Spanning a range of forms, nonfiction can be broad and unwieldy. 

Express Media presents Toolkits: Nonfiction, an online course in the forms, skills, and ethics of writing nonfictional narrative, combining theoretical approaches, practical exercises, and one-on-one mentorship to guide young writers through the development of new work.

Spanning a range of forms, good nonfiction is both challenging to write and rewarding to read. Over a 12-week intensive, participants join Tom Doig to unpack the fundamentals nonfiction storytelling,focusing on developing their work from conception to first longform-draft while exploring nonfiction forms, the ethics of representing real-life characters, and how to pitch your work to publishers. 

In 2018, Toolkits: Nonfiction will be facilitated by award-winning nonfiction writer, Tom Doig. Tom will facilitate the programs online sessions and workshops, providing one-on-one mentorship and individualised feedback to each young writer.

What is nonfiction? What makes it different from other forms of art and writing? How do I write, research, and investigate stories that matter?

Toolkits is first and foremost a practical initiative. Young writers will be encouraged to write, workshop and edit their writing throughout the course.

Participants also have the chance to learn from some of Australia’s best nonfiction writers, with guest artists Fiona Wright and Royce Kurmelovs presenting live and online sessions for the next generation across the country.


Wednesday March 21 | Week 1: What The Heck is Nonfiction?

From memoir and oral history to literary journalism and creative nonfiction, narrative nonfiction takes many diverse forms. We focus on what makes each style of nonfiction unique, and how to approach them to tell your story.

Wednesday April 4 | Week 2: Writing The World Around You

What story do you want to tell? How can you tell it best? This week, we explore writing from personal experience and the world, events, and people around you.

Wednesday April 18 | Week 3: Writing from Within: Writing Memoir with Fiona Wright

How should you represent events and experiences from your own life? Does writing memoir have to be exposing? Join award-winning writer, poet, editor and critic Fiona Wright to explore writing from real life.

Join the conversation and livestream this Toolkits Live event.

Wednesday May 2 | Week 4: Lawsuits and Damaged Lives: Ethics and Nonfiction

From writing about unethical corporations and strangers, through to family and friends, and vulnerable communities, how to you navigate the ethics of nonfiction? This week we explore the line between truth, hurt, and the (un)reliability of memory and other sources.  

Wednesday May 16 | Week 5: Literary Journalism with Royce Kurmelovs

How do you know if an event is worth researching and developing into an extended narrative? How do you balance the aesthetic possibilities of literature with the factual demands of journalism? Join Bhakthi Puvanenthiran who will speak with internationally acclaimed author and journalist Royce Kurmelovs about how to write compelling literary journalism.

Join the conversation and livestream this Toolkits Live event.

Wednesday May 30 | Week 6: Preparing Your Work for Publication

When is your work ready for an audience, and how do you find the best home for it? This week, we look at the steps you take to publication, from pitching, drafting and redrafting, editing through to preparing a project proposal.


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

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.

Applications are now closed.

Have a question? Need help with your application? Send an email to Bethany Atkinson-Quinton, Express Media’s Creative Producer at





Tom Doig is an author and nonfiction writer who has published a book of disaster literary journalism, The Coal Face (Penguin, 2015; winner of the 2015 Oral History Victoria Education Innovation Award) and a humorous travel memoir, Mörön to Mörön: two men, two bikes, one Mongolian misadventure (Allen & Unwin, 2013). Tom is currently a journalism PhD candidate at Monash University, writing a book about the 2014 Hazelwood Mine fire and a scholarly exegesis about the ethics and politics of representation in literary journalism.

Fiona Wright is a writer, editor and critic from Sydney. Her book of essays Small Acts of Disappearance won the 2016 Kibble Award and the Queensland Literary Award for non-fiction. Her poetry collections are Knuckled, which won the 2012 Dame Mary Gilmore Award, and Domestic Interior (Giramondo, 2017). Her new essay collection is forthcoming from Giramondo this year.

Royce Kurmelovs is a journalist and author of The Death of Holden (2016) and Rogue Nation (2017). His work has been published by The ABC, The BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera English and other publications.

Bhakthi Puvanenthiran is Associate Editor of Crikey where she covers media and politics. Previously Bhakthi was a journalist and editor at The Age and Sydney Morning Herald covering arts, entertainment and business. She co-hosted the podcast Hard Bargain, is a regular media commentator and and sits on the board of the National Young Writers Festival.


Toolkits: Nonfiction is generously supported by The Copyright Agency Cultural Fund.