Screen Australia, AWG launch The Creators accelerator program

Screen Australia and AWG have come together to launch The Creators accelerator program.

Up to six mid-career screenwriters will have the opportunity to travel to Los Angeles and undergo specialised training while participating in industry events as part of a new initiative from the Australian Writers’ Guild (AWG) and Screen Australia.

Applications are now open for The Creators, an accelerator program designed for practitioners with existing episodic slates that want to take steps towards building their own projects.

Successful applicants will attend Content LA in 2023 while receiving high-level training from industry leaders, as well as project and pitching development and networking opportunities to sell their stories.

Jeff Melvoin, founder and chair of the Writers Guild of America’s Showrunner Training Program, will lead the selected writers in a training workshop, and writer, director, and executive producer Jeff Greenstein will lead the pitching training while in the US. 

Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason said the program, which is supported by Australians in Film (AiF) and Scripted Ink, was a way for Australian screenwriters to advance their original stories and gain training and exposure to the US industry. 

“The Creators aims to help creatives enhance their slates, pitching skills, business capability, forge important connections and reach market and audience,” he said.

“In an increasingly global market, we’re committed to supporting Australian writers to find pathways to audiences here and around the world.” 

AWG president Shane Brennan agreed, noting Australia produced “outstanding television with highly skilled screenwriters at the core of the creative vision”.

“The guild is thrilled to partner with Screen Australia on The Creators, designed to equip Australia’s most in-demand writing talent with the industry knowledge and access to take our unique stories to the world and to drive opportunity and production on a local and global scale.” 

The Creators program director Susie Hamilton also expressed her excitement about what lay ahead for the selected participants.

“Australia is home to many talented, established screenwriters who are ready, with the right support and access, to take their stories to a global audience,” she said.

To apply, writers must have sufficient recent credits across television, feature film and/or theatre; and existing interest from the global community. 

They must also have a slate of 3-5 scripted episodic projects currently in development, including one lead project with a draft pilot script to focus on in the program.

Applicants must be available from May 6–19, 2023 to attend. Applications close at 5pm AEDT Thursday, February 2, 2023.

Find out more information about the program guidelines here.