Things that go bump in the night!

‘PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN – AT WORLD’S END’ (the third sequel) in which, by virtue of the death of one of the ships’ captains, Elizabeth now commands one of the nine pirate ships, and is elected Pirate King at a pirate gathering by default. Subsequently overheard: Captain Ammand: (about Barbossa) ‘Shoot him!’ Captain Jocard: ‘Cut out his tongue!’ Cap’n Jack Sparrow: ‘Shoot him and cut out his tongue, then shoot his tongue! And trim that scraggly beard!’ (Photo montage of dastardly deeds piratical by L.J. May S/S)


On these pages you will find competitions and other opportunities for authors, performance writers for stage and screen, illustrators and filmmakers. See entries below the quick list for more detailed information.

In this section we list competitions open to performance writers for theatre, film and television, plus cross-over opportunities for filmmakers. Detailed information is listed below in date order. Those entries with deadlines looming are highlighted in red. 

  • The US Competition BLUE DRAFT SCREENWRITING CONTEST invites you to create a Short Film lasting 15 minutes with an open theme, and a Digital Short Series of 8 to 10 episodes each with a length of 8 to 10 minutes. Closing dates are Late: 30/11/2019. (See RADIO, FILM AND TELEVISION section below)
  • The Australian Writers’ Guild sponsors events, festivals, awards and programs that recognise, promote, reward and celebrate the work of screen and stage writers. See who’s eligible.
  • The Brisbane City Council is seeking public event visionaries for its CREATIVE EVENTS REGISTER. If you’ve got a bright idea, register now. 
  • Playwrights from regional or remote areas may apply for travel costs to attend events and opportunities through the newly established ERIN THOMAS PLAYWRIGHT FUND. There is no deadline for applications.
  • Submit your complete screenplay with a treatment, or a comprehensive concept proposal (1–3 pages) to WriteMe Australia, a national screenwriting initiative program which aims to develop exceptional material into production-ready screenwriting to be produced by the LaRoda Films network. There is no closing date for submissions. All ideas and material exchanged between all parties constitute intellectual property that shall remain the exclusive property of the originator.



Who: Playwriting Australia.


Entries close: No deadline for applications. 

Contact: For guidelines visit the website at

Cost: No cost to apply.

What’s happening: The Rules. It can be tough getting your playwriting career going if you live outside of the capital cities – opportunities to engage with the theatre industry are rare and expensive. The newly established Erin Thomas Playwright Fund has been created to support emerging playwrights from regional or remote areas to attend opportunities or events that would help them develop their careers. 

To be eligible, playwrights need to: reside in a regional, remote or rural area of Australia; and be at an early stage of their career and have had no more than two professional productions.

The Opportunities: Funded travel costs can include airfares, accommodation, per diems or other relevant expenses. Playwrights may apply to attend events and opportunities.

Here is an opportunity to submit and sell your script, choreography and artistic concepts for students of the performing arts.

Who: Free Range Theatrix


Entries close: Ongoing.

Contact: Go to their website at for more information about the company, and contact Creative Director, Sally Hardy on about your submissions if you have questions.


What’s happening: Opportunity: Free Range Theatrix is a new company that sells scripts, choreography and artistic concepts for students of the performing arts. They are currently seeking submissions of plays, monologues and musical theatre, and are interested in anything from light-hearted pantomimes through to highly artistic and challenging works. For more information and go to their website at and contact Sally Hardy as above if you have any further questions. 



Who: The Australian Writers Guild (AWG)


Entries close: Ongoing opportunity.

Contact: Go go to the AWG sponsorship page for more information and email if you have any further queries.

Cost: Talk to AWG about your idea.

What’s happening: The Rules. The Australian Writers’ Guild is proud to sponsor events, festivals, awards and programs that recognise, promote, reward and celebrate the work of screen and stage writers. They are also the proud sponsor of Best Screenplay Awards for a number of festivals and competitions. 

If your organisation would like to get in touch with the Guild regarding sponsorship, head to their AWG sponsorship page to find out what types of events and awards they sponsor, how they show their support, and what they expect from the events they sponsor. You can then download and fill out the AWG sponsorship form before sending it to


Who: The Brisbane City Council


Entries close: Ongoing opportunity.

Contact: For more information, email or call (07) 3403 8888.

Cost: NIL.

What’s happening: The Rules. The Brisbane City Council is seeking public event visionaries. Help imagine events, learn more about creative development opportunities and hear about ways to work with Council on the Creative Events Register. Receive email updates about expression of interest opportunities through the year. To register, visit



Who: Blue Draft Screenwriting Contest.


Entries close: Late: 30/11/2019.

Contact: For guidelines and the submission procedure visit the website at Notification date is 15 January 2020, and the event date from 1 May to 1 June 2020. 

Entry fees: 1. Short film – EARLY BIRD: $USD 30 (Gold Members: $USD 24), REGULAR: $USD 40 (Gold Members: $USD 32), LATE: $USD 50 (Gold Members: $USD 40).

Entry fees: 2. Digital Short Series – EARLY BIRD: $USD 30 (Gold Members: $USD 24), REGULAR: $USD 40 (Gold Members: $USD 32), LATE: $USD 50 (Gold Members: $USD 40). 

