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 16 years in varying forms and engages industry professionals to mentor our young writers. To date, the program has supported 151 writers in Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Geelong, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

In 2024 there will be four emerging writers for performance (aged 18-26) from each participating state. Throughout the year they will produce two short works for the stage as well as attend regular meetings with their mentor to hone their skills and build their writing community.

Our program in Brisbane is co-presented with Backbone, our program in Tasmania is co-presented with Archipelago Productions and our program in Perth is co-presented with Black Swan State Theatre Company of WA. We warmly acknowledge the Jibb Foundation for their generous support of ATYP’s Fresh Ink program since 2019.


2024 Places & Mentors

Cairns, QLD

co-presented with JUTE THEATRE COMPANY


Brisbane, QLD

co-presented with BACKBONE


Hobart, TAS



Perth, WA



Sydney, NSW


2024 Program

Throughout the program participants will:

  • Attend a pre-arranged workshop session at least once a month between April and December with their mentor for 6 hours (or equivalent) to develop craft and skills.
  • Deliver a 15-minute play in July that will be rehearsed and performed by a professional director and actors for an invited audience.
  • Deliver a 30-minute play in November that will be rehearsed and performed by a professional director and actors for an invited audience.

To be eligible for the program:

  • Writers must be aged 18–26 years old at the time of application.
  • Writers should have some experience in the past with writing for performance (may include work for stage and/or screen, poetry, audio work, devised work, etc.).
  • Writers must be available to meet the time commitments (briefly outlined above) between April and December 2024, including both attending meetings (in-person) and having the capacity to write material between meetings.
  • We strongly encourage applications from First Nations people, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people from Disabled and d/Deaf communities, and people from LGBTQIA+ communities.


Applications are to be submitted through the linked application form. To complete this, you will need:

  • CV/Resume (maximum 2 pages) as a PDF file, detailing any writing, theatre or creative arts experience, including any study. 
  • A writing sample (maximum 3 pages) as a PDF file. This can be from an existing script and can be an excerpt or whole scene, or if you are new to theatre writing you can provide a sample of other writing (screen, poetry, audio work etc).


The Fresh Ink program costs $450 for successful participants. 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. Please note that thanks to the support of Backbone and Black Swan State Theatre Company, all Brisbane and Perth participants will have their participation fee of $450 paid for.  

Payment plans and scholarships can be negotiated for successful applicants in other cities who could not otherwise participate. Please contact ATYP at [email protected] to discuss prior to submitting your application.


Mon 11 March 2024 – Applications due by 12pm (midday)
Thurs 28 March 2024 – Applicants notified of outcome
April – December 2024 – Fresh Ink meetings and readings (exact dates times and dates TBC)


Participant & Mentor biographies


  • Matt Bapty

    Matt Bapty (he/him) is an emerging playwright and theatre-maker. His written work for performance includes Przepraszam (La Boite Assembly, 2023), Naughty Ceiling (Lunch Friend x Anywhere Festival, 34 Scenes About the Weather, 2023), A Simple Little Knot (Flaming Carnations x Fringe Brisbane, 2022), Temper Temper (Beenleigh Festival, 2021) and A Ringing in My Ear (School2Stage x QPAC, 2019). He is currently one third of the Meanjin/Brisbane based collective, Flaming Carnations, platforming local creatives to produce exciting, original theatre. He holds a Bachelor of Advanced Humanities (Hons. Class I), and is a current PhD candidate, researching the genesis and development of Queer drama in Australia from the early-twentieth century (which he will gladly talk your ear off about). His work has been published in Jacaranda and Australasian Drama Studies, with more to come.
  • Olivia Brand

