Thiel Grant for Online Writing

The Thiel Grant for Online Writing supports inventive writing for the internet. Recipients of the $5000 award commit to producing 50 posts on an agreed concept over a 12-month period. Australian online writers of all genres are encouraged to apply. Applications for the inaugural grant are open until the 28th of February, 2015.

Winners Announcement for the 2014 John Hinde Awards for Science Fiction

Thanks to a generous bequest from legendary Australian film critic John Hinde, the AWG presents the John Hinde Awards for Science Fiction to both a produced and unproduced script to encourage, reward and foster creativity in the development and showcasing of exceptional science fiction writing for feature film, short film, television, radio and interactive media.

Critically acclaimed as an entrancingly strange time-travel saga, Predestination, written by Queensland’s Spierig Brothers Michael and Peter Spierig, claimed the $10,000 cash prize for the Produced category.  Predestination centres on a Temporal Agent (Ethan Hawke) who, on his final time-travelling assignment, must stop The Fizzle Bomber, the one criminal that has always managed to elude him, from killing 10,000 New Yorkers.

Min Min written by South Australian screenwriter, Simon Butters, was selected the inaugural winner of the Unproduced category.  Min Min is a story of four carefree travellers who speed across the Nullabor Plain to find the perfect surf break but their night time journey is cut terrifyingly short when they are hunted by a strange, deadly light in the sky – the Min Min.

As winner of the Unproduced category, Simon Butters was a special guest of the Fantastic Planet Sci-Fi Festival and will have the opportunity to meet with and have his script read by a number of experienced genre producers.

The entries to this year’s John Hinde Awards were of exceptional calibre and the judges for the Awards wrestled with their final decision.  The Guild would therefore like to attribute special recognition to Hugh Sullivan’s The Infinite Man, a comedy-romance about a man whose attempts to construct the ultimate romantic weekend backfire when he traps his lover in an infinite loop.

Commendations also go to the Shortlist for the Unproduced category who are now inducted into the AWG’s Pathways Program. Pathways has been developed to showcase the writers of scripts which display high potential for production to the broader industry. Both the Shortlist and the Longlist for the Unproduced category can be found below.

The winners of the 2014 John Hinde Awards was officially announced at the Fantastic Planet Sci-Fi Film Festival on Sunday 30 November 2014 at the Festival’s Awards Ceremony on its closing night. The Fantastic Planet Sci-Fi Film Festival screened simultaneously with the annual A Night of Horror Film Festival in a film festival face-off at the Newtown Dendy Cinemas in Sydney.

2014 Shortlist

The Shortlist for the 2014 John Hinde Award for the Unproduced category includes:

  • Seeds by Annaliese Ciel Walker
    Echovault by Jacques Joubert
    Crossover (Schrodingers Cat) by Andrew Muir
    Punishment by Les Zigomanis

2014 Longlist

The Longlist for the 2014 John Hinde Award for the Unproduced category includes:

  • The Colony by Akos Armont
    Robot by Helen Carmody
    Big Turkey by Simon Dodd and Bruce Griffiths
    Steam Ranger by David Haddin
    Payload by Stuart Willis

Imperial Imprecision

by Chris Large

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 9.13.57 PMIt’s long been known that Star Wars: A New Hope contains examples of some of the worst marksmanship in the history of cinema, particularly with respect to the Emperor’s ‘elite’ forces. But how bad were they really? Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a statistical measure of exactly how astonishingly bad imperial stormtroopers were at hitting their mark?

Well, fortunately, there is. In the United States, where police forces undergo rigorous (well, at least annual) firearms training, statistics are kept, and made available for, exactly the type of public scrutiny in which we are about to indulge.

But first to the question of “How can we calculate the number of shots fired and hits scored by stormtroopers in Star Wars in order to make a valid comparison with real-world figures?” The answer is simple. I counted them. Yes, I did. No, I’m not shitting you. Inspired by the purchase of a brand new TV boasting no less than 55 inches of HD LED OMFGoodness, I took it upon myself to re-watch Star Wars: A New Hope. And just for fun – because that’s how I roll – I decided to count each and every shot fired by stormtroopers in the name of generating an accurate hit-rate for comparison with figures issued by the NYPD. Before we get to the nitty gritty of raw statistics, I’ll briefly touch upon some potential excuses given by simpering Empire apologists for the atrocious stormtrooper hit-rate, and deftly debunk them all.

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