• Search Keywords

  • Year

  • Production Status

  • Genre

  • Co-production

  • SA Supported

  • First Nations Creative

  • Length

  • Technique

  • SHARE THIS PAGE

SPECIAL INITIATIVE
AWG The Creators

The Australian Writers’ Guild’s The Creators is a career acceleration program for high-calibre mid-career screenwriters to build toward the creation of their own shows.

The Creators program will provide international opportunity, provide high-level showrunner training, project and pitching development and networking opportunities to sell their stories in domestic and international arenas. 

Up to six writers will be selected as The Creators delegation to travel to Los Angeles to participate in show-runner and pitching training, industry meetings, mixers and networking events, and attend Content LA in 2023.

The program is funded by Screen Australia, designed and delivered by the Australian Writers’ Guild with industry partners, Australians in Film (AiF) and Scripted Ink.

A pre-application webinar was hosted by AWG on 8, December 2022 and is available to view here.

WHO CAN APPLY

To be eligible for this program, applicants must be Australian citizens or residents and meet Screen Australia’s Terms of Trade, and:

  • meet competitive credit criteria in either episodic series, features or theatre, and
  • have a slate of episodic projects, and
  • existing engagement with the global community.

Please see below for the breakdown of eligibility requirements.

Credit Criteria

  • have 5 cumulative hours of episode credits that have screened in any territory  on recognised broadcast or streaming platforms (self-released content on YouTube and Vimeo are not eligible platforms for the purposes of this program) as a sole writer of scripted episodic drama or scripted comedy series in the last 7 years (from 2015), and at least one sole authored scripted episode that has recently screened (in the last 5 years, from 2017); and/or, 
  • have a minimum of 2 scripted feature films (produced and screened in Australia or internationally) as sole writer, produced in the last 10 years (from 2012); and/or,
  • have a minimum of 2 mainstage theatre productions as sole or lead writer, produced nationally (Australia) or internationally (the world) in a professional theatre or professional festival context where that production is either commissioned and/or programmed by selection, and produced in the last 7 years (from 2015), and that has also:
  • been a recipient of, or nominated for, a significant domestic or international award such as Tony, Olivier, Helpmann, or AWGIE Award;  and,
  • in addition to theatre writing credits, the applicant has either underlying IP optioned for screen adaptation and/orbeen engaged to write an episode for a scripted episodic series in the last 5 years (from 2017).

Applicants must meet one of the eligibility requirements listed above to be eligible to apply to The Creators. 

Episodic slate

Those who qualify through the above must also have:

  • slate of 3 - 5 scripted episodic projects in development (where the applicant writer owns the IP for original material and has evidence of ownership, if applicable, for any underlying material if an adaptation of underlying IP), of any scripted episodic genre, incorporating:
  • one lead scripted episodic project with a draft pilot script, well suited to gaining global interest and traction, developed sufficiently for The Creators training program. This lead project must be unencumbered*, and the applicant writer must hold all rights.

*Unencumbered should be taken to mean the applicant maintains full creative and financial control of their lead project. No rights can have been assigned, no future development agreements, or production or broadcast agreements, can have been entered into. The project may have received previous development investment but the applicant must continue to hold all the rights as at the time of application to The Creators program. 

And at least:

  • two - and up to four- further projects which may be a combination of:
  • another pilot (or pilots);
  • bibles, pitch bibles, or pitch decks;
  • scripted spoken-word pitches, or extensive notes clearly articulating your
  • project(s) for pitching.

Global engagement

Existing experience, traction and evidence of interest from the global community. This may be demonstrated by one or a combination of the following:

  • engagement in a writers’ rooms on an international series or writing/producing a television drama or comedy for anyrecognised network or SVOD, especially where that program has been screened on, or distributed to a major foreignoutlet;
  • writing a feature film that has screened at major festivals, and/or been distributed to other major international territories;
  • writing a theatrical work (a play or musical) that has been commissioned or produced or toured in a recognised major international/foreign theatrical market.
  • interest may also be demonstrated by having IP under option by recognised studios, networks, production companies, or producers; previous selection for international labs, pitching events, development programs; or by securing pitch opportunities in the global marketplace (e.g. Series Mania); and/or through representation by recognised international agents or managers.

