Laughs aplenty in sophisticated script from next-big-thing screenwriter

5 April, 2018

Thursday 5 April 2018

A comedy about a hard-partying actor facing up to her fast-declining fertility has won the Australian Writers' Guild's Laugh Out Loud Comedy Writing Competition, with screenwriter Jacklyn Bassanelli awarded the top prize for her script Preconception.

Im thrilled to win and still in shock,said Bassanelli, whose slate of work includes a sci-fi mystery series currently in development. After having spent most of the last year writing about Mars, its been great to work on a story thats a little closer to home. Pathways, the AWG and Scripted Ink. are doing so much to champion the role of Australian screenwriters in the industry. Its an honour to be a beneficiary of their support,the Melbourne-based screenwriter said.

Described by the industry judging panel as highly sophisticated and well executed, Preconception follows a late-thirties jobbing actor with a weakness for booze and musicians who decides to look into her own fertility after being cast on screen with a teenage daughter.

Laugh Out Loud is not the first time Bassanelli's work has been lauded, with Preconception having already been selected for the AWGs exclusive Pathways Showcase, a platform that showcases Australias best unproduced scripts on an international stage.

Bassanelli wins the chance to pitch her new comedy script to ABC's Head of Comedy, Rick Kalowski, and will also receive $5000 in funding from Scripted Ink.

Described as an industry game-changer, Scripted Ink. is a script development program designed to change the power of writers, the methodology of development and the possibility of international finance, powered by a gift of $1m from NCIS showrunner Shane Brennan.

Scripted Ink is delighted to support the great, new comedy writing talent discovered by the Laugh Out Loud competition. Huge congratulations to the winner, Jacklyn Bassanelli, and to all the shortlisted and highly commended writers,’ said Scripted Ink Head of Development Tim Pye.

Scripted Inks raison detre is toinvest in the development of quality scripts, to elevate the role of the screenwriter throughout the production process and to give much-needed time and funds to the development of standout Australian stories.The possibility of seeing the scripts discovered through the LOL Comedy Writing Competition on our screens in the future as a result of this initiative is very exciting.

Two shortlisted screenwriters, Emme Hoy and C.J. Johnson, will also get to pitch to ABC.

ABC Head of Comedy Rick Kalowski said he was really looking forward to reading the shortlisted scripts and meeting the writers. Virtually every such initiative I've had the privilege to work on has unearthed major new or under-celebrated literary talent and I've got no doubt Laugh Out Loud will be the same. Good on the Australian Writers' Guild for continuing its proud tradition of supporting Australian creative development.

Laugh Out Loud was launched by the Australian Writers' Guild in 2017 with support from Screen Australia's Enterprise Industry funding to unearth and give opportunity to fresh, diverse comedy writing talent. For the full shortlist, highly commended and longlist, see below.

2017 Laugh Out Loud Comedy Writing Competition


Jacklyn Bassanelli for Preconception


Emme Hoy for Nobodys Perfect

C.J. Johnson forPunt Dad

Highly Commended

Greta Harrison & Matthew Vaughan for Easy, Tiger

Martin Ingle forDisorderly

Megan Palinkas forFlamed


Kacie Anning for Trio

Dave Bloustien for Avance Austraya

Max Furlonger and Dave Dreimann for Prospero and Tash

Rebecca Greensill for Miss!

Zoe Harvey, Andrew Brittain and Tom Jacobs for The Committee

Thomas Mitchell for Night Shift

Daniel Pollard for Backtrack Star

Declan Shrubb and Morgan Quinn for Mendicants

Melissa Lee Speyer for Jackson Wongs Game of Pong

Henry Stone for Druggy, Grubby Festival Campsite

Simon Taylor for Plushed

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