SQ News

SQ is calling out for writers and creators ready to take the next big step in their career with an international writers’ room experience.

Now in its fourth year, the Greg Coote Scholarship – established by SQ and Australians in Film – honours the work of one of Australia’s most prolific industry figures and continues his extraordinary legacy of opening doors for Australian talent in the global screen industry.

The Scholarship – launched by actor Hugh Jackman in late 2014 – offers a writer or creator working in narrative fiction (drama and genre) the opportunity to spend a minimum of 6-8 weeks in an established series writers’ room. Worth approximately $30,000 (AUD), the Scholarship will fund the costs of the placement, including travel and visas, and provide a small weekly wage to the recipient.

This year, a pool of approximately five writers/creators will be shortlisted for the Scholarship. These writers will be presented to established international writers’ rooms for consideration and at least one will be selected to take part in the 2020 program.

Previous recipients of the Greg Coote Scholarship include:

  • Darren Paul Fisher – Ransom, eOne, Canada
  • Lucas Taylor – Various shows in development, FremantleMedia, UK and Europe
  • Megan Doneman – NCIS: Los Angeles, CBS, United States

Applications close 5pm, Friday 17 January 2020

Explore the guidelines below or download a copy here.

Who can apply?

Queensland writers and creators who are building a career in scripted content.

While this opportunity is best suited to mid-career writers/creators who have some experience in screenwriting such as broadcast, feature film, short film or web series, your application will be assessed first and foremost on the strength of your talent and potential.

If you’re unsure if this opportunity is right for you, give us a call on 07 3248 0500 or email content@screenqld.com.au.

How do I apply?

Apply online here before 5pm, Friday 17 January 2020

You will find out if you’ve been successful in making the pool of shortlisted writers/creators in late March 2020.

What is SQ looking for?

The Greg Coote Committee, including the Coote family, as well as Australians in Film and SQ, will select the pool of shortlisted writers/creators based on the following criteria:

  • Talent demonstrated through the quality of their previous work and their screenwriting sample
  • Demonstrated passion and potential for creating and writing series television such as scripts in development or past credits
  • Readiness to take part in an international writers room and impact this experience will have on the career of the writer/creator and the state screen sector more broadly?
What do I need to give you?

During the online application process, you will be required to provide:

  • A screenwriting sample (up to 30 pages)
  • Your CV
  • Responses to the following questions:
    • Why are you the best candidate for the 2020 Greg Coote Scholarship?
    • What are your career goals and how do you plan to achieve them? (consider what role the Greg Coote Scholarship would play in your plan)
    • If you could be a part of the writers room for any on-air TV series what would it be and why?
When will the scholarship take place?

The scholarship will take place for at least 6-8 weeks in 2020. The exact dates will be determined depending on the writers room.

Which writers room will the successful applicant take part in?

The international writers room opportunity will be matched to the needs and interests of the shortlisted pool of writers/creators. Previous Scholarship recipients have been a part of writers rooms for CBS, eOne and FremantleMedia.

Got a question?

Call us on 07 3248 0500 or email content@screenqld.com.au  

About the past recipients

Darren Paul Fisher – 2018 recipient

Queensland-based screenwriter, director and producer Darren Paul Fisher was the 2018 Greg Coote Scholarship recipient.

Darren Fisher has won multiple awards and previous success for his feature film work including Inbetweeners, Popcorn and Frequencies.  Mr Fisher has several feature film and television projects in development and was a writer on the Australia-China coproduction At Last, supported by the Queensland Government.

Supported by Screen Queensland, Australians In Film, the Queensland Writers Centre and Entertainment One (eOne), the 2018 scholarship allowed Darren to travel to Canada to be part of the writing and development process for one of eOne’s Canadian-produced, long-form TV series.

Darren gained valuable industry experience working for eight weeks in an international writers’ room, bringing high-end content from script to screen and working towards a global audience.

Lucas Taylor – 2017 recipient

Brisbane-based screenwriter and director Lucas Taylor was named the 2017 recipient for the annual Greg Coote Scholarship. Lucas is an award-winning talent who has worked across television drama, comedy, factual and interactive genres in Australia and the US. Lucas will take part in a 12-week placement on a FremantleMedia International drama series in Europe in 2018 as part of the Greg Coote Scholarship (supported by Screen Queensland, Australians in Film, the Queensland Writers Centre and FremantleMedia).

