Stayci Taylor

Dr Stayci Taylor

Senior Lecturer

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Profile photo of Stayci Taylor. Stayci is standing in front of a blue-to-white gradient screen, looking at the camera and slightly smiling. In the screen, there's a faint reflection of the person taking the photo.

Contact details

DSC | School of Media and Communication


non/fictionLab

Screen and Sound Cultures 


Emailstayci.taylor@rmit.edu.au


Campus: Melbourne City


Programs

More information

Profile photo of Stayci Taylor. Stayci is standing in front of a blue-to-white gradient screen, looking at the camera and slightly smiling. In the screen, there's a faint reflection of the person taking the photo.

Contact details

DSC | School of Media and Communication


non/fictionLab

Screen and Sound Cultures 


Emailstayci.taylor@rmit.edu.au


Campus: Melbourne City


Programs

More information

Stayci is an award-winning screenwriter and researcher. Drawing on her theatre/TV background, she publishes on screenwriting and creative writing, from perspectives including gender, comedy and web series.

Overview

Stayci joined the teaching staff of RMIT as a sessional lecturer, tutor and studio leader in 2014, while still completing her PhD, which involved the writing of a feature film screenplay and a critical dissertation on female perspectives in comedies. Mostly teaching into the Bachelor of Arts (Creative Writing), Stayci was also a guest teacher for courses in the Higher Degree by Research and Professional Writing and Editing programs, as well as teaching screenwriting at La Trobe University. In 2017 she was appointed an Industry Fellow and Lecturer with RMIT's Media Program. She became an ongoing lecturer in 2019, and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2022.

Stayci has authored, or co-authored, upwards of 35 articles and book chapters across a breadth of research interests including screenwriting practice, script development, web series, nonfiction, gender and comedy. She is the co-editor of two books on script development for Palgrave Macmillan published in 2021. She has two forthcoming co-edited collections, one on creative writing methodologies, and another about the iconic Australian TV series Prisoner and Wentworth. Stayci also writes industry articles, including her tribute to Robin Williams in The Conversation which was their most read article in the month of August 2014, as well as a co-authored piece about diary keeping in COVID, with 25,000+ reads at the time of writing across eight publishers. The piece struck a chord with talkback radio producers, leading to upwards of 80 media hits, with a potential audience of more than 6 million people. Other expert commentary includes contribution to an article for BBC Australia on subversive Australian comedians.

Stayci was a long serving member of RMIT’s Women Researchers’ Network steering committee from 2017-2021, including two years as deputy chair. In 2021 she was elected to Chair when she led the network through the research challenges of the pandemic, and coordinated the organisation of the annual symposium.

Stayci is interested in the theory and practice of screenwriting, as well as creative writing and creative practice research more broadly. She offers commentary and expertise in gender and comedy, screenwriting craft, screenwriting scholarship and web series. In 2017 she won the RMIT Prize for Research Excellence (HDR, Design). She continues a professional practice as a screenwriter, script editor and story consultant, and her television scripts have earned wins and nominations in the prestigious Qantas Television Awards and Screenwriting Awards of NZ.

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Industry experience

Stayci trained as an actor with Melbourne's John Bolton Theatre School in 1992, which specialises in devised theatre. She has performed in numerous professional productions, many of her own writing and making, and toured comedy shows to festivals worldwide, including the renowned international fringe festivals of Edinburgh and Adelaide.

Since turning her hand to screenwriting in 2003, she has storylined, scripted, script edited and consulted on over a dozen series for broadcast in New Zealand, including writing nine seasons of an award-winning bilingual soap, and the co-creation of a primetime sitcom.

She currently has a comedy in development with Greenstone TV (part of the CJZ group), written with the support of the New Zealand Film Commission's highly contestable early development fund.

Since 2016, Stayci has been an active contributor to the Melbourne Web Fest; Australasia's largest and most prestigious web series festival, serving as the school's partnership manager, a grand jury member, a panel moderator and mentor for participants.

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Research

Stayci’s research impact and contributions are in the fields of screenwriting research and creative writing.

