YMF Session Announcement: Writing for screen – Finding your place

Wednesday 11 May 2016

The Australian Writer’s Guild (AWG) and the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) proudly present an industry panel for aspiring and emerging screen writers at the Youth Media Festival.


From webisodes to big budget feature films, from interactive media projects to high-end dramas, there is a range of exciting career options for screenwriters in Australia and overseas. The screen industry can be difficult to access however and the question of how to get your break in a rapidly changing landscape is ever-present. Today’s audiences are increasingly spread over a diverse range of media – across screens large, small and interactive and the opportunities for work beyond traditional film and television jobs are shifting and growing. Writers need to be flexible, responsive and determined but they also need to understand the changing landscape and how to find their place in it.

Please join our fabulous panel to hear about the challenges and opportunities available for screenwriters today.

Mike Jones: Leading multi-platform writer.

Peter Mattessi: Internationally credited television drama writer

Claire Phillips: Co-Creater and co-writer of Bedhead.

C.S. McMullen: Writer and film and TV Professional.


Mike Jones 

Mike is a writer and script editor working across screen, page and interactive media and lecturer in story and writing at the AFTRS. Most recently Mike wrote the virtual-reality detective-thriller ‘VRNoir: A Day Before the Night’ with StartVR, and previously lead story development for award-winning multi-platform company, Portal Entertainment UK.

Mike has worked in script development for companies including WarnerBros, EveryCloud, Project Factory, and overseeing long-form script labs for Google/YouTube. He helped pioneer web-series in Australia serving as story editor on cult post-apocalyptic series, ‘Wastelander Panda’ for MadMan films and ABCTV. He worked with showrunner Vicki Madden on her supernatural mystery series, ‘The Kettering Incident’ for Foxtel, and oversees development of high-end TV drama with her company Sweet Potato Films.

As a novelist Mike is author of “The Transgressions Cycle”, a three-book series of supernatural gothic novels published by Simon&Schuster, twice nominated for the Australian Shadows award for best Horror novel of the year.


Peter Mattessi

Peter Mattessi writes television drama. In the UK, he writes for EASTENDERS and HOLBY CITY, was Senior Script Editor at EASTENDERS for many years, wrote for WATERLOO ROAD, and was Script Producer for EASTENDERS’ teen-based spinoff, EASTENDERS: E20. He also has a number of original projects in development. In Australia he has written for all the soaps, currently writes for NEIGHBOURS, and has written children’s shows WORST YEAR OF MY LIFE AGAIN and SPECKY MAGEE.


Claire Phillips

Claire is a Sydney based writer and producer. Since graduating AFTRS in 2012, Claire has twice been nominated for an AWGIE Award, including the Monte Miller Award for Best Unproduced Screenplay (Long Form) for her pilot script The Box.

Claire is the co-creator, co-writer and producer of BedHead, a half-hour comedy commissioned as part of Fresh Blood, an initiative from ABC & Screen Australia to unearth new comedy talent.

Claire is currently the Trainee Script Editor on Channel 10’s The Wrong Girl. Shehas worked as a researcher and development assistant on numerous film and television projects, and as a Script Coordinator on Endemol’s Offspring and Gallipoli.


Catherine S. McMullen is a writer and film & TV professional, currently living in Melbourne.

As a screenwriter, she has been nominated for several national awards, including an AWGIE for “Best Unproduced Longform Screenplay,’ the Lorne Film Festival $10,000 Screenwriting Prize, and the AWGs ’Think Inside The Box’ and ‘What Happens Next’ competitions. In 2016, she was chosen for Film Vic’s Catapult Feature Development Program, and was included on the prestigious 2016 IF List as one of the Australian screen industry’s ‘Rising Talents.’ She is also a member of the AWGs ‘Pathways Program’ for exceptional unproduced scripts.

As a prose writer, her fiction work has been published in genre publications such as Nightmare Magazine, Aurealis, and Interzone, and has been reprinted in anthologies such as ‘Year’s Best Australian Fantasy & Horror 2013’ and ‘Focus 2013: Highlights of Australian Short Fiction’. Her short story ‘The Nest’ was nominated for an Australian Shadows Award from the Australian Horror Writers’ Association.

As a production freelancer, her professional credits include Syfy series Hunters and Childhood’s End, Nowhere Boys S1 & S2, unscripted shows Real Housewives of Melbourne and Formal Wars, and feature films Cut Snake and Paper Planes. She also works as a note-taker and researcher for TV writers’ rooms, and writes analysis and coverage.

Catherine graduated in 2011 with an Arts/Law degree from the University of Melbourne. She is a life-long nerd and former MMO addict, and enjoys books, TV, movies and games, especially if they’re about robots or dragons (or possibly robotic dragons).