About KYD

 ‘In writing, you must kill all your darlings.’
— William Faulkner 

Founded by Rebecca Starford and Hannah Kent, Kill Your Darlings (KYD) is one of Australia’s leading arts and culture magazines. Beginning life as a print quarterly in 2010, KYD is today a vibrant and eclectic online magazine of commentary, essays, interviews, fiction and reviews.

In addition to championing Australian writers, KYD also runs several early-career writing awards, produces a regular podcast, provides professional writing services such as workshops, mentorships and manuscript assessments, and hosts literary events. We are also the publisher of the annual short-story anthology, New Australian Fiction.

Our magazine is proudly independent. You can become a member for less than $1 a week.

Kill Your Darlings is produced primarily on unceded, sovereign Wurundjeri country, and we pay our respects to elders and custodians, past, present and future.


The Team




Publishing Director and CEO Rebecca Starford is the author of the memoir Bad Behaviour and the forthcoming novel An Unlikely Spy (February 2021). She is a former editor at Text Publishing and Affirm Press. Bad Behaviour is currently in development with Matchbox Pictures. Rebecca teaches creative writing at the University of Queensland, where she is also completing a PhD. @RebeccaStarford



Publisher Alice Cottrell has worked for Text Publishing and Riot Communications. She is originally from the UK and has lived in Melbourne for seven years. @aliceecottrell


Editor Alan Vaarwerk is a writer, editor and critic whose work has appeared in Griffith Review, Stilts, Readings Monthly and Writers Bloc. He grew up in regional NSW, grew up some more in Brisbane, and now lives in Melbourne. @alanvaarwerk


Editorial Assistant Justina Ashman is a writer and editor based in Melbourne. Her writing has appeared in Kill Your Darlings and Pencilled In, and in 2015 she was awarded the Monash Undergraduate Prize for Creative Writing for her short story ‘The Space Between’. She is currently completing a Master of Writing and Publishing at RMIT University. @justinaashman



First Nations Editor-in-Residence Jasmin McGaughey is a Torres Strait Islander from the Kulkalgal Nation, and African American. She completed a Master of Writing, Editing and Publishing through the University of Queensland and is currently in the midst of a Master of Philosophy. In 2019 she was lucky enough to work at black&write! as an Editor Intern at the State Library of Queensland for the year. She is also a recipient of the Wheeler Centre’s 2019 Next Chapter Fellowship. Jasmin’s passions have always been writing and reading and she is proud to be able to work and learn in this field with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writing.



2020 KYD New Critic Michael Sun is a Sydney-based writer and designer whose work focuses on the intersections between queerness, memory, and technology. He has bylines in KYDGuardian Australia, the Monthly, Overland, VICE, Running Dog, and more. In 2017, he edited his student publication Honi Soit. @mlchaelsun


Podcast Producer Hayley May Bracken is a Melbourne based writer and performer. She runs social enterprise and film event Cleanskin Cinema, is one half of musical project Melody Maker and recently began sharing her thoughts of comedy and philosophy here.


First Book Club Host Ellen Cregan is a writer, bookseller and editor from Melbourne. Her writing has appeared in publications such as Voiceworks, the Suburban Review and Feminartsy. She Instagrams cats, knitting progress shots and sporadic book recommendations from @ellenceee
Guy Shield_image2


Illustrator Guy Shield is a Melbourne-based artist and designer. Guy has drawn for publications from all over the globe, including Wall Street Journal, The Hollywood Reporter, Fortune, WIRED, Rolling Stone and Granta. @guyshield


Kill Your Darlings is very grateful to the funding bodies who enable us to support the development and publication of quality Australian writing and writers.


Government Funding


Special Projects and Training

Library Partners

Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre
Yarra Libraries

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