Fresh Ink National Mentoring Program

Australia’s most respected professional development programs for emerging writers.

Our celebrated Fresh Ink National Mentoring Program for emerging writers runs annually from April–December in selected states across Australia.  The initiative has been running for 13 years in varying forms and engages industry professionals to mentor our young writers. To date the program has supported 104 playwrights in Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Geelong, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

In 2021 there will be four young playwrights (aged 18-26) from each participating state. Throughout the year they will produce two short works as well as attend regular meetings with their mentor to hone their skills and build their writing community.

Our program in Perth will be co-presented with Barking Gecko Theatre (WA), our program in Darwin co-presented with Browns Mart (NT), and our program in Hobart co-presented with Archipelago Productions (TAS). We couldn’t run Fresh Ink without the support of the Jibb Foundation.

2021 Places & Mentors

Sydney, NSW


Darwin, NT

co-presented with BROWNS MART


Hobart, TAS



Perth, WA

co-presented with BARKING GECKO THEATRE


2021 Program

Throughout the program participants:

  • Attend a pre-arranged workshop session at least once a month with their mentor for 6 hours (or equivalent)
  • Work with professional directors and guests to widen networks and build skills
  • Deliver a 15-minute play in July that will be rehearsed and performed by professional actors for an invited audience.
  • Deliver a 30-minute play in November that will be rehearsed and performed by professional actors for an invited audience.

Participants Receive:

  • Mentoring across the year by an industry professional
  • The opportunity to work with professional actors and directors
  • Opportunities to showcase their work to invited audiences.

To be eligible participants will need to:

  • Be aged 18-26
  • Have some experience in the past with playwriting
  • Be available to meet the time commitments (briefly outlined above) between April and December 2021.
  • Please note that there is a $400 participation fee for Fresh Ink. Thanks to support from the Jibb Foundation, every person successfully selected for Fresh Ink receives a scholarship subsidy of $2,600 from the full cost of the program.
    • Further scholarships are available in Tasmania thanks to support from Arts Tasmania, who will cover the remaining $400 fee.
    • Payment plans and scholarships can be negotiated for successful applicants who could not otherwise participate. Please contact ATYP at [email protected] to discuss prior to submitting your application.


  • Complete the online application form (link below)

  • Email the following information to [email protected]

    • a CV/Resume (max 2 pages) detailing writing and theatre experience (including study)

    • a scriptwriting sample (max 3 pages). This can be from an existing work, and can be an excerpt or whole scene

Participant & Mentor biographies from past years


  • Danielle Aquilina

    Originally from Cairns QLD, Danielle Aquilina is a professional performer with a flair for youth theatre. With a Bachelor of Creative Industries, she has lived in QLD and the NT creating and performing works nationally. In 2017 she wrote her first public children’s theatre work The 5ft Giant which debuted at The Cairns Children’s Festival where it was seen by over 750 children and their families. In conjunction with her career as an actor and comedian, youth theatre coordinator and facilitator, in 2019 she was accepted into Carclew and Country Arts SA scriptwriting program, Writing Place, where she worked closely with Mentors such as Emily Steel, Caleb Lewis and Mary Anne Butler. Due to Covid-19, her solo comedy show Please Date Me will be performed in Fringe 2021. She currently lives in Darwin, NT creating new content exploring the versatility of the arts in regional Australia.
  • Johanna Hayes

    After discovering a love for writing and performing in high school, Johanna Hayes saw most of her peers leave town to study for ‘proper jobs’ or to seek fame in the bright lights of Sydney, Australia. Choosing to stay in her hometown gave her a unique appreciation of the local artists who constantly push to be seen and heard.

    Johanna is a Darwin-based actress, appearing in Brown’s Mart Theatre’s and Corrugated Iron’s recent production of Away by Michael Gow and Darwin Theatre Company’s 2019 production of The Hollow by Agatha Christie. She has also been involved in wacky Darwin Fringe Festival shows and Corrugated Iron projects. These are too numerous to be listed but include career-defining moments such as wearing a bell on your head and pushing around a ‘ghost’ in a shopping trolley.