    Olivia Brand is a performer and playwright, hailing from Meanjin/Brisbane. With a candid love for comedic performance and a passion for fostering community introspection through art, her work is marked by bending laughter into truths and by warping the weird with reality. Olivia holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Drama from QUT, and has been creating local experimental works since 2015. She is an ongoing collaborator with Yours Sincerely Collective and was a founding member of Chance Collective. In 2021, she wrote her solo play, a glittery retail coming-of-age extravaganza titled Mall of Dreams, under guidance from Kathryn Marquet and Playlab Theatre’s Incubator Program. Her other credits include a scratch-work for Metro Arts Youth Forum (Sludge Bank, 2021), as well as shows with Backbone Youth Ensemble (Ride, 2018), for Anywhere Theatre Festival (There’s No Sex Til The Third Act, 2019; Dream a House, 2017), and with The SUI Ensemble (GAME and Suicide Show, 2015). Channelling her skillset into art initiatives, she currently co-produces the monthly Wreckers Comedy Night with comedian Katie Pierce and has previously co-produced events with Candy Social Club, Vena Cava, and Jailbreak Events. Across her practice, Olivia offers audiences a sanctuary for the taboo and silly.
  • Sarah Esser

    Sarah Esser is a queer playwright and poet based in Meanjin. In 2020, she completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Drama) at QUT. That year, they wrote and directed their first full-length play, I Hate to Tell You This, which debuted at Backbone Youth Arts. Sarah was also a writer and collaborator for La Boite’s Assembly and The Backbone Youth Ensemble in 2020. Last year, she was very fortunate to participate in PlayLab Theatre’s Incubator Program, where she developed the first draft of her new play, Homegrown. They were also amongst the 35 playwrights that contributed to Lunch Friend’s 34 Scenes About the Weather, which went on to take out the 2023 Anywhere Award for Best Theatre Production. As both a poet and playwright, Sarah wants more than anything to write stories that people can wrap their mouths around and chew on.
  • Sophie Wickes

    Sophie Wickes is an emerging playwright, actor and arts administrator based in Meanjin/Brisbane. Sophie graduated from The University of Queensland in 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Drama, where she completed a practice-led research project in playwriting. Her research explored the contemporary legacy of the early modern revenge tragedy and culminated in a one-act play. This alternate-history play, The Princesses in the Tower, is a feminist revenge tragi-comedy that exemplifies her quirky writing style. As an actor and producer, Sophie has worked on two independent productions with Good Time Theatrics – Awakening (2021) and The Pillowman (2022). As a playwright, her short plays have been presented by the Backbone Youth Ensemble (2020) and through Underground Theatre Company’s Short Play Festival (2023). Sophie is ultimately interested in creating work that centres the female experience and makes people laugh, cry and feel a little less alone.


  • Eilish Alexander

    Eilish Alexander is a recent English graduate who fell into theatre on a whim whilst completing her undergraduate degree. Since then, she has been an active board member of UTAS theatre society PLoT where her play Animals of the Court formed part of anthology production The Rise (2022). She has also had several pieces of micro-fiction published in Visual Verse. Eilish won the Humanities in Place Engagement Scholarship in 2023, receiving funding to write a full-length play for her Honours degree. The result, Quite Contrary, is a queered interpretation of Tasmanian convict archival material. Eilish looks forward to returning to the twenty-first century during the Fresh Ink mentoring program.


  • Paul Dellas

    Paul Dellas is a creative based in nipuluna/Hobart. From acting to writing and everything in-between, he loves collaborating and creating with fellow artists. Some notable recent credits include being involved in local theatre productions Liminal by The Old Nick Company (2023), and The Hitmen by Bad Company Theatre (2023). The latter recently earning him a nomination and win at the 2024 Tasmanian Council Theatre Awards. He also enjoys writing and directing short films, producing a number of works. Most recently, he has co-written and co-directed an upcoming short, Sparky, that will be entered in multiple short film festivals. Paul is excited to be a part of Fresh Ink, and is continuously striving to learn creatively. He hopes to develop his creative skills further to enhance his work.


