For a small country, we’ve achieved some remarkable successes on the stages and screens of the world. In theatre, film, television, radio and digital media we reflect our Australian way of life, we add to our national sense of identity and we tell the rest of the world who we are and what we value. But success is never permanent. Maintaining a strong, clear Australian voice in a crowded world requires a continuing program of support for writers and storytellers at all levels of professional experience. The Australian Writers’ Foundation supports writers whose work is a vital part of the richness and diversity of Australian culture.
We do it through raising standards, raising profile and raising funds.
We help new and emerging writers to find their voice and experienced writers to get better at what they do.
• We draw on the skills and experience of leading writers from Australia and overseas.
• We work with our industry associates to find new and emerging voices and to assist those writers to develop their work and find their way into the industry.
We work to increase awareness of the role, the importance and the successes of Australian writers. The Foundation runs, supports and collaborates with others in a range of activities to celebrate the work of Australia’s outstanding writers.
The AWF seeks out and administers finance resources to enable us to carry out our work supporting writers. Individuals and corporations contribute through tax-deductible donations and bequests as well as sponsorship of particular activities. The Foundation also applies to other Trusts and Foundations with funds for the purpose of supporting Australian culture and creativity.
The Kit Denton Fellowship
The purpose of the Kit Denton Fellowship is to promote courage, to champion bold and challenging ideas, and to reward talent and excellence in performance writing. It is presented annually to a writer who has shown courage in their work and demonstrated a willingness to challenge the status quo with their writing.
The fellowship was created in 2007 to honour the work and memory of Kit Denton, a respected and admired member of the writing community. Kit was a lifetime member of the Australian Writers’ Guild, a scriptwriter, author, poet and lyricist. His most famous work was The Breaker, an international best selling novel about the trial and execution of Breaker Morant. The driving force behind the fellowship is Kit’s son Andrew Denton, whose production company Zapruder’s other films is amongst the industry sponsors who proudly support the award.
A fellowship of $30,000 is awarded to the selected writer consisting of a $25,000 cash prize and pro bono legal advice from TressCox Lawyers to the value of $5,000.
The John Hinde Award for Science Fiction
Thanks to a generous bequest from legendary Australian film critic John Hinde, each year as part of the AWGIE Awards, the AWF presents the John Hinde Award for Science Fiction.
The purpose of the prize is to encourage, reward and foster creativity in the development and showcasing of science fiction writing for feature film, short film, television, radio and interactive media. It also aims to encourage the production of new, innovative and exciting work in the science fiction genre in Australia and of course, to honour the life and work of a great Australian media personality, John Hinde.
The winning script is chosen from science fiction scripts entered in the AWGIE Awards, the writer receiving a $15,000 cash prize.
FOXTEL generously supports three of the Australian Writers' Foundation's major projects.
The FOXTEL Fellowship
The FOXTEL Fellowship awards $25,000 to a screenwriter who has created a body of work that is impressive in its craft, scope and impact. The intention of the fellowship is to provide the chosen writer with the financial and creative freedom to develop a television project of their choosing and is made possible due to generous sponsorship from FOXTEL.
The purpose of the Fellowship is to recognise the significant contribution of television writing to the development of the Australian cultural landscape; to reward and encourage excellence and achievement with creative freedom, and to facilitate the development of quality new television projects.
The fellowship was created in 2007 when FOXTEL and the AWF came together to recognise television’s important contribution to the country’s cultural landscape and in particular the screenwriters who shape that contribution through their exceptional work. The fellowship is one of three projects from the partnership that also includes the annual FOXTEL Screenwriter’s Address and the FOXTEL Oral History project, a series of interviews with significant writers who have built and shaped the screen industry.
The AWF FOXTEL Oral History Project
In 2006 the Australian Writers’ Foundation embarked on a program to record the oral history of Australia’s significant writers in radio, television and film. The aim of these interviews is to provide an archival film record of the scriptwriters giving an account of their experiences in writing Australian drama. While the history of Australian film and television is widely documented, the writers’ pivotal role in that history is largely omitted from existing analysis. These interviews are intended to provide source material for documentary makers to remedy this omission.
These interviews are conducted with the generous support of FOXTEL and given to the National Film and Sound Archive and the Australian Film, Television and Radio school for archiving.
Selected interviews can be accessed at http://www.nfsa.gov.au/collection/oral-history/screenwriters-talk-about-their-craft
The FOXTEL Screenwriters Address
The FOXTEL Screenwriter’s Address is a breakthrough in recognising the role the writer plays in shaping our society and culture. Each year an esteemed Australian screenwriter is invited to speak on contemporary issues, their craft and its place in the world. Previous addresses have been given by Geoffrey Atherden AM (Mother and Son, Grass Roots, BabaKiueria) John Doyle (Club Buggery, Changi, Marking Time), Katherine Thomson (Darwin’s Brave New World, Answered By Fire). The event is attended by a who’s who of the Australian film and television industry keen to discover the inner workings of its most influential members.
The address is presented by the Australian Writers’ Foundation and generously supported by FOXTEL.