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A notebook and pen on a red back with title, Inside the Writers Room

with Vanessa Alexander, Tristram Baumber & Michelle Offen

Curious about the inner workings of the film and television industry? 

Interested in the creative process of writing a mini-series, drama, or animation? 

Have you ever dreamed of writing for the iconic Play School? 

Join us for evening of screen industry insight as we talk with award-winning screenwriters about inner working of writing for the film and television industry and gain a unique glimpse into the art of scriptwriting, industry trends, and the Australian and global entertainment landscape. 

Vanessa Alexander, producer and multi award-winning writer of The Great and Vikings: Valhalla, Michelle Offen, with a diverse portfolio spanning crime, mystery, animation, and Home and Away and Play School (!) and Tristram Baumber, the creative mind behind hits like The PM’s Daughter and Born to Spy, will share their experiences, insights, and invaluable tips for writers interested in what goes on and how to break in.  


Wednesday 1 November 2023
6.30pm – 8.30pm
The Edwards
148 Parry St, Newcastle West


Members: $10 (Join the Hunter Writers’ Centre)
Non-members $15
Zoom: $10

Online tickets for this event are now closed. Tickets available at door.


Vanessa Alexander is an award-winning writer and producer best known for writing on The Great (Hulu) and Vikings: Valhalla (Netflix). For her work on the former, she was nominated for Best Comedy and Best New Series at the WGA Awards, for the latter she was made a Co-Executive Producer of season 2. In the past, she has also written for Tin Star and been nominated for an AWGIE for writing for her work on the Australian comedy/drama The Wrong Girl, where she also wrote on the acclaimed drama Love Child. 

Prior to this, Vanessa worked extensively in New Zealand where she also won many awards. She was the lead director of the acclaimed series Outrageous Fortune, the first female director of the Power Rangers series, and the Executive Producer of Taika Waititi’s Oscar-nominated short, Two Cars, One Night. Her New Zealand teen series, Being Eve, won a multitude of awards internationally and received an International Emmy nomination. 

Outside of her screen work, Vanessa has a B.A. in English Literature, a P.G. Dip in Directing, a Masters in Film and Television Theory and a Ph.D in Creative Writing from University of New South Wales. With a British mother, and Kiwi father, five children, one foster son, two ex-husbands and a mid life crises at a clown school in Paris, Vanessa is rarely short of inspiration for a story. 


Vanessa Alexander Screenwriter


Michelle Offen has worked in television as a screenwriter, story editor and script editor for many years. Her work has screened on all Australian TV networks with credits across several genres. Crime miniseries include Hyde and Seek, East West 101, Rush; murder mystery Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, and action adventure Wild Boys. Michelle has written for children’s animation 100% Wolf, Tashi, The Wild Adventures of Blinky Bill, children’s live action MaveriX (ABC/Netflix), Conspiracy 365, Sam Fox and the iconic preschool series, Play School.  She is a regular writer on the ever-popular serial Home and Away.  She won an Awgie for Best Original Miniseries East West 101, received two NSW and two QLD Premier’s Literary Award nominations for EW101, as well as AWGIE nominations for Rush and EW101 (S2 & 3). Her EW101 episode The Price of Salvation, was shortlisted in the 51st Monte-Carlo Television Festival. Earlier this year, Michelle and her co-creator Trudy Hellier were invited to the Writers Campus at Series Mania, Lille, France. Their project, The Treatment, was one of only fourteen projects selected from around the world. Michelle is fortunate to live and work on Awabakal country.  


Tristram Baumber is a writer with broad experience in screen storytelling. He co-created and executive produced two seasons of The PM’s Daughter for ABC TV and was a writer on the network’s 2023 reboot of Mother and Son.  Tristram wrote for ABC’s 2021 series Born to Spy, as well as Netflix and ABC’s 2019 series The Unlisted. He was also a writer on the second season of Matt Okine’s sitcom The Other Guy for Stan and Hulu. From 2017 to 2019, Tristram was in-house writer for Aquarius Films, working on a variety of feature and television scripts across genres. His sci-fi sitcom Future Boy and rom-com feature Faking Christmas are currently in development. In 2014 Tristram created and wrote the TV comedy Timothy, starring Stephen Curry and Denise Scott, for ABC TV.