During these challenging and unprecedented times, Screenworks is offering an online 3-part workshop free to Tasmanian residents.

The Art & Science of Pitching with Holly Lyons.



1st SESSION: THURS 4th June | 6 – 7.30pm
2nd SESSION: THURS 11th June | 6 – 7.30pm
3rd SESSION: THURS 18th June | 6 – 7.30pm

Delivered via zoom over 3 nights this practical workshop will take you through key elements and strategies for attracting interest in your screen projects.

Attracting interest in your screen project is vital if you are seeking collaborators, funds and market interest to bring your project to fruition. It is just about impossible for an early career creative to get interest in their screen project if they haven’t put together a smart pitch strategy and appropriate documents. In this three-part practical workshop, Screenwriter and pitcher extraordinaire Holly Lyons combines her biometric research with her industry experience to take you through the strategies, tips and skills that will help you deliver a knock out pitch.

Attendees will need to have internet access as this event will be run via zoom.  Attendees are asked to bring along their own original idea that they’re happy to share; or alternatively, an existing book or idea they’re familiar with, that they are happy to pitch.



SESSION ONE – 90mins

  1. Networking Ice Breaker

If you can’t master small talk when you meet a stranger, you can’t pitch. Practice here with this tailored ice breaker – everyone must introduce themselves.

You’ll meet you’ll classmates and also feel braver for the rest of the session!

  •  clip of an excellent Elevator pitch from an American contest.
  •  material from Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk on body language.
  1. Holly delivers her Pitching Seminar

Holly will describe her pitching successes and failures; as well as some fantastic tales she’s learnt, and laughed over, from her colleagues.

Holly will also present her research project, “The Science Of Pitching”.

  1. Questions from participants


Participants will be asked to come up with the following pitch essentials for their projects:

  • A one sentence synopsis, which explains the flawed protagonist, the transformative journey and the two central ideas at the heart of the premise.
  • A tagline (marketing selling one liner)
  • A line of dialogue that shines a light on the protagonist’s voice and tone of the project.

SESSION TWO – 90mins

  1. Participants will deliver their three homework items to the class and receive instant feedback.
  2. Holly will outline her tips on the best elements to include in your 2 page written pitch document. She will share the screen on Zoom.

Many funding organisations and pitching contests only want 2 pages of material before you verbally pitch.

Holly outlines a short pitch that dazzles, including short pitch examples from industry


  • Prepare a 3min verbal pitch to deliver at the next session.
  • Consider meeting a classmate on Zoom to practice your pitch together.


Pitch your original series to the class, Holly, and an industry guest, TBC.

Use the skills discussed in sessions one and two to dazzle your audience.

This may be the first time you pitch using the online space. How can you make this format work best for you? Will you share your screen? Show content alongside your pitch?

The best pitch will be awarded a prize that money can’t buy.



Guest presenter Holly Lyons

Holly Lyons has over twenty years of experience as a screenwriter in both Australia and the UK. She’s pitched her original series ideas many times successfully – and unsuccessfully – throughout her career. She once pitched her original television series, Hamlette’s Diner at an EBU competition in Paris to several European broadcasters, and was awarded first prize of 15,000 euros. Her original series Help! I’m a Teenage Outlaw was commissioned by ITV the same day Holly pitched the idea. Holly has participated in a Speed Pitching event ran by the BBC in London, and once gave a Commissioning Editor a pair of her son’s underpants as part of her pitch.

Most recently, Holly co-created Rocky & Me for ABC’s DisRupted project, supported by an excellent written and verbal pitch. In the past, Holly has run the annual Pitching Event at the Australian Film Television and Radio School (available on itunes, Australian Screenwriters Podcasts) and in 2017 she organised the VIVID Sydney Speed Pitching Breakfast in partnership with the Australian Writers Guild.

In 2017 Holly undertook a research project, Pitching: A Biometric approach in an attempt to scientifically analyse what techniques make a successful pitch. In 2018 she presented Pitching seminars all over Australia, delivering the results of her research project. Holly runs a script assessment service, https://www.screenwritingscriptease.com, and volunteers for WIFT, organising panels, masterclasses and social mixers for members. She is currently a Script Editor at Home and Away.

Check out Holly’s Top Tips on pitching here

This webinar will be delivered by Screenworks in partnership with Screen Tasmania

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