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

Mentor: JANE FITZGERALD

Darwin, NT

co-presented with BROWNS MART

Mentor: CIELLA WILLIAMS

Hobart, TAS

co-presented with ARCHIPELAGO PRODUCTIONS

Mentor: BELINDA BRADLEY

Perth, WA

co-presented with BARKING GECKO THEATRE

Mentor: WILL O’MAHONY

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.
APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED

Participant & Mentor biographies from past years

Sydney

  • Rebecca Duke

    Rebecca Duke is a twenty-one-year-old writer and student raised in Tasmania. In 2021, she is starting her third year of a Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics/Bachelor of Arts at the ANU. In 2019 she took part in ATYP’s National Studio and was delighted to receive her first publication in Intersection 2020: Beat closely followed by This Was Urgent Yesterday written during CARCLEW’s residency, The Writing Place. In 2020, she was resident artist at Canberra Youth Theatre and is currently under commission by the company to write Space Oddity, a play that accompanies a work by Mary Rachel Brown. She is also in the process of writing Church Sweet Church, a play about faith, community and reckoning which has been selected for The Street Theatre’s First Seen program.
  • Eric Jiang

    Eric is a Chinese-Australian writer/director from Sydney. In 2020, he participated in the National Studio, a playwriting program run by Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP). Eric was an ArtsLab 2021 Resident (Shopfront Arts Co-op), for which he created a short art film, and is involved with the Step Up program (bAKEHOUSE Theatre x KXT) and is excited to be a part of Fresh Ink (ATYP). His creative writing is published in Voiceworks, Australian Poetry Journal, Peril and Rabbit. He is also the writing coordinator for The Waiting Room Project, an art space located in the Sydney Sexual Health Centre.
  • Haz Lugsdin

    Haz Lugsdin (they/them) is a non-binary performance maker who lives and works on the unceded land of the Gadigal and Wangal peoples. Haz is driven by authentic audience connection. Despite this, Haz’s work is characterised by gusto, ego and innuendo. Currently, Haz is interested in the ways that non-binary ways of thinking can be applied to theatre-making, as explored in their two latest shows devised shows; The (Sour Glitch) Two-Step Refusal at The Flying Nun by Brand X (2021) and 101101001: Dude Where’s My Gender at The Giant Dwarf (2020) to be remounted with KXT Pop-Upstairs in 2021. Haz participated in ATYP’s National Studio in 2020. Their short play The End is Nigh, Hold Me Close, Watch Me Die was published in Intersection: Unleashed. With a background in sketch comedy, Haz has written, directed and performed in a number of comedy shows at Sydney Fringe Festival (2018, 2019), Sydney Comedy Festival (2018, 2019) and Bondi Feast (2019).
  • Margaret Thanos

    Margaret Thanos is a Greek-Australian theatremaker and actress, who is most passionate about making intersectional feminist works. Margaret has directed The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?, Jim Got Shot and Project XXX at the Sydney University Dramatic Society and her short film Sugar High was shortlisted for the Sydney Film Festival 48 Hour Film Fest. In September 2021, she will be directing an original work, Dark Moon, at KXT PopUpstairs. Last year Margaret was a part of Montague Basement’s Laboratory Program, in which her play Smoke and Glass was read for a public audience. Her acting credits include Dear Australia (Spark Youth Theatre 2021), Screen Shot (Short 2021), Twinemies (2021), Spider in My Soup (Shopfront Artslab 2018/2019 and Bondi Feast 2019), My Creatures (Tricky Feet Theatre Company 2018), Intersection 2018: Chrysalis (ATYP/Griffin 2018), No Exit (SUDS), Caligula (SUDS), Grenadine (SUDS) and Kill Climate Deniers (SUDS). She also has assistant directing credits on The Cherry Orchard (Chippen St Theatre), Bathory Begins (Q Theatre), This Genuine Moment (Old 505), Animal Farm (New Theatre), Henry IV (Streamed Shakespeare) and The Originate Project (Q Theatre). Margaret is very excited to be developing her writing skills further with ATYP as part of Fresh Ink this year.

