The Wheeler Centre and SAFC announce partnership on The Next Chapter

The Next Chapter Courtney Gibson, Sophie Black and Adrian StanleyThe Wheeler Centre and the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) have announced a new three-year partnership for The Next Chapter writers’ scheme, Opening Scene – an opportunity to introduce The Next Chapter writers to Australia’s top producers.

The Wheeler Centre’s Head of Publishing, Sophie Black and SAFC CEO Courtney Gibson were joined by one of the recently announced recipients of The Next Chapter writers’ scheme, local South Australian writer and Kalali/Boandik man from Mount Compass, Adrian Stanley, to launch Opening Scene at the Made in SA Gala Screening at the Adelaide Film Festival.

“The Wheeler Centre is delighted to be partnering with the South Australian Film Corporation to launch Opening Scene, an incredible opportunity for The Next Chapter writers to get their work in front of the country’s top producers,” said Sophie Black.

“This will open doors for our writers and also offer them crucial training around how to talk the talk, what it means to have their work optioned, and how it could look on the big screen. It’s also an exciting opportunity for innovative producers to get a first look at the utterly unique and riveting stories set to come out of year one of The Next Chapter.”

Presented by the Wheeler Centre with support from the Aesop Foundation, The Next Chapter is about giving new writers the time and space to craft a voice and a career. It’s about investing in a new generation of writers who will reflect the diversity of Australian identities and experiences.

Opening Scene will connect The Next Chapter writers with leading producers and screen-makers and provide exclusive workshops to develop the writer’s skills in the art of adaptation, how optioning works and how to pitch to the industry.

SAFC is South Australia’s lead agency for the development, support and promotion of the state’s screen production sector. SAFC provides unique opportunities for international, national and local producers to create and deliver a diverse slate of feature film, television and online projects. SAFC will be the exclusive Screen Agency partner for The Next Chapter.

The 10 recipients of The Next Chapter, which were announced on Sunday 30 September at the Newcastle Young Writers’ Festival (NYWF), will have the chance to pitch their projects to a number of producers sourced by SAFC. Producers will be given an opportunity to read any work that they may be interested in with a view to optioning the projects.

Each recipient will receive $15,000 to develop their work. The Wheeler Centre will match the writers with a mentor to work closely with them on bringing their writing to life, connecting them with peers, publishers and readers. If they find publication, the Wheeler Centre will work with the successful publishers to support getting the books into the hands of the readers who’ll love them.

“The Next Chapter: Opening Scene is a three-year partnership that will enable SA producers, along with producers from around Australia, to engage with The Next Chapter authors at manuscript stage,” said Courtney Gibson. “We anticipate work will be optioned, developed and ultimately produced for film and TV.”

“Our ambition here is to generate opportunities for production in South Australia – screen adaptations of work by emerging writers from diverse backgrounds, as part of our Delivering Diversity agenda.”

The Next Chapter 2018 Recipients:
• Evelyn Araluen, poetry (Windsor Downs, NSW)
• Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen, memoir (Brunswick East, VIC)
• Jean Bachoura, memoir (Taylors Lakes, VIC)
• Ennis Cehic, short fiction (St Kilda, VIC)
• Nayuka Gorrie, non-fiction (South Lismore, NSW)
• Lian Low, young adult speculative fiction (Footscray, VIC)
• Yamiko Marama, memoir (St Kilda West, VIC)
• Ara Sarafian, comic fiction (Kew, VIC)
• Adrian Stanley, young adult fiction (Mount Compass, SA)
• Adam Thompson, short fiction (Trevallyn, TAS)

Highly Commended:
• Mehdi Habibi, short fiction (Sydney, NSW)
• Fiona Murphy, memoir (North Melbourne, VIC)
• Bobuq Sayed, fiction (Brunswick East, VIC)
• Adut Wol Akec, poetry (Tarneit, VIC)

The next round of applications for The Next Chapter will open in May 2019 – giving writers plenty of time to prepare. It’s free to apply. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Courtney Gibson, Sophie Black and Adrian Stanley (supplied)