AWG unveils shortlist for Emerging Writers’ Awards

The shortlisted writers for this year's Emerging Writers' Awards.

The Australian Writers’ Guild has announced the nine early-career writers shortlisted for the 2024 Emerging Writers’ Awards.

Formerly Monte Miller Awards, the cash prizes are designed to recognise excellence in writing among the guild’s associate and student members.

This year’s shortlisted projects were selected from over 500 entries across long and short form, with scripts ranging from plays and television series to short films, features, audio, and web series.

The winning writers in both categories will be announced at an industry event in Melbourne in late July, while the shortlisted projects will soon be available for producers and executives to explore as part of the AWG’s Pathways Showcase.

AWG professional development director Susie Hamilton noted the scope of variation among this year’s entries.

“We are delighted to see so many entrants with unique and exciting projects in this year’s
Emerging Writers’ Awards,” she said.

“The awards have a long history of elevating writers at the start of their careers, and we can’t wait to connect this new cohort and their high-quality projects with the industry.”

The 2024 shortlist is as follows:

Long Form

Bells by Danny Lee [television, comedy]
When a successful early 40’s professional suddenly dies, he is reincarnated as a toy elf and
must prove to Santa his life’s worth, under threat of permanent existential deletion.

Blue Print by Rob Draper [television, drama]
When Cathy joins the Ford marketing team in 1980, she winds up helping a gregarious team
of Aussie Ford workers kickstart a new age in the Ford versus Holden rivalry.

Former People by Evlin DuBose [television, drama]
After the fall of the USSR, a jaded journalist investigates seventy years of tragedy and
mysteries in one Soviet family, as told by the only survivor.

Scorpio by Allanah Avalon [feature film, comedy]
Between sex work, lesbians, Orthodox Russians, and a rising Melbourne property market,
Scorpio has found herself in an irreconcilable cocktail ready to explode in her face; a
comedy/drama, Scorpio traces one young woman’s experience dealing with family
expectations and the lies one must keep to sustain a myriad of lives.

The Night Bus by James McLaren [feature film, drama]
Two women, who haven’t seen each other since high school, realise they are stuck on the
same long bus trip home together. When polite chit-chat suddenly reveals a violent intent,
they must question who they thought they were and what they have become to make it to the
end of the line.

Short Form

Hallow by Ryan Prestipino [short film, drama]
A young girl, convinced her elderly neighbour is God, sets out to receive his religious

Mum Fell off the Roof by Cameron Williams [television, comedy]
Mitch and Poppy are left in the care of their useless dad after their mum has an accident. But
when Dad’s loose parenting skills land him in trouble, the siblings’ estranged grandmother
arrives to take control.

The Night of the Lonelies by Willy Brown [short film, drama]
A naive Australian backpacker reluctantly accepts to be shown a shortcut through a
menacing London at night, only to find himself fearing for his life in his mysterious guide’s

Too Fabulous to Die Alone by Harry Sabulis [television, comedy]
Out of the closet but stuck in the world of his straight high-school friends, a 22-year-old gay
man with Eastern European heritage goes headfirst into a messy journey of self-discovery in
the gay scene – while his Belarusian grandmother is hell-bent on finding him a boyfriend for
his straight best friend’s wedding