What is on offer?
In an effort to address the lack of opportunity for entry-level female television screenwriters, producer Imogen Banks (Offspring) and screenwriter Alice Bell (Puberty Blues) have launched Smart For a Girl: Roar.
Applications are now open for the paid program, which will teach twelve, uncredited, female writers how an idea is developed into series television by splitting them into four groups and taking them through the processes of a writer’s room. The program was made possible by Screen Australia’s Gender Matters: Brilliant Careers initiative.
Imogen Banks says the idea for Smart For a Girl: Roar came up while she and Alice Bell were making ABC’s The Beautiful Lie.
“We were often approached by young female writers looking for advice on how to get to that next step in their career, but while we could see their passion and potential, we didn’t have the means to help them until now,” Banks says.
Bell says it’s an exciting prospect to think they will be finding new voices, hopefully from all across Australia.
“There’s more desire now than ever for female based stories but less opportunity for women to enter the industry,” she says. “We want to give these new writers the experience of brainstorming in a real writer’s room, support them in taking their ideas through to second draft, surround them with new industry contacts and then guide them through the process of pitching to networks – that’s how you learn.”
Applicants must be female, an Australian citizen or permanent resident and have no produced credits as a screenwriter in television in any country.
The successful applicants will need to be available to participate in the program in 2017, with exact dates to be confirmed.
“This is an opportunity to break down a very real barrier for female writers – the barrier to screenwriting credits,” Screen Australia COO Fiona Cameron says. “Who better to break this barrier than the powerhouse of Banks and Bell with their track record of hit after hit.”
First-round applications close 1 December, 2016.
13 programs supported by Gender Matters: Brilliant Careers initiative, whose recipients were announced in July 2016 along with 45 Brilliant Stories. Read the Gender Matters: Brilliant Careers story on The Screen Blog here.