Search SAFC


News & Events

South Australia’s Emily Steel announced for 2024 Emerging Writers’ Incubator initiative

06 February 2024
South Australian writer Emily Steel, image supplied.

South Australian writer Emily Steel is one of six screenwriting creatives from across Australia to have been selected for the third year of the SBS Emerging Writers’ Incubator, an initiative from SBS in partnership with Screen Australia and state and territory agencies including the SAFC, and with the assistance of the Australian Writers’ Guild.

The SBS Emerging Writers’ Incubator is a nationwide industry initiative supporting the development of under-represented screenwriting talent in Australia, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; people who are from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; people who are Deaf, hard of hearing or with disability; people who are female or gender diverse; people who identify as LGBTQIA+; and people located in regional and remote areas. In its third year, the initiative is delivered in partnership with SBS, Screen Australia, and state screen agencies Screen NSW, Screen Queensland, Screen Tasmania, Screenwest, the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) and VicScreen, and with the assistance of the Australian Writers’ Guild.

The successful emerging writers selected for the initiative in 2024, and the production companies they are joining, are:

Top (L-R): Shauna O’Meara, Siobhan Domingo, Lata Periakarpan; bottom (L-R) Michael Hudson, Emily Steel, Rhianna Malezer.

Since its launch in 2021, the initiative has supported 12 writers who have joined Australian production companies acclaimed for their delivery of Australian drama for a 12-month paid placement. Through the placement, they can gain significant, practical and meaningful work experience and further develop their skills, knowledge, and networks while working across the production companies’ slate of drama productions. They are also supported by the Australian Writers’ Guild with access to creative and training workshops. Steel will follow in the footsteps of previous SA participants Ansuya Nathan, who undertook a 12-month placement with SA’s Closer Productions, and Elena Carapetis, who spent 2023 working with SA’s Highview Productions, both supported by the SAFC.

Emily Steel is originally from Wales and has lived in Adelaide since 2010. Her stage plays include the AWGIE Award-winning Euphoria, produced by State Theatre Company SA and Country Arts SA, and 19 weeks, which won the Jill Blewett Playwright’s Award, Best Theatre Award at the Adelaide Fringe and Audio AWGIE for her adaptation for BBC Radio 4. She was selected for the AFTRS Talent Camp at the SAFC and the Spark TV writing workshop and has recently completed the AiF Untapped masterclasses and an AFTRS short course in directing. Emily came up with the original concept and was one of the core writers for the Ruby Award-winning Decameron 2.0, produced by State Theatre Company SA and ActNow, which put 100 new monologues on YouTube during the 2020 lockdown, and she directed and produced a filmed version of 19 weeks, which was screened by the Assemblage Centre for Creative Arts at Flinders University, where she was a recent Artist-in-Residence. The 19 weeks film has since been used as part of university courses in genetic counselling and midwifery. Emily is particularly interested in stories about complex female characters and is thrilled to be working with KOJO through the Emerging Writers’ Incubator.

SBS Scripted Development Executive Catherine Kelleher said: “The Emerging Writers’ Incubator reflects our commitment at SBS to invest, support and elevate new voices and an increasingly inclusive sector. Congratulations to the shortlisted candidates and to the six emerging writers selected for the third year of this initiative. These writers all bring unique perspectives to their work and reflect voices and experiences that are historically under-represented. We’ve seen the benefits that the initiative brings to both the writers involved, and the production companies they join. It is fantastic to be working with our partners as we grow and develop the future of Australian storytelling. We can’t wait to see the impact they’ll have as they continue their careers.”

Screen Australia Head of Development Bobby Romia said: “A huge congratulations to the six talented screenwriters selected for the SBS Emerging Writers’ Incubator. Screen Australia is committed to discovering and developing new creative talent, particularly voices that represent contemporary Australia. We look forward to seeing the results from this year’s participants and are delighted to support them as they develop their craft. This partnership with SBS is a showcase of the incredible diversity of talent working in Australia and a significant opportunity for us to work together to foster a more inclusive landscape for Australian storytelling.”  

SAFC CEO Kate Croser said: “The SAFC is pleased to support this initiative once again as part of our ongoing commitment to grow and diversify a pool of credited South Australian key creatives that reflects the diversity and vibrancy of the South Australian community. We congratulate South Australian writer Emily Steel on being selected to work and collaborate with Adelaide’s award-winning production company KOJO.”

AWG Director, Professional Development Susie Hamilton, Director said:This remarkable program continues to deliver exceptional opportunities to some of Australia’s most promising emerging writers. The AWG offers its whole-hearted support to the program and to this year’s exciting cohort.”

The six successful writers this year were selected by SBS, Screen Australia and state and territory agencies, from hundreds of applicants. The following applicants were shortlisted:  

Co-funded by SBS and Screen Australia, with participating state and territory screen agencies, the Emerging Writers’ Incubator is among the range of initiatives and partnerships delivered by SBS to invest in a more inclusive screen industry, and storytelling on Australian screens. Read more about this work here.

« Back to News