We’re thrilled to introduce our TV contest division winners in the 2024 TV Retreat & Fellowship competition. Each of these writers placed first in their respective divisions of Original Comedy, Original Drama, and Original Sci-Fi/Fantasy. Congratulations to them all!

(Pictured above, from left to right: Matija Šraj, Original Comedy Division winner and TV Fellowship winner; Hope Hickli, Original Drama Division winner; and Jimmy Miller, Original Sci-Fi/Fantasy Division winner.)

Matija Šraj – Original Comedy Division Winner & TV Fellowship Winner

In Matija Šraj’s Original Comedy Division and TV Fellowship winning TV pilot, QUEENMAKER, when a drag queen running for Australian parliament as a fake candidate is accidentally elected, he has to overcome his own toxic tendencies, inept housemates-turned-staffers and constant media scrutiny to try and change politics for the better.

Matija Šraj is an emerging Australian/Slovenian screenwriter and stand-up comedian based in Melbourne, Australia.

With a lifelong obsession for storytelling, Matija has had a circuitous pathway to screenwriting – from being a mentor in an Aboriginal school in the outback, to working in refugee and conservatorship law, and even training as a fitness instructor.

Immediately prior to his screenwriting journey, Matija worked in media/communications in federal politics for the Australian Greens, including as an adviser to a senator and one of the party’s lead advisers for Australia’s 2017 marriage equality campaign.

Matija mostly writes LGBTQI+ and multicultural stories with several original spec pilots and features in development. He works in TV writers’ rooms including on shows for Amazon Australia and Australian streaming service Stan.

Hope Hickli – Original Drama Division Winner

In Hope Hickli’s Original Drama Division winning TV pilot, EMILIE, which is based on a true story, a brilliant, unstoppable young woman and the famous playwright Voltaire together risk everything to change the world.

Hope Hickli has written and produced interactive “edutainment” for Disney/Pixar and Fisher-Price, worked in movies/mini-series and international TV sales divisions at CBC, Canada’s public broadcaster, and was a production coordinator in documentary film. Before returning to the entertainment industry, she spent a decade as a political speechwriter. Hope holds an MA in Intercultural and International Communications.

Her goal is to illuminate the human experience through textured, unique female-centred stories for television and film.

Jimmy Miller – Original Sci-Fi/Fantasy Division Winner

In Jimmy Miller’s Original Sci-Fi/Fantasy Division winning TV pilot, PERFECT, after an FBI agent with perfect recall defies orders to assassinate a teenage girl with the power to see other peoples’ memories, together they must outsmart and outrun two rival global conspiracies: one meant to destroy them, the other determined to commandeer their combined powers to terrorize the planet.

Jimmy Miller is a screenwriter and editor from a small town in Ohio. Raised by his mother and older sisters during his formative years, Jimmy is driven to tell stories that center on female protagonists in unique, compelling stories with complex male characters who break the Hollywood mold.

His personal experience with addiction and autism have deeply shaped his worldview and gives his characters layers of honesty, fear, and perseverance that are both terrifying and inspiring. He writes to create community, connection, and joy.

Jimmy currently resides in Burbank, California where he secretly edits trashy reality shows when not writing screenplays.

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