Applications are open for the SBS Emerging Writers’ Incubator, a national initiative of SBS in partnership with Screen Australia, state and territory agencies Screen NSW, Screen Queensland, Screen Territory, Screenwest, the South Australian Film Corporation and VicScreen, and with the help of the Australian Writers’ Guild, which supports the development of underrepresented screenwriting talent.
Launched in 2021, the initiative was created to invest in the future of an increasingly diverse industry and more inclusive Australian storytelling, by providing a year of paid employment at a premier Australian production company plan to emerging writing talent reflecting backgrounds and experiences that are underrepresented in the world. Australian industry. This includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds; people who are deaf, hard of hearing or disabled; people of female or other gender; people who identify as LGBTQIA+; and people located in regional and remote areas.
This year, once again, six successful screenwriters will join teams from acclaimed Australian production companies for their delivery of Aussie dramas. Over 12 months, they will gain meaningful work experience as they further develop their skills, knowledge and networks, working across production company drama productions. They will also be supported by the Australian Writers’ Guild with access to creative workshops and training.
In 2022, the award-winning production companies taking part in the initiative are Brindle Films, which will welcome a writer from the Northern Territory; Easy Tiger, which will host a Western Australian writer in its NSW offices; Highview Productions, which will host a South Australian writer; Hoodlum Entertainment, hosting a Queensland-based writer; Jungle Entertainment, which will hire a writer from New South Wales; and Sweetshop & Green, hosting a writer in Victoria.
The initiative’s six successful writers in 2021 – who were among hundreds of applications received from across Australia – are currently working in their internships across the country, with Sebastian Chan at Bunya Productions (backed by Screen Canberra), Lâle Teoman at Goalpost Pictures (backed by Screen NSW), Nicholas Lin of Ludo Studio (backed by Screen Queensland), Ansuya Nathan of Closer Productions (backed by the South Australian Film Corporation), Alberto Di Troia of Tony Ayres Productions (backed by VicScreen) and Cassandra Nguyen of iGeneration Studios (formerly Komixx Entertainment, backed by Screenwest).
Julie Eckersley, Head of SBS Scripted, said, “The Emerging Writers Incubator is such a fantastic and exciting initiative that we are proud to bring it together with our partners. The support it provides to creatives making their way in this industry – from all walks of life and diverse experiences that reflect the Australia of today – has the potential to have a significant impact on their careers, as well as on the future of our sector and the stories on our screens.
“It’s great to be working again this year with partners who share our passion, especially production companies welcoming writers in 2022. Good luck to all who apply – I can’t wait to see what we discover .”
Melissa Lee Speyer, Head of Development at Screen Australia, said: “Screen Australia is delighted to be supporting the second year of this initiative, and we look forward to seeing more exceptional talent from underrepresented backgrounds discovered across the world. Australia, and further stepped up in their careers. This one-year placement opportunity in top production companies will make their career readiness undeniable.
Screen NSW Acting Director David Gordon said, “Screen NSW is proud to support the Emerging Writers Incubator with SBS and to nurture a new generation of diverse writing talent through this program. The Emerging Writers Incubator will allow underrepresented screenwriters across the country to develop skills and share new stories that will contribute to a diverse, equitable and inclusive film industry. I encourage all potential screenwriters in NSW with a dream and a unique perspective to give it a shot.
Belinda Burns, Creative Director of Screen Queensland, said: “Screen Queensland is proud to once again support this initiative, to help elevate and champion the vital stories of diverse and underrepresented Australian talent. This year, we are delighted to endorse a screenwriter from Queensland to join the team at award-winning production company, Hoodlum Entertainment.
Jennie Hughes, Director of Screen Territory, said: “Screen Territory is delighted to support the Emerging Writers Incubator this year with Screen Australia and SBS. The initiative will provide a unique opportunity for an emerging screenwriter to learn and collaborate with Brindle Films, one of NT’s most exciting and successful production companies.
Martha Coleman, Screenwest’s Chief Creative Officer: Content and Industry Development, said, “Screenwest is proud to support this life-changing initiative for the second year. Our 2021 winner, Cassandra Nguyen, is gaining knowledge and a invaluable experience at iGeneration Studios (formerly Komixx Entertainment) in Perth, and we are delighted to offer this opportunity to an equally talented new Australian writer at Easy Tiger.
Kate Croser, CEO of the South Australian Film Corporation, said: “The SAFC is delighted to once again support this exciting initiative as part of our continued commitment to increasing diversity in the South Australian screen sector, and to develop and diversify the pool of credited southern actors. Australian Key Creations. Following the arrival of Ansuya Nathan, recipient from South Australia last year, to the Closer Productions team, we are delighted to offer the opportunity for another South Australian writer to develop their skills at Highview Productions, working directly with Lisa Scott, producer of international hit The Tourist. ”
Caroline Pitcher, CEO of VicScreen, said, “VicScreen is proud to continue supporting the Emerging Writers Incubator, bringing together the national screen industry to ensure more diverse stories reach our screens. This initiative builds on our industry skills and talent development program which has long demonstrated the significant impact these experiences can have on the careers of emerging screen creators.
Susie Hamilton, Head of Professional Development, Australian Writers’ Guild, added: “The AWG is delighted to continue its association with the Emerging Writers’ Incubator in 2022. With the unique opportunities it presents, the value of this initiative cannot be underestimated. We can’t wait to see what this year’s contestants have to offer.
The Emerging Writers Incubator is open for applications from April 26, 2022 to May 27, 2022. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application in early August 2022, with internships at host companies expected to begin later this year.
Applications are made to each participating screen agency in 2022, via the following links:
Co-funded by SBS and Screen Australia, with participating state and territory screen agencies, the Emerging Writers’ Incubator initiative will support the careers of 18 emerging writers over the three years of the program, with six successful applicants in partnership with companies of production across Australia each year.