Connecting her research is an ethnographic creative practice methodology, drawing on feminist/queer theory, producing empirical data based on interviews with screenwriters, ethnographic fieldwork on diary keeping with research collective Symphony of Awkward and ‘applied creative writing’ projects with STREAT social enterprise.

Currently Stayci is working with researchers from three universities on a developing project investigating queer screen production in Australia.

Research keywords

Screenwriting, Script Development, Comedy, Web Series, Creative Writing, Gender, Feminism, Creative Practice, Creative Practice Research, Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Research output summary

42

Publications

1

Projects

11

Awards

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Supervisor interest areas

  • Creative practice methodologies investigating screen writing,
  • Script development
  • Web series
  • Comedy
  • Creative writing

Supervisor projects

  • 'I was a different man then': Global masculinities in popular genre film and television
    Candidate: Clementine Bastow
    Supervisors: Glen Donnar and Stayci Taylor
  • Sex, Aliens and Cosplay: Otherness and the fan connection in Doctor Who
    Candidate: Kathryn Beaton
    Supervisors: Djoymi Baker and Stayci Taylor
  • Once More With Feeling: Writing emotion for the satisfying Australian romantic comedy screenplay.
    Candidate: Philippa Burne
    Supervisors: Stephen Gaunson and Stayci Taylor
  • ‘Sceneplay’: A screenwriting project of non-compliance
    Candidate: Christine Davey
    Supervisors: Daniel Harris and Stayci Taylor
  • Parafictional persona in the comedian comedy
    Candidate: Bradley Dixon
    Supervisors: Alexia Kannas and Stayci Taylor
  • Play, experiments and new directions: Literary comedy and gender
    Candidate: Nicole Smith
    Supervisors: Stayci Taylor and Julienne Van Loon
  • Unhallowed Arts: Hybridising and remixing the creation scene from Frankenstein
    Candidate: Noah Southam
    Supervisors: Alexia Kannas and Stayci Taylor
  • The Summit
    Candidate: Eugene Yang
    Supervisors: Lukas Parker, Ronnie Scott and Stayci Taylor
  • External Associate Supervision (University of South Australia)
    Story Archetypes and ‘Complex’ Television: Structuring Long Form Screenplays and The Nature of Change in the Television Drama Protagonist
    Candidate: Marco Ianniello
    Supervisors: Craig Batty and Stayci Taylor

Feature publications

Script development: Defining the field

Journal of Screenwriting special issue, Script Development vol. 8, no. 3 pp. 225-247

Batty, C, Taylor, S, Sawtell, L and Conor, B, (2017).

Script development and the hidden practices of screenwriting: perspectives from industry professionals

New Writing: the international journal for the practice and theory of creative writing vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 204-217 

Taylor, S and Batty, C (2016).

‘Just ask “what if?” and go from there’: the role of mainstream story structures in women's web series script development

Studies in Australasian Cinema, vol. 15, no. 1-2, pp. 48-64 

Taylor, S (2021).

