30 articles written by catherine

In 2015, I had a short story published called “The Other-Faced Lamb” in Aurealis – The Australian Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, about a young girl living in a cult, who begins to question the truth of the strange world around her.

Writing it felt like a dark chaotic dream, and I remember that my face hurt after every writing session, because I literally spent hours grimacing at my keyboard with how intently I was concentrating.

A year later, I had the opportunity to come back to the story, as part of Film Vic’s Catapult program, and I realised I still had more I wanted to say. I knew it probably wasn’t the most ‘commercial’ script, but I couldn’t get it out of my head.

So this year, it has been utterly wonderful and unexpected to have other people respond to this story that has lived in my head alone for so long. After tireless efforts to get it out there by my managers Krista Carpenter and Chris Deckard, and my agents RGM, THE OTHER LAMB has been listed on THE HIT LIST, THE BLOOD LIST, and to cap off an amazing run, THE BLACK LIST, Hollywood’s list of ‘Best Liked’ unproduced scripts. It has now been optioned by Rumble Films, who produced DRIVE, WHIPLASH and NIGHTCRAWLER, and I am so happy it’s found a home.

To anyone else out there tossing up which script / book / story / piece to write next – write the one that makes you feel uncomfortable. That makes your face hurt after writing it. Sometimes writing isn’t a glamorous calling, it’s just a job, but there are rare moments that shine through, where you’re allowed to let your voice out.


Capping off an already exciting week, I am thrilled to be able to tell everyone that I am the winner of the 2017 John Hinde Award for Best Unproduced script. As I said in the press release – science fiction is my first love, and if I could write about robots, and clones and spaceships for the rest of my life, I would, so this award means so much to me.

I wasn’t able to go up for the ceremony, as I was at the Austin Film Festival, but my sadness at missing the party was somewhat mitigated by how special it was to have my dad (and science fiction writer) Sean McMullen accept on my behalf in QLD. 

I’d also like to mention the winner of Best Produced, the late Cris Jones, for ‘The Life And Death of Otto Bloom’ – I wish we could have seen more work from such a talented writer and director, and his mum gave such a lovely speech about what science fiction meant to Cris.

I can finally reveal that my sci-fi thriller AWAKE – a dark, psychological exploration of a world where the rich don’t have to sleep – has been chosen for development funding from Scripted Ink! Last week I had the writers’ room with some amazing writers –  Stu Page, Gemma Crofts and Joe Brukner – and now I am going away to write up the show bible.

Scripted Ink is a philanthropic organisation founded by Shane Brennan, former showrunner of NCIS and NCIS:LA. Its goals are to promote and encourage original Australian voices, with an eye towards creating content that can compete on an international stage. They have been so supportive of me and my writing career, and I can’t thank them enough – especially Tim Pye, who read the original pilot and thought there was something there. Very excited to move onto the next stage of development!

 I am delighted to announce that I have been chosen as the winner of the 2016 Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award, awarded by the International Emmys Foundation for my script Living Metal!

As per their site, “Each year, The Foundation administers the Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award. The competition is designed to motivate non-American novice writers under the age of 30, and offer them the recognition and encouragement that might lead to a successful career in television scriptwriting. Entrants are asked to create a completed half-hour to one-hour English-language television drama script.”

The prize includes $2500 and plane tickets to New York in November for the International Emmys Awards Gala, which I am already so excited about. I can’t thank the International Emmys enough for this amazing opportunity – I feel so privileged to be chosen, especially out of so many entries.

I’m thrilled to announce that my script Driven has been chosen as one of the Top 10 Finalists in the 2016 PAGE International Screenwriting Awards, in the Thriller/Horror category.

As per their website, “The PAGE International Screenwriting Awards were established in 2003 by an alliance of Hollywood producers, agents, and development executives with the aim to discover the most exciting new scripts by up-and-coming writers from across the US and around the world.”

The final winners are announced on October 15th.

In a very unexpected piece of news, I have been included on the 2016 IF List, as one of the Australian screen industry’s ‘Rising Talents’!

Being on the list is an absolute honour, so I’m still pinching myself a bit about it. Especially alongside such other amazingly talented people like Emma Freeman, the director of “Glitch”, Josh Thomas, the star of “Please Like Me”, Corrie Chen, AACTA-Award nominated director, and so many other talented people.

What an amazing way to end 2015, big thanks again to IF Magazine.




My recently completed sci-fi/horror feature, Driven, was lucky enough to be one of the top 5 films nominated for the 2015 Lorne Film Festival $10,000 Screenwriter Award.

Warren Coleman was the winning screenwriter on the night, with an asylum seeker dark comedy (hard to compete with that on concept alone really!).

While I didn’t win, it was such an honour to be shortlisted,  and I ended up staying down for most of the festival, and had a lovely time watching great Australian and international films. The quality of programming was very high, especially the Hear My Eyes session (although I am a bit biased, as a few films that I worked on like Cut Snake were showing!).

Big thanks to the Lorne FF organisers for putting on such a spectacular festival, and I’ll definitely be coming back next year.