Six screen creatives selected for the 2024 SBS Emerging Writers’ Incubator initiative – SBS has today announced the six screenwriters selected for the third year of the SBS Emerging Writers’ Incubator.

The successful creatives were chosen from hundreds of submissions, and during 2024, they will each join a leading Australian production company acclaimed for their Australian drama, for a year of paid employment as they further develop their careers in the sector. 

The SBS Emerging Writers’ Incubator is a nationwide industry initiative supporting the development of under-represented screenwriting talent in Australia, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; people who are from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; 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 its third year, the initiative is delivered in partnership with SBS, Screen Australia, and state screen agencies Screen NSW, Screen Queensland, Screen Tasmania, Screenwest, the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) and VicScreen, and with the assistance of the Australian Writers’ Guild.

Six screen creatives selected for the 2024 SBS Emerging Writers’ Incubator initiative
Top (L-R): Shauna O’Meara, Siobhan Domingo, Lata Periakarpan; bottom (L-R) Michael Hudson, Emily Steel, Rhianna Malezer.

The successful emerging writers selected for the initiative in 2024, and the production companies they are joining, are:

  • NSW: Siobhan Domingo joins Endemol Shine Australia, supported by Screen NSW
  • QLD:  Rhianna Malezer joins Orange Entertainment Co, supported by Screen Queensland
  • SA:  Emily Steel joins Kojo Studios, supported by the South Australian Film Corporation
  • TAS: Shauna O’Meara joins TAP (Tony Ayres Productions), supported by Screen Tasmania
  • VIC: Michael Hudson joins Kindling Pictures, supported by VicScreen
  • WA: Lata Periakarpan joins Curio Pictures, supported by Screenwest.

Since its launch in 2021, the initiative has supported 12 writers who have joined Australian production companies acclaimed for their delivery of Australian drama for a 12-month paid placement.

Through the placement, they can gain significant, practical and meaningful work experience and further develop their skills, knowledge, and networks while working across the production companies’ slate of drama productions. They are also supported by the Australian Writers’ Guild with access to creative and training workshops.

Catherine Kelleher, Development Executive, SBS Scripted, said:

“The Emerging Writers’ Incubator reflects our commitment at SBS to invest, support and elevate new voices and an increasingly inclusive sector. Congratulations to the shortlisted candidates and to the six emerging writers selected for the third year of this initiative. These writers all bring unique perspectives to their work and reflect voices and experiences that are historically under-represented.

We’ve seen the benefits that the initiative brings to both the writers involved, and the production companies they join. It is fantastic to be working with our partners as we grow and develop the future of Australian storytelling. We can’t wait to see the impact they’ll have as they continue their careers.”

Bobby Romia, Head of Development, Screen Australia, said: 

“A huge congratulations to the six talented screenwriters selected for the SBS Emerging Writers’ Incubator. Screen Australia is committed to discovering and developing new creative talent, particularly voices that represent contemporary Australia.

We look forward to seeing the results from this year’s participants and are delighted to support them as they develop their craft. This partnership with SBS is a showcase of the incredible diversity of talent working in Australia and a significant opportunity for us to work together to foster a more inclusive landscape for Australian storytelling.” 

Kyas Hepworth, Head of Screen NSW, said:

“With its commitment to providing inclusive opportunities to new voices and showcasing Australia’s stories on the world stage, Screen NSW is excited to again support the SBS Emerging Writers’ Incubator initiative in 2024.

We look forward to hearing about the experiences that these six talented emerging writers will have with leading production companies, including NSW-based screenwriter and director Siobhan Domingo with Endemol Shine Australia, and see the skills and growth that they will gain from participating in this important program.”

Jacqui Feeney, Screen Queensland CEO, said: 

“Screen Queensland is delighted to support this program which will pair multi-talented First Nations practitioner Rhianna Malezer with local producers Orange Entertainment Co. (Audrey, Retrograde). The SBS Emerging Writers’ Incubator is a career defining opportunity for Rhianna to develop her voice as a writer with a company committed to producing screen stories from a wide range of perspectives.

Rhianna has previously participated in Screen Queensland’s Attachment program, development initiatives and Market and Travel Grants, and we are proud to now provide a boost to her screenwriting career through this year-long placement.”