  • Andy James

    Andy James is a 23 year old actor and writer from nipaluna (Hobart) and she has been writing and performing since she could read. She has a Certificate IV in Acting for Stage and Screen from Perform Australia, and has been involved in many productions including Young Rock (TV, 2021), Austin (TV, 2023), and Terror Australis Too (Theatre, 2024). She has been an avid fiction writer her whole life, focussing on genres such as fantasy, action, and sci-fi and is excited to self publish her debut novel this year. She is beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to delve into the world of playwriting with Fresh Ink in 2024!
  • Megan Kenna

    Megan Kenna is an emerging local creative living in lutruwita/Tasmania. Recently graduating from the University of Tasmania with a degree in theatre and performance, Megan has a strong interest in experimental and interdisciplinary performing. Megan is an experienced filmmaker, production designer, theatre maker and actor. Megan values the playfulness of theatre paired with the raw vulnerability of the rehearsal space, as well as the collaboration and experimentation of making new and personal works.


  • Sharni Andersson

    Sharni Andersson (They/Them) is a writer, actor and director based in Boorloo (Perth). From a young age, Sharni was full of energy and many words and needed a place to put them. After four years of Social Work study and investigating the intricacies of being an individual in an ever-evolving society; Sharni threw this knowledge into acting training and graduated with a Diploma of Acting from WAAPA in 2023. Sharni debuted as a writer with Unmirrored at the 2023 Fringe World Festival. With a taste for writing for stage and a hunger for more, in 2024 they wrote and directed Splashzone at The Blue Room Theatre as part of the Summer Nights program. Sharni has a desire to explore and create works that delve into the guts of what it means to be human, exposing the dirty laundry and making you laugh while doing it. Their passion lies in listening to and telling underrepresented stories, with a hope to one day be spoilt for choice when searching for neurodiverse and queer stories that affirm their own.

  • Laura Goodlet

    Laura Goodlet is an emerging writer, actor, and theatre maker in Boorloo. She is a soon to be graduate of the Bachelor of Performing Arts (Performance Making) course at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), where she also completed a Diploma of Acting. She was recently a part of Black Swan State Theatre’s site-specific work The Pool as a member of the Chorus. And directly before this, made a site-specific work for WAAPA at the Inglewood Bowls Club, Clubhouse, Dusk in which she experimented with live poetry creation, writing fresh poems for each night of the performance. Laura also has an interest in film and screen; and last year began creating and performing in multiple short clips her for local cinema, in a team called Girlgenius Productions. She is interested in storytelling across multiple genres and disciplines, and hopes to create and be a part of work that both challenges and uplifts.
  • Clea Purkis

    Clea Purkis (she/her) is an actor and performance maker currently based in Boorloo (Perth). She is a recent WAAPA graduate, having completed a Bachelor of Performing Arts (Performance Making) and a Diploma of Screen Performance. Prior to her tertiary studies, Clea performed with and was the Artistic Associate of Riptide Youth Performance Company from 2018-2020, mentored by Katt Osborne. With the company, Clea expanded beyond her creative skills to include producing and workshop facilitation. Clea is also a member of the emerging theatre company stop drop + roll, who staged Everything Flickers at The Blue Room Theatre last year and was nominated for four Blue Room Theatre awards. Clea’s creative focus is on truth-telling in art. In an era of misinformation and idealised realities created by the media, Clea believes that sharing our honest human experience through art is key to connecting with those around us. She believes that being emotionally honest in theatre allows us to reconnect with our humanness and create a miniature utopia. Her creative goal for the Fresh Ink mentorship is to experiment with intersections between film and theatre and create a fusion of the two for the screen.
  • Makaela Rowe-Fox

    Makaela Rowe-Fox is an emerging interdisciplinary artist and writer based in Boorloo on Whadjuk Noongar land. She is interested in experimental and radical arts praxes; moving across playwrighting, contemporary performance, photography, video art and sculpture. In her work, Makaela playfully explores stories of resistance and human-animal alliance in response to the crisis of the Anthropocene. She enjoys imagining ecologically weird relationships with non-human living beings. Recent works include; writing and performing in 2023 Perth Festival commission Seven Sisters; developing her short work Jellyfish Business as a part of ATYP’s National Studio (2023); and writing The Pelican, commissioned by WAYTco for their inaugural 2022 Play Generator Project. Makaela has also performed and choreographed independently in December Project, presented by the Art Gallery of Western Australia (AGWA). She has exhibited at Bus Projects (VIC) and Cullity Gallery (WA). Makaela was a recipient of Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award, their most prestigious human rights award, in 2019 for her leading role as a climate activist in the Fridays for Future movement. In 2023, Makaela received a Hatched nomination for her graduate body of work Familiar developed during her double major in Fine Arts and English and Literary Studies at the University of Western Australia


