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Image: Reading of the winning script of the Tasmanian Gothic Short Script Challenge 2014 by Loud Mouth Theatre Co. Photo by Shaun Wilson.

Hobart – 26 August 2014 – Stranger With My Face announced the winners of its third annual script challenge during the festival weekend.

Registered participants were given 48 hours to write a short horror script inspired by a line from a book. The signature phrase for 2014 was:

“I blame you,” she whispered, “Only you”… from the young adult thriller Stranger With My Face by Lois Duncan.

Judges this year were Queensland-based screenwriting partnership Shayne Armstrong and SP Krause, Adelaide-based horror director Ursula Dabrowsky and legendary genre filmmaker Brian Yuzna.

The competition resulted in 48 completed scripts, mainly from within Australia but there were some international entrants also.

“The judges were very impressed with the diversity and quality of submitted scripts,” said Festival Director Briony Kidd. “There were many approaches to the idea of writing horror, from personal autobiographical stories to riffs on familiar tropes. Many of the writers incorporated Tasmanian history or a Tasmanian aesthetic.”

The winners were announced at an Australian Writers Guild panel on horror screenwriting on 23 August at the Founders Room in Salamanca Arts Centre.

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Best script winner Mike Wedderburn

BEST SCRIPT OVERALL: The Life and Times of Teddy Whalley by Mike Wedderburn (TAS)

RUNNERS UP: On Wednesdays We Wear Yellow by Michael Halford (NSW) / Blood Sisters by Hannah White (VIC)

HONOURABLE MENTIONS: Chompey-Changey by Scott McAteer (VIC), Rat Trap by Darren Swanson (TAS), Mrs Chang’s Perfect Teeth by Karen Lam (Canada)

The overall winner was Mike Wedderburn, who recently relocated to Tasmania. His script, The Life and Times of Teddy Whalley, captures the protagonist’s life story, from childhood to death, in less than five pages. The judges said it was “engagingly written, with a nice pay-off” with a “great use of cinematic techniques”.

Mike considers himself an emerging screenwriter as he hasn’t yet written a feature screenplay. He says he’s had the Teddy Whalley title “kicking around in my head for almost 20 years. It was fantastic to finally give him a home.”

Prizes for the Tasmanian Gothic Short Script Challenge included weekend accommodation at The Beach House in St Helen’s (courtesy of the Tasmanian Breath of Fresh Air Film Festival), and AWG membership and Final Draft Software courtesy of the Australian Writers Guild.

A reading of the winning script, The Life and Times of Teddy Whalley, took place on 24 August at the festival prior to a play reading (of Carrie McLean’s The Thirteenth Mother, a new work), produced by Loud Mouth Theatre Co.