John Hinde Shortlist Revealed!

07 April, 2024

Thirteen writers have been shortlisted for the Australian Writers’ Guild’s John Hinde Award for Excellence in Science Fiction Writing. 

The shortlisted projects were selected from close to 200 entries across three categories, with scripts ranging from audio dramas and interactive projects through to television pilots, shorts, feature films and web series. 

The annual award, first presented in 2008, is funded by a bequest from the late film critic John Hinde. It was Hinde’s wish that future generations of Australian science-fiction screenwriters be nurtured through industry opportunities. 
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 winning projects from each category will be announced next week. Winners in the produced categories will each receive $10,000 in prize money. The winner of the unproduced cateogry received $5,000 in script development funding; their script will also be read by an experienced genre producer hand-selected for their project.

Shortlisted Writers 

Produced Category – 2023 

Charlotte Rose Hamlyn for Space Nova, Season 2, Episode 10: “Bread Nova” (Children’s TV, SLR Productions and ABC Me) To skip a tedious spaceport meeting, Jet Nova creates his own bread-based clone. But his plan backfires when a delicious doppelgänger is unleashed, determined to eliminate its original at any cost. 

Kelly Nicholson for Connected (short film, produced by Atomic Darlings) A woman must fight for her life when her digital assistant attempts to take over her body. 

Rachel Laverty for Rock Island Mysteries, Season 2, Episode 10 “Return to the Hidden Valley” (Children’s TV, Fremantle Media, Channel Ten and Paramount Kids and Family International) Following a distress call from Uncle Charlie, Taylor and the gang must traverse the mysterious and threatening Hidden Valley to discover why Rock Island is in danger and how they can stop it. 


Produced Category – 2022  

James Croke for Latency (Feature Film, Oceanside Media and Kaos Entertainment, Lionsgate and Red Sea Media)  When Hana, a professional gamer, is asked to test new gaming equipment that uses A.I. to read her mind, the line between reality and the subconscious begins to blur. Hana must now decide if the device is helping her or serving a more sinister force. 

Lucy Campbell for Monolith (Feature Film, Black Cat White Rabbit Productions) A desperate young journalist turns to podcasting to salvage her career, but her rush to make headlines leads her to an alien conspiracy. 

Sam Odlum for Time Addicts (Feature Film, Exile Entertainment / Umbrella Entertainment)  Denise and Johnny, two drug-dependent best friends, heist a bag of time-travelling crystal to pay off their debt to a volatile dealer. 

Unproduced Category 

Adam Scullin for The Borders (TV) A grieving detective's hunt for her partner's killer thrusts her into a shadow war between a malevolent dimension seeking to destroy our world, and a top-secret unit holding it at bay. 

Carl Firth and Sarah Emery for Removed (Feature Film)  When a teenage boy wakes up to discover that everyone around him is comatose, he struggles to evade a mysterious invading force while getting himself and his estranged father to safety. 

Henry Boffin and Nicholas Kraak for Lost Souls (Feature Film) A depressed man is offered a job at a company that utilises time travel to stop suicides from occurring before they happen, but when he falls for his first client he must risk their relationship in order to stop her from taking the ultimate step. 

Jem Splitter for Displaced (TV) A depressed, dysfunctional physicist accidentally sent back in time tries to fix her future by mentoring her troubled 14-year-old self: a chaotic rage-case with her own mischievous agenda. 

Stephanie Westwood for You Can Survive a Rip Current (interactive) Toby has been seeing flashes of a tragedy befalling a stranger in their dreams – and must figure out how to stop it, before it is too late. 

Steve Anthopoulos for The Worst Me (TV) A failed pop star downloads an app that allows her to communicate with versions of herself from other universes. 

Zaity Salman for Saint Cassandra (audio) Cassandra – a living vampire ‘cured’ of her bloodthirst – searches desperately for her scientist father, fighting increasing suspicion from an anti-vampire AFP agent and signs that she is beginning to crave human blood.