Lucas Taylor was Creative Director at Emmy and BAFTA award-winning production company Hoodlum from 2011-2016, where he worked on projects for film and television franchises including; The Bourne Legacy (Universal), SALT (Sony), Dance Academy (ABC), Primeval (ITV) and Divergent (eOne). His recent credits include Vikings: Athelstan’s Journal for History Channel (co-writer/director). Lucas has also created award-winning digital and interactive content for some of the world’s most recognised factual brands including Discovery (Voyage to the Planets), ABC (Australia: A Time Traveller’s Guide) and the BBC (BBC Knowledge).

Megan Doneman – 2016 recipient

Writer/Producer Megan Doneman was awarded the inaugural Greg Coote Scholarship, established by Screen Queensland and Australians in Film, with a prize of $30,000 to support her placement on hit US television show NCIS: Los Angeles. Even though the original scholarship offer was for eight weeks, Megan was given the opportunity to stay for almost the entire season.

Megan was selected after a competitive search of Queensland’s creative talent. She honed her storytelling skills over a decade working in the editing department on Hollywood films including King Kong, The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Babe 2. Her first independent film, which she wrote, directed and produced, was Yes Madam, Sir – narrated by Helen Mirren – and premiered to critical acclaim as official selection at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2010.

About Greg Coote

Greg Coote was one of Australia’s most prolific industry figures.

Greg Coote was one of Australia’s most prolific industry figures. Greg ran LA-based Larrikin Entertainment with David Calvert-Jones; he was a producer and financier of theatrical movies, television programs and digital entertainment content. He was also a non-executive director of Bollywood distributor Eros International, chairman of US distributor China Lion, chairman of the ScreenSingapore convention and a member of the advisory board of the Singapore Government’s Media Development Authority. Previously Greg was chairman and CEO of Dune Entertainment, which co-financed more than 60 movies with 20th Century Fox, including Avatar.

Born in Australia, Greg started his career in the mailroom, working his way from the ground up to become Managing Director of Roadshow Films. He left Village Roadshow to head the Rupert Murdoch-owned Network Ten as Managing Director before joining Columbia Pictures in Los Angeles as President, International Theatrical. He re-joined Village Roadshow when it became publicly listed and was appointed to the parent board. As the founding president and CEO of Village Roadshow Pictures in Los Angeles, he steered the company through 10 consecutive years of profits and forged a multi-million-dollar production deal with Warner Bros, including The Matrix franchise. Not only was Greg prolific in business, he was also an extraordinary leader and advocate for the arts in the public schools. Greg founded an arts endowment campaign to fund arts programs in perpetuity and to create a model for other school districts around the state and country. He was a generous and strong individual who was able to bring people along with him when it came to making sure that the arts remained part of the public school curriculum.

Greg ran LA-based Larrikin Entertainment with David Calvert-Jones; he was a producer and financier of theatrical movies, television programs and digital entertainment content. He was also a non-executive director of Bollywood distributor Eros International, chairman of US distributor China Lion, chairman of the ScreenSingapore convention and a member of the advisory board of the Singapore Government’s Media Development Authority. Previously Greg was chairman and CEO of Dune Entertainment, which co-financed more than 60 movies with 20th Century Fox, including Avatar.

Born in Australia, Greg started his career in the mailroom, working his way from the ground up to become Managing Director of Roadshow Films. He left Village Roadshow to head the Rupert Murdoch-owned Network Ten as Managing Director before joining Columbia Pictures in Los Angeles as President, International Theatrical. He re-joined Village Roadshow when it became publicly listed and was appointed to the parent board. As the founding president and CEO of Village Roadshow Pictures in Los Angeles, he steered the company through 10 consecutive years of profits and forged a multi-million-dollar production deal with Warner Bros, including The Matrix franchise.

Not only was Greg prolific in business, he was also an extraordinary leader and advocate for the arts in the public schools. Greg founded an arts endowment campaign to fund arts programs in perpetuity and to create a model for other school districts around the state and country. He was a generous and strong individual who was able to bring people along with him when it came to making sure that the arts remained part of the public school curriculum.

About Australians in Film

Founded in 2001, Australians in Film (AiF) is a Los Angeles based non-profit organisation made up largely of Australians who work in the film and television industry.

AiF host monthly screenings and special events to celebrate the work of Australian film and television makers. Many of the AiF members are also active voting members of other prestigious groups such as: Academy of Motion Picture, Arts & Sciences; Screen Actors Guild; Hollywood Foreign Press Association and Director’s Guild.

AiF has the support of the Australian Government and claim some of the biggest companies in Australia as active sponsors as well as boasting more than 600 members, mixing antipodean actors and filmmakers with key American industry members. AiF proudly acknowledges their Ambassadors who have pledged their support to their mission, and frequently attend Q&A screenings of their films for members including Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, Naomi Watts and Mel Gibson.