Registered participants have just 48 hours to write an original horror script of 7 pages or less! The challenge is open to anyone, located anywhere in the world.

This year again there are three prompts to be incorporated, making this a uniquely difficult competition that inspires highly original and idiosyncratic results!

There have been a number of successful films produced from Tasmanian Gothic Script Challenge scripts, including Heidi Lee Douglas’s Little Lamb and Hannah White’s Blood Sisters (a short film directed by Caitlin Koller and Lachlan Smith which is now on the festival circuit). That said, writers have undertaken the Challenge for a wide variety of reasons – from improving their skills to reinvigorating their imagination to trying to write horror for the first time. It’s just as valid to undertake the competition as a fun challenge or an exercise as with the idea of ending up with a marketable script.

Registrations for the 2017 Tasmanian Gothic Short Script Challenge open on 3 August and will close at 11 pm (Australian Eastern Daylight Time) on 7 September. 

The Challenge writing period is from 8 pm 8 September 2017 until 8 pm 10 September 2017, calculated according to the time zone that the writer has registered in.

The top 20 % of scripts will be announced and then the top two winning screenplays (Best Australian Script and Best International Script), along with at least four Honourable Mentions.

Prizes will include an Australian Writers Guild Membership for the Best Australian Script winner.

Best Australian Script and Best International Scripts will be given a trophy and their work read at a live event, with runner-up prizes including books, blu-rays and more.


  • Karen Lam, screenwriter/director/producer Karen Lam with feature credits including Evangeline and Stained and the webseries Mythos
  • Colin Cairnes, screenwriter/director, best known for the feature films 100 Bloody Acres and Scare Campaign
  • Victoria Madden, writer/show runner & creator of the acclaimed series The Kettering Incident
  • Tansy Rayner Roberts, a fantasy and crime novelist and podcaster
  • Briony Kidd, Director of Stranger With My Face International Film Festival, filmmaker and script consultant

Read their full bios here.

Past judges have included: producer Stephanie Trepanier (Snowfort Pictures), screenwriter Simon Barrett (You’re Next, The Guest), writer/director/producer Brian Yuzna (Re-Animator, Honey I Shrunk the Kids), screenwriting duo Shayne Armstrong and SP Krause (Bait 3D, The Darkness), writer/director Ursula Dabrowsky (Inner Demon, Family Demons) and Shelagh Rowan-Legg (programmer for FrightFest and film critic)

Past winners have included:
Vacuum by Lyndon Riggall (TAS), Little Lamb by Heidi Lee Douglas (NSW), The Life and Times of Teddy Whalley by Mike Wedderburn (TAS), On Wednesdays We Wear Yellow by Michael Halford (NSW), Blood Sisters by Hannah White (VIC), Chompey-Changey by Scott McAteer (VIC), Rat Trap by Darren Swanson (TAS), Mrs Chang’s Perfect Teeth by Karen Lam (Canada), Trapeze by Carrie McLean (TAS), The Sewing Room by Scott McAteer (Victoria), Ryk Goddard for Oh Baby Baby (TAS), One Way Runway by Gabrielle Lis (TAS), Last Chapter of Our Story by Lucy Cruell (USA) and Vudu by Vince Bailey (TAS).


Blood Sisters, written by Hannah White directed by Caitlin Koller and Lachlan Smith

Blood Sisters, written by Hannah White directed by Caitlin Koller and Lachlan Smith