Lucas Taylor’s AWGIE Award-winning multi-linear narrative Eleven Eleven has won the $10,000 2019 John Hinde Award for Excellence in Science-Fiction Writing.

Steve Mitchell’s Cowtown took the prize in the unproduced category at the awards presented at the Australian Writers’ Guild’s inaugural Powerhouse Mixer event at the Powerhouse Museum’s Apollo 11 Exhibition, attended by reps from Screen Australia, Create NSW, Foxtel, ABC, SBS, talent agencies and production companies.

Eleven Eleven is a VR and AR experience set on a fictional planet that is 11 minutes and 11 seconds away from an extinction-level event. Glen Dolman’s series Bloom was highly commended.

Produced in association with Academy Award®-winning Digital Domain, Eleven Eleven was developed by Walker with the co-creators and producers, Mehrad Noori, Director of Global Programming, NBCUniversal International Networks, and Michael Salmon – Head of Immersive Technologies, NBCUniversal International.

“Science fiction was one of my first loves,” said Taylor. “Ever since George Orwell terrified and exhilarated me as a teenager I’ve wanted to tell stories in this fascinating genre.”

Cowtown
is a sci-fi comedy following a cynical insurance investigator and an American UFO enthusiast who lock horns over a farmer’s crazy claim for abducted cows. The project has been inducted onto AWG’s Pathways Showcase, with Mitchell receiving up to $5,000 in professional development support.

The John Hinde Award was established as part of a bequest from the late Australian film critic whose vision was to see future generations of Australian science-fiction screenwriters nurtured through industry opportunities.

Past winners in the produced category include the late Cris Jones in 2017 for The Death and Life of Otto Bloom and Michael Miller in 2016 for episode five of the Indigenous series Cleverman.

In the unproduced category, 2017 winner C.S. McMullen’s The Other Lamb was turned into the first English-language feature by Polish director Małgorzata Szumowska and premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.

McMullen has joined the writers team on the second series of Playmaker Media/Stan’s Bloom.

Last year’s winner Georgina Love continues to develop her John Hinde Award-winning script Pig.

2019 John Hinde Award shortlist

Love Limits by Katharine McPhee

Saucer by Stuart Mannion

The Jesus Machine
by David Vincent Smith

God Therapy by Ted Janet