Viva Mardi Gras!

VIVA MARDI GRAS 2020! Look everybody – it’s singer/songwriter and multi-award winner SAM SMITH! Ahead of his performance at the Official Mardi Gras Party, Sam did an interview on Friday, 28 February on Channel 10’s The Project with superfan host Carrie Bickmore (who went off her brain). He’s come out as non-binary, he says. Smith first heard the term while in Brisbane on their second tour (apparently they/them/their are the preferred pronouns but it does leave you looking around for other members of the band). Anyway they decided that’s what they were going to identify themselves as, so as to embrace themselves inside and out because they wanted to be visible and open. If that confuses you, just listen to them sing. Smith has won four Grammy Awards, three Brit Awards, three Billboard Music Awards, an American Music Award as well as a Golden Globe and an Academy award for ‘Writings on the Wall’, written for the release of the 2015 James Bond film ‘Spectre’. Check it out on YouTube and relax after grappling with the pronouns. (Photo by L.J. May S/S)


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.  


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 ( 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) 






VIVA MARDI GRAS 2020! – Memories of past parades. And finally, from Mardi Gras Co-Chairs, SGLMG, Kate and Giovanni: ‘Once again this year, tens of thousands of people will be part of the amazing celebration. Many will come from outside Sydney, and indeed many more from outside Australia. We are confident that the overseas work done in 2019 within the InterPride network and across the Asia Pacific region has raised the organisation profile further, and we look forward to welcoming into our safe world, people from open free societies as well as individuals travelling from countries with limited human rights, who find in the Sydney Mardi Gras an oasis of respite and inspiration. A place where they can tell the world what matters to them. As we embark on this 42nd season, the Board wants to acknowledge our community elders, our members and our supporters; but even more so our dedicated staff and the thousands of generous volunteers without whom our powerful Mardi Gras would not be possible HAPPY MARDI GRAS!’ And yes, Sydney will be hosting World Pride in 2023! (Photo Montage by L.J. May S/S)