Key publications by year

  • Millermost, R and Taylor, S 2022, ‘Competing desires, competing interests: opening the dialogue between Wentworth, fans, and industry’ in TV Transformations and Female Transgression: From Prisoner Cell Block H to Wentworth, O’Meara, R, Dwyer, T, Taylor, S and Batty, C (eds) Oxford: Peter Lang (in press)
  • 2022 Carlin, D, Murray, P, Rendle-Short, R, Taylor, S, van Loon, J and Wardle, D (eds.) The Bloomsbury A-Z of Creative Writing Methods, New York: Bloomsbury (in press)
  • 2022 O’Meara, R, Dwyer, T, Taylor, S and Batty, C (eds.) TV Transformations and Female Transgression: From Prisoner Cell Block H to Wentworth, Oxford: Peter Lang (in press)
  • Taylor, S 2021, ‘‘Just ask “what if?” and go from there’: the role of mainstream story structures in women's web series script development’ Studies in Australasian Cinema, vol. 15, no. 1-2, pp. 48-64
  • Taylor, S and Batty, C 2021, ‘The Business of Script Development: insights from industry practitioners’ in The Palgrave Handbook of Script Development, London, Palgrave Macmillan (in press)
  • Batty, C and Taylor, S 2021, ‘Room for Improvement: Discourses of quality and betterment in script development’ in Batty, C and Taylor, S (eds.) Script Development: Critical Approaches, Creative Practices, International Perspectives, London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp 271-289
  • 2021 Taylor, S and Batty, C (eds.) The Palgrave Handbook of Script Development, London: Palgrave Macmillan (in press)
  • 2021 Batty, C and Taylor, S (eds.) Script Development: Critical Approaches, Creative Practices, International Perspectives, London: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Taylor, S 2020, ‘Battle of the Sketches: short form and feminism in the comedy mode’ Journal of Screenwriting, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 363-377
  • Munro, K, Murray, P and Taylor, S 2020, ‘Diarology for Beginners: articulating playful practice through artless methodology’, New Writing: the international journal for the practice and theory of creative writing vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 80-100
  • Batty, C and Taylor, S 2020, ‘The role of the script editor, revised’ in Creative Writing: drafting, revising, editing, Harper, G and Kroll, J (eds), Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 123-138
  • Ballard, S, Brasier, H, Buck, S, Carlin, D, Langley, S, Lobb, J, Magner, B, McKinnon, C, Michael,R, Murray, P, Rendle-Short, F, Strahan, L and Taylor, S (2020), ‘We thought we knew what summer was’, essay, Axon: Creative Explorations vol. 10, no. 2
  • Munro, K, Murray, P and Taylor S (2020) ‘Sonic (Dys)tonic’, Sonic Field, audio essay
  • Taylor, S, Dwyer, T, O’Meara, R and Batty, C 2020, ‘From the stony ground up: The unique affordances of the gaol as ‘hub’ for transgressive female representations in women-in-prison dramas’ in The Palgrave Handbook of Incarceration in Popular Culture, Harmes, M, Harmes, M and Harmes B (eds), Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan pp. 671-684
  • Taylor, S, Munro, K and Murray, P 2019, ‘Advanced Diarology: mortification, materiality and meaning-making’, TEXT: journal of writing and writing courses, special issue 57: peripheral visions, pp. 1 - 19
  • Tofler, M, Batty, C and Taylor S 2019, ‘The comedy web series: Reshaping Australian script development and commissioning practices’, Australasian Journal of Popular Culture, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 71-84
  • Batty, C and Taylor, S 2019, ‘Comedy writing as method: reflections of screenwriting in creative practice research’, New Writing: the international journal for the practice and theory of creative writing, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 374-392
  • Rendle-Short, F, Scott, R and Taylor S (2019) ‘DISRUPT: mapping the future of Melbourne through stories’, exhibition, City of Melbourne
  • Ellingsen, S and Taylor, S 2019, ‘Writers, Producers and Creative Entrepreneurship in Web Series Development’ in The Palgrave Handbook of Screen Production, Batty, C, Berry, M, Dooley, K, Frankham, B and Kerrigan, S (eds), Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 181-191
  • Batty, C and Taylor, S 2019, ‘Teaching screenwriting through script development: Looking beyond the screenplay’ in The Palgrave Handbook of Screen Production, Batty, C, Berry, M, Dooley, K, Frankham, B and Kerrigan, S (eds), Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 459-472
  • Batty, C, O’Meara, R, Taylor, S, Joyce, H, Burne, P, Maloney, N, Poole, M and Tofler, M 2018, ‘Script Development as Wicked Problem’, Journal of Screenwriting vol. 9, no. 2 pp. 153-174
  • Taylor, S 2018, ‘Telling stories to make it in Hollywood: Rebel Wilson, comedy and celebrity authenticity’, Celebrity Studies Journal vol. 9, no. 1 pp. 84-96
  • Taylor, S (2018) ‘Sluglines as Ghostly presence’, screenplay, TEXT: journal of writing and writing courses, special issue 48: screenplays as research artefacts pp. 1-14
  • Batty, C and Taylor, S 2018, ‘Digital development: using the smartphone to enhance screenwriting practice’ in Mobile story making in an age of smartphones, Berry, M and Schleser M (eds), Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 21-30