Alex Sangston, Executive Manager, Screen Tasmania, said:

“The Emerging Writers’ Incubator is a fantastic opportunity for our writers to have their skills nurtured by industry professionals, allowing them to thrive and setting them up for success. We are thrilled to be supporting Tasmanian writer Shauna O’Meara for her placement with Tony Ayres Productions (TAP) this year and congratulate her on being selected from a strong bunch of shortlisted candidates. We can’t wait to see where it leads Shauna next.”

Rikki Lea Bestall, Screenwest CEO,said:

“The SBS Emerging Writers’ Incubator has been an incredibly valuable program, establishing significant career pathways for emerging Western Australian writers. We’re proud to have now supported three WA practitioners to hone their talents and skills with exciting Australian production companies.”

Kate Croser, CEO of the South Australian Film Corporation, said:

“The SAFC is pleased to support this initiative once again as part of our ongoing commitment to grow and diversify a pool of credited South Australian key creatives that reflects the diversity and vibrancy of the South Australian community. We congratulate South Australian writer Emily Steel on being selected to work and collaborate with Adelaide’s award-winning production company KOJO.”

Caroline Pitcher, CEO of VicScreen,said:

“We’re proud to continue our support of this meaningful initiative as it enters its third year. The SBS Emerging Writers Incubator has unearthed exceptional talent from across the country, and this year is no exception. Congratulations to all participants, including Michael Hudson who will join Victoria’s critically acclaimed, Kindling Pictures. We look forward to following all the participant’s careers in the coming years as they grow to be future leaders of our industry.”

Susie Hamilton, Director, Professional Development, Australian Writers’ Guild, added:

This remarkable program continues to deliver exceptional opportunities to some of Australia’s most promising emerging writers. The AWG offers its whole-hearted support to the program and to this year’s exciting cohort.”

The six successful writers this year were selected by SBS, Screen Australia and state and territory agencies, from hundreds of applicants. The following applicants were shortlisted: 

  • NSW: Emily Dash, Jacob Melamed and Emma Meyers
  • QLD: Annisa Belonogoff, Katrina Irawati Graham and Wendy Mocke
  • SA: Alexis West, Stephanie Jaclyn and Jamie Hornsby
  • TAS: Chloe Black, Anthea Pritchard and Caitlin Richardson
  • VIC: Fury, Holly Tosi and Tim Williams
  • WA: Grace Chow and Zac James

Six writers who were selected in the initiative in its second year have undertaken placements around the country during 2022/23, with Becki Bouchier at Sweetshop & Green (supported by VicScreen), Elena Carapetis at Highview Productions (supported by SAFC), Kelli Cross at Easy Tiger (supported by Screenwest), Patrick Hogan at Brindle Films (supported by Screen Territory), Skye Leon at Jungle (supported by Screen NSW), and Aven Yap at Hoodlum Entertainment (supported by Screen Queensland).

Six screen creatives selected for the 2024 SBS Emerging Writers’ Incubator initiative
The successful Emerging Writers’ Incubator participants selected in 2022. Top (L-R): Skye Leon, Patrick Hogan, Aven Yap; bottom (L-R) Elena Carapetis, Becki Bouchier, Kelli Cross

They followed on from the first year of the initiative selected in 2021 which saw Sebastian Chan chosen to work at Bunya Productions (supported by Screen Canberra), Lâle Teoman at Goalpost Pictures (supported by Screen NSW), Nicholas Lin at Ludo Studio (supported by Screen Queensland), Ansuya Nathan at Closer Productions (supported by the South Australian Film Corporation), Alberto Di Troia at TAP (supported by VicScreen) and Cassandra Nguyen at Komixx Entertainment, (supported by Screenwest).

Six screen creatives selected for the 2024 SBS Emerging Writers’ Incubator initiative
The successful Emerging Writers’ Incubator participants selected in 2021. Top (L-R): Sebastian Chan, Lâle Teoman, Nicholas Lin; (bottom L-R) Ansuya Nathan, Alberto Di Troia, Cassandra Nguyen.

Co-funded by SBS and Screen Australia, with participating state and territory screen agencies, the Emerging Writers’ Incubator is among the range of initiatives and partnerships delivered by SBS to invest in a more inclusive screen industry, and storytelling on Australian screens. Read more about this work here.

Media Release – SBS

Six screen creatives selected for the 2024 SBS Emerging Writers’ Incubator initiative

TV Central SBS content HERE

Six screen creatives selected for the 2024 SBS Emerging Writers’ Incubator initiative