    Johanna is fairly new to playwriting, but is inspired to create something that will give other young actors an opportunity to gain confidence and experience. She aspires to be an artistic  ‘jack of all trades’ and would love to one day jump between writing, performing, designing and directing in both theatre and film.

  • Eve Lynch

    Eve Lynch moved to Darwin from Melbourne in 2019. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Arts, majoring in theatre and film. Eve has had the opportunity to work both on and off stage, overseas and in Australia. This is Eve’s first dive into script writing, and she is incredibly thankful and excited to enter the mystical world of playwriting, and cannot wait to explore all the NT arts community has to offer.
  • Betty Sweetlove

    Betty Sweetlove (she/her) is a writer and emerging theatre maker living in Mparntwe (Alice Springs). She is particularly interested in critically and collaboratively investigating local heritage through walking tours and theatre. Before moving to central Australia in 2015, Betty lived in London and south-east England where she grew up. She completed her bachelors degree in History at SOAS, focusing on histories of performance and theatre within struggles for African independence. Betty has written and directed original work for Alice Desert Festival (2017), Totem Theatre (2019), and Carclew (2020). Her monologue for young actors Swallows is published in the anthology This Was Urgent Yesterday (Currency Press, 2020). In 2019, she created an original walking tour as the inaugural artist in residence at the Women’s Museum of Australia, Alice Springs. Betty is an upcoming creative intern with Zen Zen Zo in Brisbane (2020).


  • Daley Rangi

    Daley Rangi (Te Āti Awa) is an eclectic, award-winning multidisciplinary artist; raised on Whadjuk Noongar boodja, Daley was born in Aotearoa, with Māori whakapapa. They are neurodiverse and genderqueer, and use these lenses to explore the outer limits of humanity, generating unpredictable and uncomfortable works in a celebration of chaos, queerness, and decolonisation. Intent on tearing down the status quo, Daley’s energies are focused on exposing the zeitgeist, speaking truth to power, and encouraging social change. They have written three full-length plays (Curiosity, TANK, Death Stole My Dad), and created several performance works (Lipstuck, Hold Your Breath, i’m not alright). They are a Performing Arts WA judge, and have completed arts programs with national and local art institutions, including the Perth Festival Artist Lab, ATYP’s National Studio, and Black Swan State Theatre Company’s Emerging Writers Group. Daley is the Performance Space Stephen Cummins Residency 2020 recipient and will be developing new performance work Takatāpui through this residency and the Queer Development Program at PACT this year. Daley has achieved certificates in Noongar Language and Culture, Māori Protocol and Language, and Endangered Language Revival. Daley won the Midsumma and Australia Post Queer Art Award 2020, worked with Moogahlin Performing Arts as a guest artist in their writing intensive for Koori Gras, and is currently employed with DADAA as an Arts Worker.
  • Rebecca Fingher

    Rebecca Fingher is an emerging artist from Perth, WA. A writer, performer, director and theatre maker, Rebecca has been in the industry for several years and has completed a Bachelor of Performing Arts at WAAPA in 2019; graduating with the prestigious Belinda Dunbar Award, awarded to the top graduating student of the class. As a dynamic and multiskilled, rigorous creator, her work aims to send strong messages in unique and entertaining ways. She has picked up several awards along the road, including two Perth Fringe Festival awards in 2015 and 2018 and the prize for the best devised production in her final year at WAAPA for a piece titled, ‘Juliet’.
  • Rupert Williamson

    Rupert Williamson is an emerging writer and theatre-maker studying at the University of Western Australia. In 2019 Rupert co-founded the independent theatre company Runaway Balloon with Matthew Nixon. He has written and co-written several plays and directed several more. Most recently, he was director and co-writer of Fun Times with Olive and No One Else! at Perth Fringe 2020. Other credits include Sad TV Man (co-writer, performer), By the Door to the Bonehouse (writer, director), and Viva La Restoration (performer), for which he won the Leo Award. Among other things, he is currently developing a short solo-work Rupert Sorenson Reads Poems about His Dog. In addition to theatre, Rupert’s writing has appeared in Peacock and Pelican Magazine. His favourite member of The Hooley Dooleys is probably Antoine. Maybe Bruce.
  • Sian Murphy

