Screenworks has today announced the ten screenwriters from across regional NSW who have been selected to participate in their annual 2023 Writing for TV Intensive Program.
The two-day intensive will support these screenwriters to develop their TV concepts in a collaborative writer’s room environment guided by multi-award winning screenwriter and script producer Alexa Wyatt. Alexa will work with the participants to enhance their scripts as well as passing on her insights into crafting TV dramas that engage with their audiences and have commercial appeal.
This years cohort of writers are: Charlie Clausen (Northern Rivers), Ree Evans (Northern Rivers), Fleur Ferris, (Murray River Region), Dan Haberfield (Regional NSW), Claire Honeywood (Shoalhaven), Iris Huizinga (Illawarra), Kaneana May (Mid North Coast), Benjamin Ryan (Northern Rivers), Holly Tenaman (Illawarra) and Marieka Walsh (Illawarra).
“We are always impressed by the calibre of applicants for our writing program. Screenworks Writing for TV intensive is an annual initiative that has consistently unearthed talented regional screenwriters and this year is no exception.” said Screenworks’ CEO Lisa O’Meara. “We look forward to supporting the professional and project development for this group of regional writers and seeing where this opportunity will take them.”
Previous participants have included Cassandra Nguyen who went on to write for the ABC series The Heights, Clare Sladden who was selected as part of the script development program for NCIS Sydney, Nicole Sullivan who recently received development funding for her TV drama Unsettled and Tanya Modini who has won numerous awards for her short film The Moths Will Eat Them Up.
Screenworks 2023 Writing for TV Intensive is made possible with support from the NSW government through Screen NSW.
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Media contact: Jennica Fernstrom
Writing for TV Intensive 2023 Participant Bios
Charlie Clausen, Northern Rivers NSW
Charlie Clausen is a versatile actor, writer, and producer known for his work in television and film, with lead roles in several popular TV series, including McLeod’s Daughters, Blue Heelers and Home & Away. His most recent work includes roles in the teen drama Surviving Summer for Netflix and the upcoming miniseries Prosper for Stan. Charlie’s writing and producing credits span various genres, including commercials, music videos, and documentaries and award-winning short films. His short film The Wake was nominated for the Jury Prize at the Tribeca Film Festival and won the SBS Award at St Kilda Film Festival. His follow up, The Bride, won Best Script at the St Kilda Film Festival. In 2019 Charlie wrote and directed the web series Lessons for Life with Alan Mercedes, which won Best Comedy Screenplay at the Asia Web Awards and was nominated for several other awards at Houston Web Fest, LA Shorts and London Shorts.
Ree Evans, Northern Rivers NSW
Ree Evans has worked in film and television across drama and factual production in producer, script and coordinator roles with production companies including Magpie Pictures, Every Cloud Productions, Beyond Productions, Granda (ITV), Southern Star (Endemol), SBS, ABC, and Dollhouse Pictures. She is currently writing passion projects of kids animated TV series, alongside a middle grade novel and picture book projects. She lives by a forest in the Northern Rivers of Bundjalung country with 3 kids, 2 cheeky chickens, and 1 partner.
Fleur Ferris, Murray River Region, NSW
Sixteen years on the frontline – as a police officer then as a paramedic – have made the Fleur Ferris story as challenging and as dramatic as her novels. She would start her writing career against that backdrop – and the even murkier world of the internet’s dark side – and since the success of her debut novel Risk, she has been working as a writer and, more recently, a screenwriter. Risk was nominated for, and won, numerous awards, was published internationally, became an Australian bestseller, and is studied in secondary schools all over the country. Since then, Fleur has published five more books, and a number of these are optioned for screen adaptation which sparked Fleur’s interest in broadening her craft to screenwriting. Fleur is currently developing some of her own material, as well as being contracted (paused for the strike) to write a feature film for an American Production company. Fleur is currently studying for a Graduate Certificate in Screen Development at the University of Canberra.
Dan Haberfield, Regional NSW
Dan is an actor, writer, director and producer who now lives mobile in his self-built motorhome. After beginning his creative career during his early 30’s, he’s spent the past decade+ building a strong acting resume on various TV shows and feature films as well as creating his own short film projects which have screened at dozens of festivals around the world. Having been a finalist for St Kilda Film Festival Olympus Filmmaker Challenge and the AACTA Pitch: Forever New, he now has three long-form projects at various stages of development: Bobby Mac, Always A Queen and The Patch.
Claire Honeywood, Shoalhaven, NSW
Claire is an emerging writer from the South Coast of New South Wales. She graduated from CSU with a Bachelor in Stage and Screen and has been writing for both forms since. Her screen credentials include the web series Quarantine, her short film Unrequited: a Short Non-Rom-Com and the short film Profess which was selected for the official line-up at the Reykjavik Feminist Film Festival. She is also a successful playwright with her works Ampersand and Coulro being featured in regional festivals, her most recent play Pullet was selected for ATYP’s Intersection Festival.
