AWG names What Happens Next? winners
Katie Pollock and Rebecca Johnstone will share first prize in the Australian Writers Guild’s inaugural “What Happens Next?” scriptwriting competition.
The competition is designed to unearth unpublished scripts that demonstrate the skill of writing for performance that leaves an audience eager to know how the story unfolds.
Although the AWG originally envisaged only one winner, the judging panel was so taken by the talent on offer it awarded two first prizes..
Johnstone’s TV script Bayou was said by the judges to be “a compelling and evocative script that explores racial and sexual politics within an unexpected Goth/Horror, taking staples of the genre and giving them new depth and colour”.
Pollock described her theatre play Normal as inspired by a true story, exploring the phenomenon of mass hysteria among young women and the ripple effect it might have on a close-knit community. The judges called it “a timely and authentic theatre piece that offers great opportunities to its largely young cast and is infinitely make-able”.
Some 241 entrants submitted a synopsis, the first few pages of the script and an explanation of how the story concept could be developed, from which the judges first chose a “long list” of 18, then a shortlist of six entries that had the greatest potential for leaving the audience eager to know “What Happens Next?”
The winners will receive 20 hours of mentoring with an esteemed writer, an accomplished dramaturge or an experienced script editor, as well as induction into the AWG Pathways Program, scriptwriting software and an opportunity to have their script read by several international and Australian leading producers, theatre companies, talent agents with similar creative interests. They will also receive up to 20 hour access to the AWG Deal Runner contract negotiation service to get their project onto screen or stage.
The short listed writers will also join the AWG Pathways Program, a unique development initiative that links talented writers with industry professionals through networking events, festivals, micro-mentorships as well as script readings and individual introductions.
The full shortlist comprised: Gemma Crofts Mayfield; Rebecca Johnstone Bayou; Tim Maddren One and Another; C.S. McMullen Living Metal; Katie Pollock Normal and Max Walker The Peacemaker.
The long list also included: Clementine Bastow Farewell Tour; Jessica Brookman Two Monks; Warren Coleman The Day we Lost The H-Bomb; Norman Coburn Blonde On The Beach; Rico Craig Chocolate Soldiers; Sally Faraday Little Lon; Paulette Fisher The Neutral Zone Trilogy; Brendan Gore Stalking Monica Bellucci; Victoria Haralabidou GRLZ; Nicolas Hinze Hell-Bent; Geoff Paine The Basket and Renee Webster Madam.