Darwin

  • Heather Edmonds

    Heather Edmonds is a theatre maker based in Mparntwe/Alice Springs, where she works as a children’s entertainer in Alice Springs Hospital and across remote communities with the Starlight Children’s Foundation. Growing up on the Central Coast of NSW, Heather gained her Bachelor of Communication (Theatre Media) at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst where she was recipient of the Blair Milan Memorial and John Carroll Memorial Scholarships and worked for Opera Australia in Sydney before moving to the Territory.  Heather loves the collaborative nature of theatre-making and enjoys wearing many hats within the storytelling process – some to date have included production team for Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, youth drama tutor and facilitator, sketch comedy and immersive theatre director, and actor and co-writer for children’s theatre with On The Wing Theatre Company in Alice Springs. She is passionate about telling and supporting diverse Australian stories, making theatre accessible and engaging to audiences outside the typical theatre demographic, creating imaginative experiences for young people and exploring non-traditional and site-specific theatre. This is her first serious foray into playwriting and she is grateful for the opportunity to further diversify as an artist.
  • Iona Francis

  • Jack McMillan

    Jack has studied and dabbled in many different art forms over the years, including Film, Animation and Theatre. His most recent works have been performing with Darwin Theatre Company and Corrugated Iron or making videos for his YouTube Channel ‘Big Dog Salad’. Recently Jack has been wanting to focus more on behind-the-scenes roles like directing and writing. More of a visual thinker, “an ideas man”, he has always struggled with dialogue and creating something that “makes sense.” So he is beyond excited to be accepted into the Fresh Ink Program to help him improve his writing capabilities. 

Hobart

  • Rosemary Cann

    Rosemary Cann is a pākehā writer, musician and actor based in nipaluna, lutruwita. Rosemary holds a BA in Theatre, English Literature and Anthropology, and a Masters in Creative Writing, specialising in Script and Screen. She was shortlisted for Playmarket’s ‘b4 25’ award for her play Wellington Hill Drinking Society (2015), and nominated ‘Best Newcomer’ at the NZ International Comedy Festival for her debut solo show Chapstick (2016). During her time in Pōneke, Rosemary performed as a member of Wellington-based improv troupe Playshop for three years, and with all-female improv troupe Definitely Not Witches for two seasons. Rosemary also founded an accessible review site Art Murmurs, as well as working as Event Coordinator of Human FM radio station. Following graduation, Rosemary toured for eighteen months with reading charity Duffy Books in Homes and New Zealand Playhouse before moving to Australia. Rosemary then trained as an Early Childhood Educator and became a teacher for Helen O’Grady Drama. She also won Best (Adult Open) Poem in the 2019 Jugiong Writers Festival. Rosemary has participated in Carclew’s Writing Place residency, and ATYP’s National Studio, as well as performing in HerStory (2019-2020) and The Campaign (2018). Rosemary is passionate about representative, intelligent art that touches audiences and brings queer and feminine narratives to the forefront.
  • Stephanie Francis

    Steph has worked with theatre companies and practitioners in both Tasmania and Victoria and is a graduate of the University of Tasmania’s School of Creative Arts and Media (SOCAM). Steph is a multifaceted theatre-maker, having been a performer, director, and writer for a number of years. Most notably, she was the Assistant Director to Leticia Cáceres for Kate Mulvany’s The Mares, produced by the Tasmanian Theatre Company in March of 2019 and was a 2019 Tasmanian Theatre Award winner for ‘Best Supporting Female Performance’ for the portrayal of Dotti Smith in Killer Joe. Steph also participated in the Adelaide Fringe Festival in 2019, her original show Goose! (which she wrote, directed, and performed in) being a part of the Fringe program. As well as being a part of IO’s current season, Steph is currently partaking in Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP) Fresh Ink National Mentoring Program, where she will be producing original work with Archipelago Productions in Hobart in November 2021.
  • Indea Quinn

    Indea Quinn is a freelance multi-disciplinary performer, theatre-maker, and arts practitioner currently based in Launceston. Indea graduated from the University of Tasmania with a Bachelor of Contemporary Arts (Hons.) in 2018. In 2019 Indea undertook a residency with Frantic Assembly (London), training in their physical theatre methodology and creating a performance with practitioners from around the world. Following that she attended the 2020 Tasmania Performs Artist Residency. Indea has been engaged as an artist for Soliloquy 2021 (RANT Arts, Junction Arts Festival) and was recently selected as a participant in Multitrack, a program operated by Theatre North (in collaboration with Tasdance, Mudlark and Junction). Alongside various engagements as a voice artist, she recently performed in The Kookaburra Self-Relocation Project (WHOSLAUGHINGJACKASS) (Fernando do Campo) for Mona Foma 2020, and participated in the Tasmanian Solo Series as a performer and choreographer/director. With a background in classical ballet (formal training up to R.A.D Advanced 2), she teaches Pre-Primary and Primary Ballet with the Tasdance School of Dance. As well as being employed as their Education Program Coordinator, Indea serves on the board of Sawtooth A.R.I.
  • Emma Skalicky

