Holly Phillips.

Five early-career writers in regional, rural or remote Australia who are keen to write for television are being offered places in a five-day script lab staged by Screenworks and Matchbox Pictures.

The lab will be held in Lismore from November 12 – 16, led by UK writer Holly Phillips and the script development team from Matchbox Pictures.

The aim is to develop Best Medicine, an original concept for a TV series written by Tim Williams, which revolves around an out-of-work actor who performs as a clown doctor in a teenage cancer ward. His life takes on unexpected new meaning as a result of his time spent with a ward full of complex patients.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate some experience in script writing and live in regional, rural or remote Australia. Travel to Lismore and accommodation expenses will be covered by Screenworks.

Screenworks CEO Ken Crouch said: “As the regional film office, Screenworks is a conduit between regional voices and Australia’s major production companies. We’re looking forward to working with Matchbox Pictures to uncover talented new writers who can contribute to creating quality and diverse stories for national and international screens and to creating new career pathways for those living outside the main production hubs.”

Matt Vitins, Matchbox acting MD, added: “Partnering with Screenworks to tap into Australia’s under-represented regions provides a rich opportunity to harness the creative power of fresh and distinctive writing talent.”

Phillips is the lead writer and creator of young adult series The Athena commissioned by the UK’s Sky, which stars Ella Balinska as a young model whose career implodes when she dares to complain about a famous designer treating her like an object. Deciding she wants to design her own clothes rather than wear other people’s, she wins a place at The Athena, London’s renowned art school.

She is also lead writer and creator on teen series Get Even for the BBC and Netflix, adapted from the eponymous novel by Gretchen McNeil, due to film in 2019.

Her credits include story editor and writer on Dance Academy 2, writer-creator of the series Nearly Famous for the UK’s E4, and episodes of Channel 4’s Sugar Rush, Dead Gorgeous for ABC/CBBC and The 4 O’clock Club, Hank Zipzer, Millie Inbetween, So Awkward, Eve and Secret Life Of Boys for CBBC.

The lab is supported by Screen Australia’s Enterprise Ideas funding program with the assistance of Create NSW’s early development funding.

To apply go here