High-quality screen projects shortlisted for premier Awards for emerging Australian writers

17 September, 2023

Fifteen new projects have been announced as the shortlist for the Australian Writers’ Guild’s 2023 Monte Miller Awards, to be presented next month in Melbourne. The shortlisted projects were selected from over 400 entries across two categories, with scripts ranging from animated dramas and thrilling features to sharp television and web concepts and short horror films.

For the first time in three years, the winners will be announced in person at an industry event in Melbourne, where producers and industry decision-makers will mix with the talented cohort of shortlisted writers.

'The Monte Miller Awards are one of our favourite events, bringing together the Australian screen industry to meet with a fresh group of outstanding emerging writers who all have high-quality projects ready for investment,' said AWG Director of Professional Development Susie Hamilton.  

There will be added incentive for writers and producers to attend this year, with Scripted Ink. investing $10k of script development funding across the two winning projects as part of its ongoing commitment to supporting the growth of Australian writers and commercially viable projects.

The shortlisted projects will soon be available for producers and executives to explore on AWG’s prestigious Pathways Showcase, where they join a curated collection of screen, stage and audio projects by Australia's top writers that are currently available for development.

The Monte Miller Awards are an Australian Writers’ Guild tradition dating back to the 1970s. Each year they recognise excellence in writing among the Guild’s Associate and Student members, celebrating the exciting future of Australian storytelling.




Attached by Jasmin Forbes-Watson [Television – Drama]
A 51-year-old mother, daughter, student and lover is having a crisis about who she wants to be when she grows up. 

Bad Eggs by Stephanie Jaclyn [Television – Comedy]
A self-serving 30-year-old learns there are no shortcuts in life when she donates her eggs in a misguided attempt at attracting the romantic interest of a fertility doctor. 

Buried by Miriam Glaser and Charlotte George [Web Series – Comedy]
When a single mum accidentally kills a stranger on the morning school run, she must navigate a suspicious rival parent, avoid the police and dispose of a body, all before pick up at 3:30pm. 

 by Jayden James [Animation – Drama] 
Culture and family collide in a generational exploration of heritage and the significance it holds in a fast-paced modern society. 

Post Mortem by Millie Holten [Television – Comedy]
When Janet, a fiercely dedicated postie, receives a terminal diagnosis she embarks on an epic and treacherous quest to deliver one last parcel where no postie has gone before. 

Running Circles by Maya Luong [Television – Drama]
After a violent assault has police looking for him, an aimless Vietnamese immigrant needs money to escape to Sydney. He assumes a false identity to join a money-lending circle but finds a renewed sense of purpose and community in the lie he created. 

Vera vs. Vern by Kayti Murphy [Television – Comedy]
When Vera and Vern discover that Centrelink pays more money to single pensioners than married couples, they decide to get a ‘fake’ divorce. But working through the details of their sham split leads to a very real War of the Roses that divides the entire retirement village. 

You're On Mute by Joshua Heaton [Short Film – Horror] 
An ambitious young professional fights for her career and sanity over a work video conference call. 


Do Good by Rebecca Parker [Television – Drama]
A liberal prison psychologist finds herself pitted against her racist police officer husband over a case that involves an Indigenous teenage boy, a brutal youth justice system and a whole lot of good intentions. 

Kalgoorlie by Scout Cripps [Television – Drama]
In the seedy underbelly of a lucrative Australian desert mining town, still as savage and brutal as the wild west, a teacher and a small-town cop are forced to bypass the corrupt all-male local police force and team up to investigate the murders of four teenagers. 

Meetings with Marty by Gregor Nicholas [Feature – Drama]
Forced to choose between the career he craves and the father who abandoned him as a child, a writer/director wreaks havoc on his personal and professional life as he pursues a project with a Hollywood legend. 

The Mothers Group Murders by Natalie Williams and Krista Heath Gassman [Television – Comedy]
After stumbling across a dead body at their Parents' Group meeting, five unlikely friends and their eccentric group nurse band together to solve a murder. 

Red Road by Jourdan Prince [Feature – Thriller]
In the harsh Australian backcountry, a solitary huntress becomes the unwitting protector of a pregnant woman fleeing an off-grid cult. 

See Saw by Lâle Teoman [Television – Other]
Somewhere along the bends between Blue Mountains and Sydney, Shirin Mardin is the only witness to an uncanny manslaughter involving her mysterious neighbour Micky Bowden. The moral dilemma and downward spiral that follows cause a rift between her and her best friend since birth, Willurai Sykes. 

The Wrong Hand by Jane Jago [Feature – Drama]
Two juveniles convicted of a notorious crime are released under new identities and given a second chance at life. With a ruthless media and a grieving father determined to hunt them down, just how long can their secret remain hidden?