    Emma has worked in Hobart theatre since 2014. Previous publications include Ophelia: A Decomposition in Two Parts (The Picton Grange Quarterly Review, Issue 6), and Panopticon (Currency Press) for ATYP’s Intersection 2019: Arrival. She has acted as assistant director for Loud Mouth Theatre Company’s The Island of Doctor Moreau (2016) and Archipelago Production’s The Bleeding Tree (2020), and directed PLoT Theatre’s Doctor Faustus (2017) and Salome (2020), and Bad Company Theatre’s Picnic at Hanging Rock (2019). Emma has a First Class Honours in playwriting and ran PLoT Theatre from 2016-2020. In May 2021, Emma’s original work Medusa Waking will be staged at the Peacock Theatre.

Perth

  • Michelle Aitken

    Michelle Aitken is a maker and performer working between dance and theatre in Boorloo (Perth.) She has worked with companies including Black Swan State Theatre Company, STRUT Dance, and pvi collective, and is a frequent collaborator on independent projects. Under the banner of Hey! Precious, Michelle presents work that has been described as smart, weird, and fun, including award-winning solo Future’s Eve (2018) and Unrule (2019.) In 2021 Michelle is an artist in residence at PICA, developing a new work called Showy McShowface. Michelle is also an AV designer for performance, and you can find her on Youtube as her science-communicator alter-ego, Michelle From Perth.
  • Sally Davies

    Sally Davies is an emerging artist and Curtin University graduate. In the past few years she has worked in the Perth independent theatre community as a writer and director, including co-founding company Lindstedt & Davies. Her produced works include Ugly Virgins, A Region Where Nobody Goes, and recent short performance Rupert Murdoch and the Jellyfish Girl. She hopes to continue making works that are hopeful and relevant to contemporary Perth.
  • Noemie Huttner-Koros

    Noemie Cecilia Huttner-Koros is a queer Jewish performance-maker, writer, dramaturg and community organiser living on Whadjuk Noongar country. Noemie’s practice is driven by a deep belief in the social, political and communal role of art, and in engaging with sites and histories where ecological crisis, queer culture and composting occur. Her practice ranges from plays such as Untitled Wars (co-written with Mararo Wangai), a walking performance tracing Boorloo/Perth’s LGBTQIA+ history (The Lion Never Sleeps, The Blue Room Theatre), a dinner party (The Trouble-Makers, You are Here Festival & Batch Festival) and an interactive installation tracing her family history and the refugee crisis (Borders at Spectrum Gallery). Her poetry has been featured in Australian Poetry Anthology 2020, Rabbit Poetry Journal and she was the winner of the 2020 Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize. Noemie has worked with groups including Spare Parts Puppet Theatre (2019 First Hand Artist), Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (2019 Resident Artist), DADAA and Australian Theatre for Young People (National Studio 2019). She is currently studying a Master of Theatre (Dramaturgy) at the Victorian College of the Arts and has trained at Intercultural Theatre Institute (Singapore), The Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowksi&Thomas Richards (Italy) and Makhampom Living Theatre (Thailand).
  • Elise Wilson

    Elise Wilson is an emerging writer and theatre-maker based in Boorloo (Perth). Upon graduating with a Bachelor of Performing Arts from WAAPA in 2018, Elise was awarded the Fremantle Arts Centre Residency Prize, which she used to develop her new work Supertongues and Supertasters the next year. After doing so, the play was selected for mentorship through The Blue Room Theatre’s Playing Up program, which culminated in a public reading. That same year, she was a writer for the WA Youth Theatre Company’s 24 Hour Play Generator and her play Floor Thirteen received a season at The Blue Room Theatre. Elise spent last year undertaking the AFTRS’ Writing a TV Series ten-week short course, as well as writing The Ransom as part of the WA Youth Theatre Company’s Loungeroom Project, for which she was a Senior Jury Prize Winner. Elise is also an improviser with The Big Hoo Haa and an actor, most recently performing in Perth’s season of The 91-Storey Treehouse (CDP Productions), The Wolves (Red Ryder Productions) and Grace (public service announcement), for which she was nominated for Best Newcomer at the Performing Arts WA Awards.

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