    Sian Murphy is a Perth based theatre maker who specializes in writing and performing. Sian recently graduated from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts with a Bachelor in Performance Making. Born in Albury NSW and before relocating to Perth, Sian worked on various and projects including “Letters from The Border” at Hothouse Theatre, Outback Theatre for Young People, and being placed in the top 12 for ATYP’s National Fresh Ink Monologue competition. Sian’s writing credits include BITE ME (The Blue Room Theatre) Just Kidding (TILT) This Heaving Mass (TILT) and Kebab (600 Seconds) Her recent acting credits include Star Power (The Blue Room Theatre) Life On Earth (Spare Parts Puppet Theatre) Just Kidding (TILT) The House on The Hill (WAAPA) and Letters From the Border (Hothouse Theatre). In 2020 Sian was the recipient of the Fringe World WA Emerging Artist Award, and her show BITE ME was shortlisted for the Martin Sims Award. Sian is passionate about bringing to life new works with powerful stories, humour and a lot of heart.


  • Alan Fang

    Alan Fang is a 20 year old Asian-Australian emerging Writer, Film-Maker and Performer from Sydney. While studying a diploma of Film at the Academy of Film, Theatre & Television (AFTT), Alan wrote for SUDS (Sydney University Dramatic Society), as a slot writer and as one of the writers in their 24 Hour Play in a Day (2020). As a performer, Alan was featured in Spark Youth Theatre’s Haunted (2019). He has volunteered on many theatre productions including CAAP’s (Contemporary Asian-Australian Performance) Double Delicious (2020) and New Theatre’s Angry Fags (2020). Alan is currently in production of a documentary about two young female Drama students from Sydney, who begin their journey into the Film, TV and Theatre industry. Alan is a participant of the ATYP Fresh Ink Mentoring Program for 2020.
  • Cassie Hamilton

    Cassie Hamilton is transgender playwright and performer based in Sydney. She began acting training at a young age and has since taken on roles as a performer and director on various productions. In 2017 she co-founded a youth-led, queer theatre company in Newcastle called Bearfoot Theatre. There, she debuted her first full-length play in late 2019 Playing Face. The production toured to Sydney following it’s highly successful Newcastle season, and achieved much critical acclaim. The show was awarded both Best Original Work, and Best Dramatic Production at the City of Newcastle Drama Awards.

    Cassie is passionate about contemporary, hybrid works that push the boundaries of traditional theatre. Her goal is to create works that are diverse, exciting and eye-opening, often using her experience as a member of the queer community to present work with a sense of urgency and truth.

  • Sacha Slip

    Sacha Slip is a director, writer, and theatre maker mostly based in Sydney Australia. She has a background in physical theatre, and is passionate about the development of new writing, exploring feminist narratives, and interdisciplinary methods of performance making.

    Sacha is a founding artist of the theatre collective Assorted Tarts, and wrote and directed their premier work; p#rnscape at PACT theatre for Sydney Fringe Festival last year.

    In 2019, she also presented work in Edinburgh, where she wrote and directed Shakespeare for Kids: Fools and Bottoms and directed Shakespeare Up Late! for C Theatre at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She was also a participant in the 2019 SITI Company Summer Intensive in New York and studied under Anne Bogart and Company.

    In 2018 she attended the ATYP National Studio, and was a resident artist at Tantrum Youth Arts where she wrote and directed [fear less] for Crack X Theatre Festival. She holds a Bachelor of Communications (Theatre/Media) in 2017 and completed internships with Lingua Franca and Sydney Opera House where she observed and assistant directed under Mike Finch.

  • Victoria Zerbst

    Victoria Zerbst is a political satirist and comedy writer for The Feed on SBS. She is a co-founder of the sketch comedy group Freudian Nip and has created work for Comedy Central, JUNKEE Media, and ABC and Screen Australia’s Fresh Blood grant. As a comedian, she has toured nationally with The Chaser and performed at numerous festivals around Australia including Splendour in The Grass.

    Victoria studied philosophy at the University of Sydney, where she edited the student newspaper, Honi Soit, directed the Sydney University Arts Revue and was an active member of the Sydney University Dramatic Society. Last year she took part in ATYP’s National Studio in Bundanon and is excited to continue workshopping stories for young people that explore ethics, big tech, and the politics and philosophy of being online.