  • Rendle-Short, F, Scott, R, Taylor, S, Aung Thin, M and Ellis, M 2018, ‘No one wakes up wanting to be homeless: a case study in applied creative writing’ in Social capital and enterprise in the modern state, Burton, L, Danaher, P and O’Shea, E (eds), Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 147-163
  • Taylor, S 2017, ‘Screenwriting Melbourne/s: The Challenges of Re-presenting and Re-creating Melbourne Within a Screenplay’s Flipped-Reality Narrative’, Senses of Cinema no. 85
  • Taylor, S 2017 ‘Text and the City: the teaching and practice of scripting cities for the screen’, Studies in Australasian Cinema vol. 11, no. 3 pp. 172-183
  • Batty, C, Taylor, S, Sawtell, L and Conor, B, 2017, ‘Script Development: defining the field’, Journal of Screenwriting special issue, Script Development vol. 8, no. 3 pp. 225-247
  • Batty, C, Beaton, K, Sculley, S and Taylor S 2017, ‘The screenwriting PhD: creative practice, critical theory and contributions to knowledge’, TEXT: journal of writing and writing courses special issue 44, The Exegesis Now pp. 1-17
  • Taylor, S 2017, ‘Hidden a-gender: questions of gender in screenwriting practice’, Networking Knowledge: journal of the MeCCSA postgraduate network special issue, Gender and the Screenplay: processes, practices, perspectives vol. 10, no. 2 pp. 4 -13
  • Rendle-Short, F, Taylor, S, Aung Thin, M, and Scott, R 2017, ‘#streatstories: mapping a creative collaboration’, TEXT: journal of writing and writing courses
  • Murray, P, Sempert, M and Taylor, S 2017, ‘Panel play in three acts’, Axon: creative explorations no. 12
  • Taylor, S (2017) ‘Melburn’, screenplay, City of Melbourne
  • 2017 Batty, C, Taylor, S, Sawtell, L and Conor, B, Journal of Screenwriting (8.3): ‘Script Development’
  • 2017 Sawtell, L and Taylor, S, Networking Knowledge: journal of the MeCCSA postgraduate network (10.2): ‘Gender and the Screenplay: processes, practices, perspectives’
  • Taylor, S 2016, ‘In Her Shoes: flipped-realities and female perspectives in comedy screenwriting’, Senses of Cinema no. 80
  • Batty, C, Sawtell, L and Taylor, S 2016, ‘Thinking through the screenplay: the academy as a site for research-based script development’, The Journal of writing in creative practice, vol. 9, no. 1 & 2, pp. 149-162
  • Lee, S, Lomdahl, A, Sawtell, L, Sculley, S and Taylor, S 2016, ‘Screenwriting and the Higher Degree by Research: writing a screenplay for a creative practice PhD’, New Writing: the international journal for the practice and theory of creative writing special issue, Screenwriting in the Academy, vol. 13, no. 1, p. 85-97
  • Taylor, S and Batty, C 2016, ‘Script development and the hidden practices of screenwriting: perspectives from industry professionals’, New Writing: the international journal for the practice and theory of creative writing vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 204-217
  • Batty, C and Taylor, S 2015, ‘Interrogating writing practices: perspectives from the screenwriting industry’, Writing in Practice: the journal of creative writing research, vol. 1, pp. 1-17
  • Taylor, S 2015, ‘Arrested Development: can funny, female characters survive script development processes?’, Philament: an online journal of the arts and culture, no. 20, pp. 61-77
  • Taylor, S (2015) ‘Mounting the Men’s Film Festival: a mockumentary web series - webisode 1: Power Cut’, script, TEXT: journal of writing and writing courses, special issue 29: scriptwriting as creative writing research II, pp. 1-15
  • Taylor, S 2015, ‘Ghostbusting in screenwriting practice: rewriting the corrective culture of script development’, in Dominique Hecq (ed) Refereed proceedings of the 20th conference of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs (AAWP 2015): Writing the ghost train, Melbourne, Australia, 29 November – 1 December 2015, pp. 1-11
  • Batty, C, Lee, S, Sawtell, L, Sculley, S and Taylor, S 2015 ‘Rewriting, remaking and rediscovering screenwriting practice: when the screenwriter becomes practitioner-researcher’, in Dominique Hecq (ed) Refereed proceedings of the 20th conference of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs (AAWP 2015): Writing the ghost train, Melbourne, Australia, 29 November – 1 December 2015, pp. 1-16
  • Taylor, S 2015, ‘“It’s the Wild West out there”’: can web series destabilise traditional notions of script development?’, in Craig Batty, Susan Kerrigan (eds) Refereed proceedings of the annual conference of the Australian Screen Production, Education and Research Association (ASPERA 2015): What’s this space?: screen practice, audiences and education for the future decade, Adelaide, Australia 15-17 July, pp. 1 -14
  • Taylor, S 2014, ‘The model screenwriter – a comedy case study’, in Gail Pittaway, Alex Lodge, Lisa Smithies (eds) Refereed proceedings of the 19th conference of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs (AAWP 2014): Minding the gap: writing across thresholds and fault lines, Wellington, New Zealand, 30 November – 2 December 2014, pp. 1-20
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Feature projects