Iris Huizinga, Illawarra, NSW
Iris is a writer and director. She wrote the Dutch short film Hannibal, which screened n at Cinekid and received an honourable mention from the Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award (NATAS). She also wrote and directed the television feature Zicht op Rupert, commissioned by public broadcaster VPRO, which screened at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. She migrated to Australia, where she attended the Victorian College Of The Arts on a scholarship from the VandenEnde Foundation.
She recently made a factual web-series for regional media, which was funded by the Meta Australian News Fund and managed by the Walkley Foundation. In 2022, Hardie Grant published her short story in SBS emerging writers’ competition anthology, Between Two Worlds..
Kaneana May, Mid North Coast, NSW
Kaneana studied television production at university, graduating with first-class honours in screenwriting. She went on to work in the script departments of television drama programs and became a scriptwriter on Home and Away. She turned her attention to fiction writing and her 2019 debut, The One, had her shortlisted for ARRA’s Favourite Debut Romance Author Award. It was also voted into Better Reading’s Top 100 Books. Her second novel, All we have is now, won the Romance Writer’s of Australia Award in 2022. Kaneana lives on the Mid North Coast with her husband and children, where she attempts to juggle writing, teaching and motherhood.
Benjamin Ryan, Northern Rivers NSW
Benjamin loves telling stories in many forms. He has written and directed short films, one of which received an honourable mention at the International Film Awards Berlin. Benjamin’s self-published novel was a finalist in the American Fiction Awards and received an honourable mention at the Eric Hoffer Book Prize. His pilot screenplays have been semifinalists in the Emerging Screenwriters Competition and the Other Worlds Film Festival, and rank on the Red List. Benjamin loves using fantasy to talk about today’s issues as well as painting the world of today in a fantastic light. He lives in northern NSW.
Holly Trenaman, Illawarra NSW
Holly Trenaman (she/her) is a writer and filmmaker based in Wollongong, on Dharawal land, working at Screen Illawarra. With a Bachelor of Screen Production from AFTRS, and an interest in comedy, she’s the writer and director of a 6-part web series titled ‘SISTAS’, and award-winning short film ‘Dating Violet’. She has had short stories published in Global Hobo, Rachel’s List, Uni Junkee, South Coast Writers Anthology and the UTS Anthology 2022, and now studies a Masters of Creative Writing at UTS.
Marieka Walsh, Dharawal Country, Illawarra,NSW
Marieka is a Director, Screenwriter and Animator who grew up on Gumbaynggirr Country (regional mid-north coast). She has a background in Visual Arts and started her career working in Post Production at The Editors
In 2013 her animated short, The Hunter won several international awards (SXSW, Palm Springs, Sydney Film Festival & AACTA for Best Short Animation) and in 2014 she directed and animated the opening story for the anthology feature film The Turning (Berlinale, MIFF). In 2016, her Screen Australia funded animation The Crossing (writer/ director/ animator) won ‘Best Short Animation’ at The Sydney Film festival. In 2017, Marieka animated four documentary stories for the feature After the Apology by Larissa Behrendt. Her animation/ video installations have screened at galleries in Sydney and Melbourne including the Australian Centre for Moving Image (ACMI). She enjoys collaborating on projects with meaning, intention and humanity. She is currently developing a Climate Fiction Drama Series.
Alexa Wyatt Bio
Alexa has worked as a script producer, series creator, writer, editor and story consultant on over a thousand hours of Australian TV drama including Janet King, Rescue Special Ops, All Saints, McLeod’s Daughters (on all 8 series from bible to finale), Water Rats, E Street, the original Heartbreak High, Police Rescue, and many more. She works extensively in children’s drama including all series of top ten Netflix series Mako Mermaids and The Bureau of Magical Things. She is currently writing Nina and Olga for RAI TV, a biopic about pop artist Martin Sharp for Mushroom Studios, and is co-writing a psychological horror feature funded by Screen Canberra. She has two series optioned by Beyond Entertainment and supported by Screen Australia; and is writer/script producer on a dramedy optioned by Easy Tiger. She is script consultant on a First Nations’ crime series developed with funding from South Australian Film Corporation and has developed a series for the international market for Kreiworks with Lina Foti and Dan Curry.
She is the recipient of a Distinctly Australian Script Editing Fellowship, has worked as a script editor on numerous feature film projects, and as a script assessor for government bodies including Screen Tasmania, the South Australian Film Corporation and the Australian Writer’s Guild. She is also a playwright with productions at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, the Stables Theatre, Sydney, Melbourne Writer’s Festival, Bridewell Theatre, London and Northern Light Theatre Company, Canada in January 2021.
Screenworks is a national member-based non-profit committed to supporting and empowering screen creatives and crew across regional Australia. We offer professional industry programs and activities for people at every career stage to develop their skills and help build a diverse and thriving regional screen sector.
Since being established in December 2000, Screenworks has demonstrated a strong track record of creating and managing well-presented, innovative and relevant development programs for professional and emerging screen content creators and crew in regional areas in every state and territory of Australia.
Northern Rivers Screenworks Inc (ABN 87 095 440 458) is registered as a charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.https://screenworks.com.au