  • Kate Bubalo

    Kate Bubalo is a writer and dramaturg who is based on the land of the Gadigal and Wangal people. She recently completed her MFA in Writing for Performance at NIDA in 2023. Kate honed her writing skills through devising and performing sketch comedy, starting with her involvement in Sydney University’s Women’s and Arts Revue. She has also appeared in various independent shows in the Sydney Comedy Festival and Sydney Fringe Festival. Her play, [Your Name], was shortlisted for the Griffin Award in 2023 and is scheduled to be performed as part of KXT’s 2024 season. As a child of the internet, Kate’s work often interrogates preconceptions of how the internet has shaped our world and culture, and her extensive background in writing and performing comedy is a driving force for getting to the authentic heart of her stories.

  • Aliyah Knight

    Aliyah is a storyteller and performer living and working on unceded Gadigal land. She is passionate about telling queer and diverse stories that represent complex and flawed individuals. Aliyah graduated from AFTRS with a Bachelor of Arts in Screen Production in 2024. Their final film Consume is a queer horror short exploring the intersection of religious trauma and internalised homophobia. In 2023, Aliyah was selected for ATYP’s National Studio program, resulting in their short play Four Legs Good being commissioned for ATYP’s Intersection Festival. Aliyah is currently developing their first full-length play, Snakeface, a modern day adaptation of the myth of Medusa. Aliyah is also an experienced note-taker, having worked with Roadshow Rough Diamond and Mad Ones Films across a number of rooms. She is currently developing Blood Rush, a horror-comedy pilot about a vampire girlband.


  • Miranda Michalowski

    Miranda Michalowski (she/her) is a multidisciplinary writer and performer living and working on unceded Gadigal land. She is passionate about telling tender, strange and funny stories, through a queer lens. Miranda graduated with Honours in Theatre and Performance Studies from UNSW in 2022. In 2021, she was selected as one of 20 young writers from across Australia for the esteemed ATYP National Studio. Her coming-of-age play, Young Bodies/Somebody’s, debuted at Flight Path Theatre in 2022 and is published by Playlab Digitals. It is set for a remount this year with youth theatre company, Jopuka Productions. Miranda’s second play, Saturday Girls, was shortlisted for the 2022 Rodney Seaborn Playwright’s Award, long-listed for the 2023 Griffin Award, and debuted at Belvoir Downstairs in August 2023. Miranda is currently working on a dark comedy monologue about a funeral crasher, Macaroni and Dead Things, and a magical realist play about pregnancy, The Kid. She has worked as a notetaker with HardyWhite Pictures and Soapbox Industries, and is currently developing a mystery-comedy project for TV. 
  • Pratha Nagpal

    Pratha Nagpal is a director, writer, and a passionate theatremaker practicing on unceded Dharawal land. Pratha’s practice is deeply inspired by BIPOC stories and art. She understands the need for art that centres BIPOC voices, in both the stories that are being told, and the process undertaken to tell these stories. In 2023, she Assistant Directed Constellations at STC. She Assistant Directed Sunderella programmed for World Pride 2023. She was also the recipient of the TheatreLab Residency at Q Theatre for her new work named Aurat Raj (The Woman’s Rule). Aurat Raj is programmed as part of the Belvoir 25A program in 2024. She is a recent graduate from NIDA and completed her Master of Fine Arts (Directing) in 2023. At NIDA, she has directed a devised cultural dance work named Kali for the Festival of Emerging Artists 2022. She also directed a short play named Ali by Daniel Keene, and in collaboration with Triple J, a music video for Coconut Cream called What Kind of Music Do You Like To Listen To?. In 2021/22, she wrote and directed her show माँ की रसोई (Maa Ki Rasoi) under the ArtsLab residency program by ShopFront. Since then, the work has been programmed at 4A and KXT.