Express Media is pleased to present Toolkits: Live, a series of live streamed events for young writers across Australia to kickstart their creative writing.

Toolkits is a program in which a select group of young writers develop their skills in a unique and exciting online environment, with facilitators Jennifer Down, Zoya Patel and Mira Schlosberg .

But Toolkits doesn’t stop there. Toolkits: Live is an accessible online opportunity for all young writers to learn from the best and brightest wordsmiths in Australia. Through a series of live streamed YouTube sessions and an interactive social media conversation, participants can develop their writing skillset and hone their craft—all in the comfort of their own homes.

Participants will learn the ropes of writing memoir with Carly Findlay, cover the tools of drawing both physical and digital  with Rachel Ang, learn how to write authentic dialogue with Alison Evans, and discover world-building, setting and atmosphere with Jamie Marina Lau. Toolkits: Live offers the opportunity to ask burning questions and engage live on social media, using the hashtag #EMToolkits. Best of all, the sessions are totally free and open to the general public.


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Tuesday 9th April | Part Memoir, Part Manifesto with Carly Findlay

In Week 3, award-winning writer, speaker and appearance activist Carly Findlay joins us to talk about writing her new memoir Say Hello. Based on her experience writing both this and compiling and editing forthcoming anthology Growing Up Disabled in Australia (Black Inc), Carly will speak to her overt mission to empower other people with disabilities through her own story and what the real-life implications are of representing a community.

Tuesday 7th May | Writing Family with Jessie Cole

In Week 5, novelist and writer Jessie Cole joins us to talk about the structure, style and craft of her critically acclaimed memoir Staying (2018). Jessie will talk to the specific techniques she employed when writing about the complexities of family, loss and trauma.


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Thursday 16th May | The good place: World-building, setting and atmosphere with Jamie Marina Lau

In Week 3, author Jamie Marina Lau joins us to talk about world-building, environment and relationship to place in fiction. How does setting inform a narrative—and its characters? How can we bring a place to life, even if it’s imaginary?

Thursday 13th June | The voice of reason: Dialogue, point-of-view and perspective with Alison Evans

Emerging writers are often told to ‘find their voice’. But what does that actually mean? This week, queer YA author Alison Evans joins us to talk about what it means to craft a convincing narrative voice, and write authentic dialogue.

Graphic Narratives

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Wednesday 17th April | Week 2 | Tools & How to Use Them with Rachel Ang

From ink to paint to digital drawing programs, choosing which materials to use when starting a new comic can often be a daunting task. In week 2, artist Rachel Ang breaks down the what and how of drawing and editing tools and how to find what works best for you.

Wednesday 15th May | Week 4 | Self Indulgence with Eloise Grills

Personal writing in every storytelling medium gets a bad rap (read: gets criticised by men with bad taste), but there’s no denying that graphic memoir is one of the most important genres of comics. In week 4, award-winning writer and comics artist Eloise Grills joins us to discuss writing and drawing the self.

Wednesday 29th May | Week 5 | Collaborative Storytelling with Alice Chipkin and Tava Tavassoli

Comics is a medium where collaboration thrives. In week 5, Alice Chipkin and Tava Tavassoli, co-authors of Eyes Too Dry, join us to talk about their collaborative writing process and making art with other people.


Thursday 5th September | Week 2A: Reclaiming Joy with Norman Erikson PasaribuHow do we use humour in our writing to intervene a status quo, to expose social oppression, to resist the dominant power? How can we use poetry to reclaim laughter and joy while remaining ethically conscientious and politically aware? In week four, Java-born author Norman Erikson Pasaribu joins us live from The Wheeler Centre to show us how to use poetry as a form of resistance (and how to have a giggle at the same time).

Join the conversation and livestream this Toolkits Live event.

Thursday 19th September | Week 3A: Editing and Publishing Poetry with Kent MacCarter

Learning how to edit your own poetry is an integral part of being a poet, and knowing how to get your work out into the world is essential. In week four, managing editor of Cordite Poetry Review and publisher of Cordite Books, Kent MacCarter, joins us to focus on the nitty gritty of how to edit and publish your work. He’ll share his experience and expertise and show you how to take your poetry from your desk to the people.

Join the conversation and livestream this Toolkits Live event.

Thursday 3rd October | Week 4A: Nonfiction Poetry with Jessica Wilkinson

Nonfiction poetry isn’t just a space to explore the lyric ‘l’. This week poet, editor and educator Jessica Wilkinson shares her own experience of nonfiction poetry, a form that continues to push the boundaries of both poetry and nonfiction alike. We’ll take a close look at Rabbit, a nonfiction poetry journal founded and edited by Wilkinson, a publication that continues to open up a dialogue between form and genre. Participants will also gain insight into the development of Wilkinson’s own practice and experiments with nonfiction poetry.

Join the conversation and livestream this Toolkits Live event.

Thursday 17th October | Week 5A: Truth speaking, decolonising and First Nations languages with Kirli Saunders

In week 3, proud Gunai woman, and international children’s author, poet, and emerging playwright Kirli Saunders, joins us to discuss her experience using poetry as a tool to connect to land and it’s ancient knowledge. Kirli talks about how she celebrates, shares and preserves knowledge of First Nations languages and culture through poetry and through the Poetry in First Languages Project. In this session, Kirli will share research exploring the impacts of the connections of First Nations people to country, language and community.

Join the conversation and livestream this Toolkits Live event.

Digital Storytelling

Tuesday 17th September | Week 3A | Tools and How To Use Them with Kylie Boltin

This week, guest artist Kylie Boltin will talk about what she’s learned as a journalist, producer, filmmaker and commissioning editor of online documentaries. She’ll discuss different forms, experiences and examples – including working with communities outside the media mainstream – and explain how, why and when she favours the various tools in her storytelling arsenal.

Join the conversation and livestream this Toolkits Live event.

Tuesday 1st October | Week 4A | Betanarratives with Jessica Zhan Mei Yu

This week, we’ll look at stories that don’t advance in a linear fashion; perhaps, they don’t advance at all, but instead soak and brood. What kind of planning and iteration goes into planning and building an interactive story; how do you keep track of the big picture and the details? How do you collaborate across disciplines?

Join the conversation and livestream this Toolkits Live event.

Tuesday 15th October | Week 5 | Collaborative storytelling

This week we’ll talk about collaboration, co-creation, inclusion and facilitation – and consider some exciting, broad ways to engage with storytellers and audiences.

Join the conversation and livestream this Toolkits Live event.

If you have any questions about how you can view and take part in Toolkits Live, email Express Media’s Creative Producer, Bethany Atkinson-Quinton, on

Toolkits is generously supported by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund.

Toolkits: Poetry is presented in partnership with Australian Poetry, with the generous support of The Copyright Agency Cultural Fund.

Toolkits: Live is presented by Express Media in partnership with Regional Arts Victoria as part of the Arts Connect Series funded by the Federal Government’s Regional Arts Fund.