Applications from practitioners from underrepresented communities are encouraged to apply. This may include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; people who are from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; people who are Deaf, hard of hearing or with a disability; people who are female or gender diverse; people who identify as LGBTQIA+; and people located in regional and remote areas.

What support is available?

Up to six writers will be selected for funding of $15,000 per person to cover travel and accommodation in Los Angeles, and the following:

  • provided with registration to Content LA. 
  • provided with pitching training by Jeff Greenstein;
  • provided with showrunner training by Jeff Melvoin;
  • supported by an industry mentor, pre, during and post program;  
  • provided with pre departure onboarding webinar Industry sessions. Sessions will cover topics such as: best industry practice and advice for pitching, meeting etiquette and networking in US; talent agents and managers; the current US scripted episodic landscape; and, what executives look for, and want to know, when meeting creatives and hearing about them and their projects;
  • provided with and need to be available (in person) for 2 x industry mixers in Australia after return from Los Angeles.

Applications from writing teams can be accepted where the team is no larger than two (2) and that both writers meet the eligibility criteria. The funding of $15,000 will be afforded to successful applicants whether they are an individual or writing team.

Important 2023 dates for AWG The Creators in Los Angeles are:

  • Saturday 6 May: Welcome Dinner 
  • Monday 8, Tuesday 9, Thursday 11 May: Showrunner Training 
  • Friday 12 May: Art of Pitching Workshop 
  • Monday 15 – Friday 19 May: Industry Meetings, Networking Event, Content LA Participants are free to continue their time in LA after the week 15-19 May however that is the end of the official events.

WHEN AND HOW CAN APPLICATIONS BE MADE

Applications close 5pm AEST Thursday 2 February 2023 and can be made via the Screen Australia application portal with the following materials:

  • Fully completed application form including contact details and applicant eligibility; and,
  • CV including credits applicable to the required credit criteria (specifying credited role, project duration (minutes), performance run dates and location, etc);
  • A proposal (maximum 8 pages) that includes:
  • detailed information on your current slate of projects. For each title mentioned on the slate provide: logline, synopsis, the stage of development and what materials are currently available; any secured development funding; the estimated budget; and information on the currently secured key creative, cast and marketplace attachments and/or interest where applicable;
  • detailed information on the lead project for nomination to be worked on through the AWG The Creators and as the focus project in the showrunner and pitching training;
  • specific and intended professional development objectives:
  • one set of sample pages of writing (15 pages max.) from a scripted project that has been produced.

Applicants do not need to be Australian Writers’ Guild members. Successful applicants will receive a complimentary 12-month membership to the AWG.

How are applications assessed?

Complete and eligible applications will be considered and reviewed by Australian Writers Guild, Screen Australia and/or industry specialists.

assessMENT CRITERIA

Funding decisions will be made against the following criteria:

  • the strength of the proposal and the perceived strength and diversity of the projects on the slate, as well as the stage of development and suitability for the event including quality and global appeal;
  • leadership qualities of the applicant;
  • the amount of perceived traction internationally from the applicant’s body of work; and,
  • the perceived experience and knowledge of the applicant pertinent to the activity.

Shortlisted applicants may be required to participate in an online/remote interview.

Applicants will be advised outcome in writing by 09 March, 2023.

If you are unsure about  your  eligibility  or  have  questions  about the application  form,  please  email  us  at Development or call Program Operations on 1800 507 901. Please note that we are not able to provide creative advice or suggestions to strengthen your application.

If you have questions relating to the program and program content, please email the Australian Writers’ Guild. Please note that we are not able to provide creative advice or suggestions to strengthen your application.