Michael Miller, co-writer of the ABC's Cleverman, has won the $10,000 Australian Writers' Guild's 2016 John Hinde Award for Science Fiction.

The annual award, first presented in 2008, is funded by a bequest from the late film critic John Hinde.

The award has two categories: one for a produced script, won by Miller, and one for an unproduced script, which this year was awarded to Graeme Burfoot for his screenplay, Red to Blue. Both were presented their awards at an industry event held at Brisbane Powerhouse on Wednesday evening. 

Miller was awarded the prize for episode five of the Cleverman’s first season, ‘A Man of Vision’. He said sci-fi is a form that allows a writer to convey things not always so easily said in traditional formats.

“That was definitely part of the logic behind setting Cleverman in the future. It's exciting to think that Cleverman is one of several sci-fi-inspired shows on television at present,” he said. 

“Science-fiction is clearly alive and well at the moment and awards like this help to keep the  dream alive. So again thanks to John Hinde for his vision in supporting and celebrating sci-fi in this country.”

AWG judges said Cleverman won the award for its intelligent and meticulous worldbuilding, fearless foregrounding of science-fictional elements and its creative exploration of current social issues.

"Cleverman poses big questions about humanity through the prism of future or alternative worlds, which is a hallmark of almost all truly excellent science-fiction writing," said AWG board member Shayne Armstrong.

The judges also praised Burfoot's Red to Blue for "its intelligent, brave and commendable foray into 'hard' science-fiction while never forgetting the purpose of a screenplay is to engage, entertain and provide context for the reader."

Burfoot will receive professional support for the development of his screenplay, including mentorship by an industry professional handpicked for the project, plus entry into the AWG's Pathways Program.

Previous John Hinde Award winners in the produced category include feature films Arrowhead, by Jesse O'Brien, and the Spierig Brothers' Predestination.

Previous unproduced winners include Simon Butters' screenplay Min Min and Penelope Chai and Adam Spellicy's screenplay Mary, Mary, which also won the 2016 Monte Miller Long Form award at last month's AWGIE Awards.

Vicki Madden's The Kettering Incident was highly commended in the produced category while Michael Kratochvil's The Paradise Syndrome was highly commended in unproduced.

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