Australian TV writing is going through a boom period, with critically acclaimed series such as Puberty Blues, Offspring, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Underbelly, Paper Giants and Howzat! all appearing on our screens in the last year. Bringing together some of Australia’s best writers for television, including Deb Cox, Christopher Lee and Debra Oswald, with The Sydney Morning Herald’s Ruth Ritchie, they will share their inside knowledge on writing for TV.
Christopher Lee (Australian)
Christopher Lee was creator and writer of the ABC drama series STRINGER, Head Writer then Script Executive of the ABC-BBC drama series POLICE RESCUE and co-writer of the ABC mini-series THE BODYSURFER for which he won an AFI Best Screenplay Award. As Head Writer he wrote four of the six CODY telemovies for the Seven Network. He was co-creator and Head Writer of the Network TEN drama series BIG SKY. He wrote the SBS teleplay THAT MAN’S FATHER and co-wrote the ABC telemovie SECRET MEN'S BUSINESS. With the director Donald Crombie, he wrote the screenplay for the film ROUGH DIAMONDS. He was writer of the four-hour mini-series DO OR DIE for SKY UK and the Seven Network and co-writer of the telemovie pilot for the TEN/Channel 4 UK drama THE SECRET LIFE OF US. He was an originating writer of the series that followed. He was a Script Executive for the Showtime drama LOVE MY WAY and co-creator and Script Producer of the Network TEN drama series RUSH. He wrote the screenplays for the ABC mini-series PAPER GIANTS: THEBIRTH OF CLEO and the Nine Network mini-series HOWZAT! KERRY PACKER’S WAR. Nominated seven times for Australian Writer’s Guild ‘AWGIE’ awards he has won four times.
Deb Cox (Australian)
Deb Cox has created, developed, written and co-produced original film and television projects over the last two decades, including Simone de Beauvoir’s Babies (miniseries), Dead Letter Office (feature), three series of SeaChange, two series of East of Everything and the online narrative drama PS Trixi. With her producing partner at Every Cloud Productions, in 2011 she wrote and produced the crime drama series Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries for the ABC. The second series is now currently in production.
Debra Oswald (Australian)
Debra Oswald is a writer for stage, television and children’s fiction. She’s the co-creator and head writer of the Channel Ten series Offspring. Debra won the 2011 NSW Premier’s Literary Award for the Offspring telemovie script. Her other television credits include award-winning episodes of Police Rescue, Palace of Dreams, The Secret Life Of Us, Sweet and Sour and Bananas in Pyjamas. Debra’s stage plays have been produced around Australia. Gary’s House, Sweet Road and The Peach Season were all shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Award and her play Dags has had many Australian productions. Gary’s House has been performed in translation in Denmark and Japan. Mr Bailey’s Minder broke the Griffin Theatre’s box office record in 2004, toured nationally in 2006 and was produced in Philadelphia in 2008. Debra has written three plays for the Australian Theatre for Young People – Skate, Stories in the Dark (NSW Premier’s Literary Play Award in 2008) and House on Fire. She is the author of three Aussie Bite books for kids, including Nathan and the Ice Rockets, and six novels for teenage readers including The Redback Leftovers and Blue Noise.
Ruth Ritchie is an author, playwright, ex-advertising copywriter and columnist for The Sydney Morning Herald. After a decade of writing about food, cleaning, sex and bars, Ruth found herself at home, pinned under several children, and snapped the position of TV critic at in Saturday's Sydney Morning Herald. Although she had held this gig for almost 15 years, she has never written about Home and Away or The Bill. This is a source of great pride to Ruth.