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FIRESTORM AUSTRALIA!

BUSHFIRE EMERGENCY, November 2019.In Taree, New South Wales, experienced wildlife carers Christine and Paul McLeod are caring for this little female koala who lost her mum to bushfires. A New South Wales koala hospital has raised more than $1 million to rescue and rehabilitate animals brought to the hospital since the bushfires began. Some 350 koalas are believed to have died and the campaign estimated that 75 per cent of the bushfire region destroyed was prime koala habitat. The money raised far exceeded the initial target of $25,000 and the hospital has extended the project beyond setting up automatic drinking stations in bushfire areas. Some of the funds will be directed to building a Koala Ark to allow the surviving koalas to be accommodated in a healthy habitat area, says the campaign’s GoFundMe page. Check out YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ak10o3I9GIs for a video that went viral of the brave woman who stripped off and rescued a koala from the bushfires. Lewis Koala is currently recovering at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital. (Photo by L.J. May S/S)

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This page is devoted to events and activities of interest to writers, illustrators and readers! Go to entries below the quick list for more detailed information.  

POWERHOUSE SCREENWRITING PROJECTS SHOWCASED AT INAUGURAL INDUSTRY MIXER – THE 2019 JOHN HINDE AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE IN SCIENCE-FICTION WRITING

AWGIE Award-winning screenwriter LUCAS TAYLOR was awarded the $10,000 prize in The 2019 John Hinde Award for Excellence in Science-Fiction Writing PRODUCED CATEGORY for the multilinear narrative Eleven Eleven, a VR and AR experience set on a fictional planet that is 11 minutes and 11 seconds away from an extinction-level event. Glen Dolman’s series Bloom was highly commended.

‘Science fiction was one of my first loves,’ said Taylor, ‘Ever since George Orwell terrified and exhilarated me as a teenager I've wanted to tell stories in this fascinating genre. I am deeply humbled to receive this award, and I would like to sincerely thank the AWG and the estate of the late John Hinde for the generous bequest and their continued support of Australian sci-fi creators.’

THE UNPRODUCED CATEGORY OF THE AWARD was established as part of a bequest from the late Australian film critic John Hinde to celebrate future generations of Australian science-fiction screenwriters and, through industry opportunities, encourages, rewards and fosters creativity in the development of sci-fi writing across the country. STEVE MITCHELL’S Cowtown won the prize in the unproduced category. 

Luke Jerram’s iconic Museum of the Moon installation was the stunning backdrop to the inaugural POWERHOUSE MIXER, which was held on Tuesday, 19 November 2019 at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum, an event made possible with the support of Screen Australia

The Powerhouse Mixer was a night celebrating a slate of fresh and exciting screenwriting projects and attended by heavyweights of the film and television industry, including representatives from Screen Australia, Create NSW, Foxtel, ABC and SBS, talent agencies and production companies. 

Key creatives and decision-makers from across the industry were invited to meet and mix with a talented cohort of screenwriters, some with projects available for development on AWG’s prestigious PATHWAYS SHOWCASE, and the five new Showcase projects announced as the shortlist for the 2019 John Hinde Award.

The five most recent additions to Showcase were selected from a pool of over one hundred entries, and range from coming-of-age dramas and psychological thrillers, to comedies and romances – all with an intriguing sci-fi edge. Check them out! They were:

Cowtown (http://www.awgpathways.com.au/showcase/cowtown) by Steve Mitchell: (THE 2019 WINNER OF THE UNPRODUCED CATEGORY).A cynical insurance investigator and an American UFO enthusiast lock horns over a farmer's crazy claim for abducted cows in a town where the truth really is out there.

Love Limits by Katharine McPhee: In a future where the government puts time limits on relationships to sustain global harmony, one Australian couple will do anything to stay together and get ‘re-matched’.
 
Saucer by Stuart Mannion: A woman leads a group of adventurers to the Australian outback but must fight to save her daughter’s life when they become part of an alien experiment.
 
The Jesus Machine by David Vincent Smith: In a war-ravaged world, a doctor smuggles away a teenage cyborg who was built and designed to save the planet, in exchange for help to find her missing sister.
 
God Therapy by Ted Janet: A psychiatrist whose treatment lets patients relive memories in virtual reality connects with a desperately suicidal woman and journeys into her past to save her.
 
Science fiction is the home of new and exploratory ideas, and Australia has an astonishing number of writers who are extremely good at it. Sci-fi fans will want to see all of the above coming soon to our big or small screens but, alas, most of them won’t make it. What a waste! It’s enough to make you cry.

Keep writing people; you never know, we might get a government that recognises the value of supporting our film and television industry, particularly through the avenue of the ABC who has always tackled things that other people won’t. We can always hope!

(Thanks to the AWG for this information) 

 

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WATCHWORDS HOME

BUSHFIRE EMERGENCY, November 2019. STAY AND DEFEND. Fire agencies say defending your home requires at least two able-bodied, fit and determined adults. Both need to be sure they’re physically and mentally prepared to work in difficult conditions. Homes in an area with a Code Red or Catastrophic fire danger rating are difficult to defend, even if you’re well prepared. You need to have 10,000 litres of water for firefighting purposes as well as a firefighting pump and hoses. You also need a water sprayer, bucket, mop, shovel, torch and battery-powered radio. It’s essential to ensure that you have adequate protective clothing as outlined in the SURVIVAL KIT. Radiant heat is the biggest killer in a fire. Find Survival Kit details on the ABC website at https://www.abc.net.au/news/emergency/2014-12-07/emergency-survival-kits/5949978. Sometimes, despite your best efforts it’s just not enough as the forlorn hose and abandoned building in the photo above testify. If police or firefighters tell you to leave – no matter how hard it is to leave your life behind – just LEAVE. You could be one of the lucky ones – saving your life and that of your loved ones is the most important thing. Everything else can be replaced: you can’t! (Photo by L.J. May)