The writing of Eggshell Skull (a memoir)
11 March 2017
In 2015 Australia lost vibrant writer, editor and activist Kat Muscat at the age of 25 (1990–2015). A stone-cold scallywag, Kat was a formidable writing talent who taught all those she touched how to love each other better with kindness and empathy. Her writing embodied her personal mantra: Defiance, Feminism, Empathy.
It’s tempting to see the terminology we’re raised with as correct, or at least harmless. Casual ignorance is for our grandparents with their stereotypical fondness for out-dated racial slurs. However, individuals who normally err on the side of political correctness seem unaware (and sometimes unconcerned) that the word pr*stitute is a slur; that the term perpetuates harmful stereotypes and assumptions; and that, no, ‘just kidding’ doesn’t give you a free pass.
— Kat Muscat, Junkee 2014
Together, the Muscat Family and Kat’s former employer: Express Media, publishers of Voiceworks magazine (Australia’s pre-eminent youth-focussed literary journal), established the Kat Muscat Fellowship, a national award supporting young Australian female-identifying and non-binary writers and editors. Fellows are challenged to explore bold subjects, think deeply and critically about the world we live in and the culture we consume, and to reflect and build on the crafts of writing and editing.
The inaugural Fellowship recipient in 2016 was Brisbane-based writer Bri Lee. Back in April 2016 4zzz interviewed Bri about how she felt about the upcoming 12 months (you can listen back to that interview here). Bri is founding editor of Hot Chicks With Big Brains; has participated in SafARI 2016 festival in Sydney; has contributed to Zanita Studio and The Writers Bloc websites; and has written for The Wheeler Centre in Melbourne.
Recently the 2017 Fellow was announced as Melbourne-based author Fury. As Bri’s tenure ends (and another stage of her career begins) 4zzz caught up with her — this time at House Conspiracy in West End — to check in on how her project has progressed with the Fellowship’s support in the past twelve months.
Kat Muscat edited Voiceworks magazine (2012–2013) at the ripe old age of 21; volunteered with the magazine for years before becoming editor; and was involved in the Emerging Writers’ Festival, the National Young Writers’ Festival and TINA. She also blogged and wrote for the likes of The Lifted Brow, Junkee, Lip Magazine, Scum, Pitch Bitch, Stilts, Feminartsy, Kill Your Darlings and Seizure Online.
Kat’s nearest and dearest, closest colleagues and friends say it best. Read Aldolfo Aranjuez’s tribute to Kat’s spirit here; read Geoff Lemon’s ‘Hey, Kat’ here; and read Amy Grey’s ‘Missing Kat Muscat’ at Pesky Feminist.
For more information about the Kat Muscat Fellowship go to www.expressmedia.org.au, and for more information about Bri Lee’s work go to hotchickswithbigbrains.com
You can read an excerpt of Bri’s debut memoir Eggshell Skull in the Good Weekend and read more about Bri on hercanberra. Find out more about the Kat Muscat Fellowship here, and read more of Bri’s work here.
If you feel like you need to speak with someone at any time about anything:
Lifeline: free confidential 24-hour support on 13 11 14; nightly online crisis support chat — lifeline.org.au
Grief line: free confidential phone service 12pm to 3am seven days on 1300 845-745 (National – Landline Only); online counselling service — griefline.org.au
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