SBS announces companies for Emerging Writers’ Incubator, opens applications

Top (L-R) are Skye Leon, Patrick Hogan, and Aven Yap. Bottom (L-R) are Elena Carapetis, Becki Bouchier, and Kelli Cross.

SBS has unveiled the participating companies for this year’s Emerging Writers’ Incubator while opening applications for the nationwide initiative.

Now in its third year, the program provides 12 months of paid employment in production companies around Australia for emerging writing talent from underrepresented backgrounds.

They include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; people who are culturally and linguistically diverse; people who are Deaf, hard of hearing, or with disability; people who are female or gender diverse; people who identify as LGBTQIA+; and people located in regional and remote areas.

In 2023, selected participants will join Curio Pictures (Western Australia), Endemol Shine Australia (NSW), Kindling Pictures (Victoria), Kojo Studios (South Australia), Orange Entertainment Co (Queensland), and TAP (Tony Ayres Productions), who will host a Tasmanian writer in their office in Melbourne.

Each placement is supported by the corresponding state agency, with the initiative delivered in partnership with Screen Australia, and with the assistance of the Australian Writers Guild.

SBS head of scripted Julie Eckersley said the incubator reflected the broadcaster’s commitment to “bringing through a tidal wave of new and diverse voices to tell stories for our screen”.

“Giving skills and opportunity to talent that reflects the wonderful richness of who we are as a country makes for fresh, dynamic, surprising, and entertaining stories that more Australians can connect with,” she said.

“The Emerging Writers’ Incubator is an exciting example of how we can come together as a sector and invest in genuine pathways and support careers. It is fabulous to see previous participants’ credits on shows, and with so much untapped talent out there I can’t wait to see what this year’s Incubator uncovers.”

The six successful participants from 2022 are in the midst of placements around the country, with Becki Bouchier at Sweetshop & Green, Elena Carapetis at Highview Productions, Kelli Cross at Easy Tiger, Patrick Hogan at Brindle Films, Skye Leon at Jungle, and Aven Yap at Hoodlum Entertainment.

They followed in the footsteps of inaugural emerging writers Sebastian Chan, Lâle Teoman, Nicholas Lin, Ansuya Nathan, Alberto Di Troia, and Cassandra Nguyen.

Screen Australia head of development Bobby Romia described the initiative as an “exceptional launch pad” for diverse and emerging voices across the country.

“Screen Australia is excited to support the third year of the SBS Emerging Writers’ Incubator and uncover a new generation of screenwriting talent,” he said.

“I encourage emerging screenwriters with a unique story, voice, and perspective to apply.”

Applications for this year’s Emerging Writers’ Incubator close June 16 and are made through the respective screen agencies.