Sci Fi Writing for TV and Film Online

There are currently no classes scheduled for this course. Register your interest to be notified when the next suitable class becomes available. Register your interest

'The saddest aspect of life right now is that science fiction gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.' - Isaac Asimov

With Avatar the most successful movie of all time ($2,782,275,172 and still growing!), no longer can Sci-Fi be dismissed as mere cult entertainment for nerds. The desire for crowd pleasing Sci-Fi concepts has never been stronger.

Sci-Fi has so much to offer writers blessed with keen imaginations, and this ten week, online course will closely examine the genre's rules and expectations by analysing some of Hollywood's most recent Sci-Fi successes - and some of its failures, too.

During the course you'll uncover the secrets of writing Sci-Fi, including:

• Character types used in the most successful Sci-Fi story arcs
• Story models used for their built-in flexibility and 'engines'
• The universal questions asked in all Sci-Fi stories

Across the ten weeks, you will gain the skills to assemble a 'toolbox' for your ongoing Sci-Fi writing, including:

• The ability to find fresh spins on the genre's most proven crowd pleasers (or clichés)
• The ability to build unique Sci-Fi worlds that have veracity
• The ability to brainstorm dozens of potential story Sci-Fi ideas
• The means of writing science without having to get a PhD

We will also look at the place for Sci-Fi within our local industry - can Sci-Fi stories be sold to and made in Hollywood? Can we do Sci-Fi in Australia?

This course is suitable for all emerging writers, be they die hard Sci-Fi fans, or writers looking to expand their knowledge of a genre they occasionally enjoy watching but have never before considered creating stories and characters for.

You will be expected to bring the kernel of a Sci-Fi idea along to the first class, nothing more. Across the ten weeks, this idea will be developed via class exercises and individual assignments into a fully fleshed out Sci-Fi concept.

We prefer you DO NOT bring along an idea that you have already written up as a screenplay or novel etc. Participants who use something new and embryonic will get far more out of the course than those who rehash an old idea. Be brave!

This course has a high workload and participants should set aside a minimum of eight hours a week. Course work will consist of a weekly 90 minute chat session (Thursday evenings from 1900 AEST); film viewings; screenplay readings and weekly written assignments.

***DISCLAIMER*** AFTRS reserves the right to cancel any course for any reason at any time. In the event of a course being cancelled a full refund of course fees will be provided. If a participant wishes to withdraw from a course, they may do so up to 15 days before the course commences and get a full refund. Cancellations 14 days or less before course commencement will incur a fee. For more information on AFTRS Open's policies, including refund policies, please see our policies page.


The Australian Film Television Radio and School would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners, the Bidjigal people and Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, on whose land we meet, work, study and teach. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all nations of this land.