Symphony of Awkward

Supported by Seed Funding from non/fictionLab

Dr Kim Munro (University of South Australia), Dr Peta Murray (RMIT) and Dr Stayci Taylor (RMIT)

2017 - Ongoing

Applied creative writing with STREAT social enterprise

Supported by RMIT SPUR, City of Melbourne, Metro Tunnels, GPT Group (Melbourne Central Shopping Centre)

Professor Francesca Rendle-Short, Dr Michelle Aung Thin, Dr Melody Ellis, Dr Ronnie Scott and Dr Stayci Taylor

2015 - 2019

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Awards

Stayci Taylor award photo

RMIT Media Stars Awards: certificate of recognition for ‘top performer’

Award date: 2020

Recipients: Stayci Taylor


RMIT Prize for Research Excellence - HDR (Design)

Award date: 2017

Recipients: Stayci Taylor

Qantas Television Awards (NZ): Best Māori Programme (script writer and script editor)

Award date: 2005

Recipients: Stayci Taylor

Key awards by year

  • 2020 RMIT Media Stars Awards: certificate of recognition for ‘top performer’
  • 2018 Australian Writers Guild Monte Miller scriptwriting awards: longlisted
  • 2017 RMIT Prize for Research Excellence - HDR (Design)
  • 2016 RMIT Higher Degree by Research Publishing Grant
  • 2016 RMIT Prize for Research Impact - HDR (Design): shortlisted
  • 2014 RMIT ‘LEAD’: certificate for valuable contribution to quality of student life
  • 2013–16 Australian Postgraduate Award scholarship: to students of exceptional research potential undertaking an HDR in Australia
  • 2012 Script Writing Awards of New Zealand: finalist, Best Comedy Script
  • 2005 Qantas Television Awards (NZ): Best Māori Programme (script writer and script editor)
  • 2005 Qantas Media Awards (NZ): finalist, Best Info/Education Programme (as above)
  • 2004 48Hours Film Challenge: Grand Final Winner (writing team)
  • 2004 Richmond Road Short Film Festival: Best Screenplay
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Grants

  • DISRUPT: Now and Future City Storymap (map Melbourne through stories), funded by City of Melbourne, Associate Professor Francesca Rendle-Short, Dr Ronnie Scott and Dr Stayci Taylor 2019
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Public and media engagements

2020

2019

2018

  • 2018 Panel moderator: Melbourne Web Fest ‘Writing for the Web’

2017

  • 2017 Melbourne WebFest: grand jury

2014

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.