cementa. In 2022 they were a finalist in the Goolugatup Heathcote Digital Art Prize. Rory is an enthusiastic advocate and mentor in the digital storytelling space, having facilitated Express Media’s online learning program Toolkits: Digital Storytelling since 2020 and mentored through Ainslie and Gorman Centre’s Live Art Lab program. They have also delivered workshops on digital storytelling for Writers SA, Queensland Poetry, Emerging Writers Festival, and Digital Writers Festival. Rory is currently co-editor of digital lit journal Crawlspace and the Games Literature Editor for Cordite Poetry Review.
Our 2023 Toolkits Guest Artists
Vidya Rajan is a writer & performer currently based in Australia working across screenwriting, theatre, comedy, and digital space. A former writer-in-residence at the Malthouse Theatre, graduate of the VCA, and a recipient of Screen Australia’s Developer Program, her work has often been described as surreal, inventive, darkly funny, and probing of the contemporary moment. Recently, her sketch writing as part of the The Feed (SBS) won the 2022 AWGIE award for Best Comedy Writing, and her digital interactive experience In Search of Lost Scroll took home Best Experimental Artwork at the 2022 Melbourne Fringe awards. She can next be seen as part of the core ensemble on the new Aunty Donna sitcom series – Aunty Donna’s Coffee Cafe (2023, ABC) – on which she also worked as a writer/story consultant.
Grace Chan is a speculative fiction writer and psychiatrist. Her writing explores brains, minds, technology, alien worlds, relationships, power, identity, and hidden parts of the self. Her soft-cyberpunk-with-feelings debut novel, Every Version of You, is about staying in love after mind-uploading into virtual reality. It’s out now from Affirm Press. Her short fiction can be found in Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women, Going Down Swinging, Aurealis, Andromeda Spaceways Magazine, and many other places. She has been shortlisted for the Aurealis Awards, Norma K Hemming Award, and Viva la Novella.
Suzy Garcia is the editor of Kill Your Darlings magazine and series editor of the annual short-story anthology New Australian Fiction. She is a bookseller, student of the Associate Degree of Professional Writing and Editing at RMIT, and previously she was an assistant editor at Djed Press. You can find her on Twitter at @suzygracias.
Micaela Sahhar is an Australian-Palestinian writer and educator. Her poetry and essays have appeared in the Griffith Review, Overland, Cordite, Southerly and the Age and her commentary has appeared in the Conversation and Arena Quarterly, among others. She has been a guest co-editor of Rabbit, a journal of non-fiction poetry, and was commissioned to contribute to Forensic Architecture’s Cloud Studies exhibition at UTS gallery in 2020. She was shortlisted for the Blake Poetry Prize in 2014, and was a Next Chapter Fellow at the Wheeler centre in 2022. She is a recipient of support from round seven of the Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund.
Ruby-Rose Pivet-Marsh is a writer, producer and arts worker living and creating on unceded Wurundjeri land. Ruby is currently the Artistic Director and co-CEO of Emerging Writers’ Festival and is a co-founder of the Latinx arts collective, Yo Soy.
Toolkits Connect is generously supported by Copyright Agency Cultural Fund and Australian Poetry.