After an exhaustive judging process, the winners of the Australian Writers’ Guild and Open Channel’s New Writers’ Script Competition have been decided.

From an impressive 215 entries from Victorian writers, our panel of expert judges had the difficult task of selecting four finalists, then two winners from the shortlist.

The finalists

Elizabeth Dias and Russell Bywater have created an excellent children’s web series, Mish Mash, about two students who solve local mysteries and put them to air on their school news channel. Not only is Mish Mash a fun web series, it also has the potential to tell a story across a variety of different media, such as Facebook, Twitter and YA novels.

Lauren Anderson’s television series Webocracy is smack bang on the zeitgeist. It’s about a self-absorbed YouTube star who finds herself leader of ‘New Tasmania’ after an online petition goes viral and the state secedes from the mainland. There’s a lot of projects in the marketplace that are funny, but it’s rare to find one that is not only funny, but as intelligent as this as well.

It’s hard to stand out from the pack with a zombie feature film, considering how inundated the industry is with them, but that’s exactly what Alli Parker’s Strain does. Set in Victoria, Strain blends a survival film with some killer action.

The Princess and the Bear by Gina Lambropoulos is the story of what happens when a gay nightclub owner becomes the primary carer for his seven-year-old niece. Gina’s screenplay has a lot of laughs, a lot of heart, and has the potential to reach a broad audience both here in Australia and abroad.

All of our finalists receive a one-year Associate Membership with the Australian Writers’ Guild and are invited to join the Guild’s prestigious Pathways Program, which includes attending an exclusive ‘Big Day In’ workshop early in 2017 and having their projects showcased on the Pathways website, which can be found here. Finalists also receive $200 in cash and the two winners receive $300 cash, as well as script development with an experienced AWG assessor valued at $1000.

And the winners are . . .

TV/Web series category: Lauren Anderson for Webocracy


Feature Film category: Gina Lambropoulos for The Princess and the Bear.



The Australian Writers’ Guild and Open Channel are excited to announce the shortlist for the New Writers’ Script Competition.

We received an overwhelming number of diverse entries in each category, with 215 entries in total. The categories were Feature Film, TV Series, Web Series, TV One-off/Miniseries, and Broadcast Documentary.

Our judges have had the privilege of reading many incredible stories from new writers. We saw inventive science-fiction tales that looked into the future to see who we could become, stories that looked into our past to explore who we were, and projects that made us laugh at who we are today.

Due to the overwhelming number and outstanding quality of this year’s entries, we’re expanding our shortlist from six projects to eight. Four were selected from the Feature Film category and four in the TV and Web Series category.

The shortlisted writers will now have the opportunity to meet the selection panel to discuss their vision and project.

There will then be four finalists selected, and two winners – one from each category. Both winners will receive a $250 cash prize and $1000 worth of script mentorship with an experienced AWG assessor.

The four finalists will receive a one-year Associate Membership of the AWG and will be invited to join Australian Writer’s Guild’s Pathways Program, which links talent with opportunity and helps to forge relationships between writers and other industry professionals.

So without further ado, here is the shortlist for the first ever AWG/Open Channel New Writers’ Script Competition:


  • Lauren Anderson – Webocracy
  • Amelie Bonnet –I Freakin’ Love It
  • Sioban Tuke –Tassie Devils
  • Elizabeth Dias & Russell Bywater –Mish Mash


  • Jason Christou –Cell Job
  • Gina Lambropoulos –The Princess And The Bear
  • Alli Parker –Strain
  • Bec Peniston-Bird – Petrova

Finalists will be announced soon! See below for the details on the competition’s stages


The Australian Writers’ Guild, in partnership with screen development organisation Open Channel, presents a special opportunity for talented new Victorian screenwriters with exciting new scripts.

The Prize

The two winners will receive a $250.00 cash prize and up to $1000 worth of script mentorship with an experienced AWG assessor.

There will be eight short-listed entrants and four finalists.

Everyone on the shortlist will have the opportunity to meet with the selection panel.

The four finalists will receive a one-year Associate Membership of the AWG. They will have access to the Australian Writers’ Guild Pathways Program which connects new writers and new work to the industry players that can make it happen.

The Rules

Entrants must be Victorian writers who are members of Open Channel and/or the Australian Writers’ Guild.

The competition is for writers who have not yet had their work produced and screened on television or in the cinema.

The project can be a feature film; a television one-off or series; a broadcast documentary or a web series.

There is an entry fee of $20 per project. This money will be recycled back into the prize. So, the more entries, the better the prize.

The Process: Is in three stages.

Please email for any enquiries related to this competition.


Stage One

Projects will be considered by a panel of three industry experts (1 person from Open Channel, 2 from the AWG).

They will be looking at the projects in terms of: the concept, the content and the craft. Is there a story here? Is there a story-teller here?

They will short-list six projects to advance to Stage Two.

Stage Two

Short-listed writers will be asked to provide

  • The first ten pages of the script
  • A longer outline of the story (if available)
  • If the project is for TV, a short ‘bible’

Short-listed writers will also have the opportunity to meet with the panel to discuss the project and strategies for its development.

After those meetings the panel will select the finalists for Stage Three.

Finalists will win a one-year Associate Membership of the Australian Writers’ Guild.

Stage Three

Finalists will be asked to provide

  • The current draft of the complete feature screenplay; or
  • If it’s a television or web series, a pilot script plus bible and thumbnails of further episodes.

The winner will be announced in December.