What’s happening: The Rules. The BLUE DRAFT SCREENWRITING CONTEST is open to screenwriters aged 18 and over as at 1 January 2020. This is an annual event dedicated to discovering new screenwriting talent from around the world and providing them with the opportunity to see their projects come to fruition.

Writers from all countries and nationalities are welcome to submit, and writers with a diverse background are strongly encouraged to apply. All scripts must be in English. Selected short films and short digital series scripts will be developed to completion by a team of professional filmmakers and pitched for distribution to major players in the industry. Every script submitted will get a one-page written feedback. 

  1. Create a Short Film lasting 15 minutes with an open theme.
  2. Create Digital Short Series of 8 to 10 episodes each with a length of 8 to 10 minutes.

The Prize: One Short Film and one Short Digital Series will be awarded a production deal with Blue Draft, who will partner with the writers to fully produce their film and series, and work alongside prospective distributors to find the best way to connect the finished projects with an audience.


Who: LaRoda Films


Entries close: No closing date for submissions.

Contact: Visit and spread the word among writers of screen and print fiction.

Cost: Nil to submit.

What’s happening: The Rules. WriteMe Australia is a national program established to identify and select writers, and develop their exemplary written material with a Director, to a stage primed for screen production. The initiative aims to identify and select talented writers with extraordinary written material, and to develop that work into production-ready screenwriting to be produced by the LaRoda Films network.

WriteMe was established by Australian Director and Producer Blake Borcich, after identifying a frustratingly low volume of archetypal writing to explore and advance in his home nation. Good writing affects everybody on a film production. It is a collaborative art form through and through, and there is nothing more reassuring that one is arriving each day to work on a truly worthy filmic venture, than the strength of that core foundational brilliance – the script.

They accept complete screenplays with a treatment, as well as comprehensive concept proposals (1–3 pages). All ideas and material exchanged between all parties, from the moment of first engagement with each other, constitute intellectual property that shall remain the exclusive property of the originator.

The Opportunity: WriteMe ultimately guarantees that successful screenplays are headed right through to post-production and release by LaRoda Films. The WriteMe process involves an appointed entertainment lawyer and active liaising with the Australian Copyright Council. 


Are your credits accurately preserved for posterity? The Film & Broadcast Industries Oral History Group sends all filmmakers this important message.

National Film and Sound Archive of Australia – Audiovisual History Needs You

Have you worked on an Australian screen production? Do you want your correct credits to be part of Australia's historical record? If so, the Film & Broadcast Industries Oral History group encourages you to have your credits updated on the national audiovisual collection records. 

Here's how in 5 easy steps:

1. Go to the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia website and click Collection.
2. Search for the production title using Easy Search, select Film or Television and click on Search
3. From the Results page, click on the entry that appears for that title searched. Once you click on the entry, you will get a page which includes ‘Title Details’
4. If you see anything incorrect or missing in the credits listed there, click on the data corrections link at the bottom of the page to send an email with your suggested corrections
5. The NFSA Collection Information Staff will respond to your email and validate the suggested corrections. For any contradictory information received, the NFSA will retain the right to determine the authorised credits for the production.


‘CLICK FOR FESTIVALS is a new tool connecting creators and festivals. The website says: 'For creators and distributors CLICK signifies the best way to reach any festival throughout the world, offering the possibility of showing their work easily, practically and economically. In the case of festivals, this is a free tool that will enable them to manage submitted films efficiently and to set optimal communication channels with both creators and juries.

'The first step is to create your account as a Director or Distributor. Next, you will receive an account verification email and from that moment, you can start uploading your films, consulting our Platform's list of Associated Festivals and submitting your work to the festivals that interest you...Film schools will enjoy the same promotions as distributors.

'CLICK FOR FESTIVALS gives the opportunity to submit a short to many festivals, or many shorts to one festival. We want you to have your submissions only one click away.’

This seems worth checking out. For more information on how it all works go to the CLICK FOR FESTIVALS website at




GHOST SHIP ‘THE FLYING DUTCHMAN’. In ocean lore dating from the 17th Century, sighting ‘The Flying Dutchman’ is a portent of doom. If hailed by another ship, the crew of the damned ship will try to send messages to land, or to people long dead. Sightings in the 19th and 20th centuries reported the ship to be glowing with a ghostly light. In 1879, after passengers and crew aboard the steamer S.S. Pretoria saw lights they thought were distress signals, the vessel changed course to intercept a strange sailing ship, but it vanished when the steamer approached it. In 1911, an American whaler almost collided with the ghost ship off the Cape Peninsula and in 1959 the crew of the freighter Straat Magelhaen reported a near collision with ‘The Flying Dutchman’. The legend of the phantom ship appears in firsthand accounts, literature and adaptations for film and television. In ‘Pandora and the Flying Dutchman’, James Mason, Ava Gardner and Nigel Patrick starred in a very popular film version of the story, in which a seductive woman falls in love with a mysterious ship’s captain. Not a lot of future in that – or is there? (Photo by L.J. May S/S)