Three of the TV sector’s leading creative forces have named the 2018 participants of its new specialised creative hothouse, designed to cultivate original projects, generated by writers, for Australian television.

The recipients of the inaugural 2018 Hothouse Drama Program are: Jacklyn Bassanelli (previous credits include Script Intern on both Wentworth season 7 and Evergreen), Jessica Brookman (Nowhere Boys, The Secret Daughter, Neighbours) and Matt Ford (Love Child, House Husbands, Panic At Rock Island, Satisfaction).

Each writer will develop two story ideas under the guidance of not-for-profit, screen development company Scripted Ink., production house Screentime (a Banijay Group company) and media company Nine, with a view to at least one being optioned for full script development.

Scripted Ink.’s Head of Development Tim Pye said: “Scripted Ink is very excited to be working with Screentime and Nine on the Drama Hothouse, providing career pathways for screenwriters.Congratulations to Jacklyn, Matt and Jessica. We can’t wait to see how their projects develop over the course of this initiative.  

Screentime’s Head of Production – Scripted, Kerrie Mainwaring said: “This is an important collaboration to support and nurture great ideas during the integral development stage - providing a strong investment in Australian drama and stories. We are delighted with the calibre of writers and their ideasto kickstart this important initiative.”

Nine’s Co-Head of Drama Andy Ryan said: “This is an important initiative for developing the next generation of writers and we are thrilled to be working with Scripted Ink and Screentime to help cultivate new and fresh stories for the Australian television market.”

Upon the announcement, the writer recipients said they were excited to join the program in its first year.

“I’m so thrilled to be taking part in this incredible initiative. A big thank you to Scripted Ink., Screentime and Nine for supporting writers and new content in this way. I can’t wait to get started and to work withMatt, Jessica and the whole team,” said Jacklyn Bassanelli.

"I am thrilled to be part of the Hothouse Drama Initiative. The support and opportunities that this offerswriters is invaluable. It’s important to be telling our own stories on screen and having Scripted Ink.partner with Screentime and Nine to nurture Australian voices is an exciting and vital initiative for our industry," said Jessica Brookman.

“I'm honoured to be given the chance to collaborate with great talent on some exciting projects” said Matt Ford.

The Hothouse writers program was open to selected members of the Australian Writers’ Guild Pathways Program, with other experienced writers of one-hour dramas and narrative comedies also invited to apply. The successful candidates are to be paid industry rates to convene in a writers’ room for three days per week over six weeks, with executives from all three partner organisations providing guidance and feedback throughout this process.

At the completion of the brainstorm process, the writers will pitch their drama concepts to Nine and one drama project will be chosen to go into active development.