Ellen Shanley, 28, takes out best television drama pilot at UCLA's Professional Program awards

TV PRODIGY: Ellen Shanley took out the Writing for Television Drama Pilot award as part of UCLA's Professional Program.

TV PRODIGY: Ellen Shanley took out the Writing for Television Drama Pilot award as part of UCLA's Professional Program.

AN ORMISTON College graduate has returned from the bright lights of the United States with a prestigious award in tow.

Ellen Shanley, 28, took out the television drama pilot category in University of California Los Angeles' Professional Programs Writing for Television Competition.

She hopes her winning script will be picked up by an Australian television network.

"With this award behind me giving me an endorsement of my ability and the interest that could be in the series, I'm hoping I can pitch it to local producers and get some interest here," Ms Shanley said.

On graduating from high school Ms Shanley studied journalism and arts but quickly realised she was interested in fiction more than fact.

She said that receiving the award was one of her career highlights.

"It was amazing," she said. "It was the most incredible, shocking, mind-blowing moment."

"I was not expecting to win at all. There were so many talented people in the room that were up for that award and it could have been any one of them.

"I was really stunned and couldn't move for a couple of seconds."

Ms Shanley said she had been obsessed with television from a young age.

Her television drama script The Longest Day is set in an outback town where every year, on the same day, someone goes missing.

"The story follows a family after their daughter is the latest victim of this disappearance.

"Her younger sister is following the clues and trying to figure out what happened and how she can hold her family together while dealing with her grief over the loss of her sister."

Industry professionals and UCLA alumni voted Ms Shanley's script as the best drama pilot, or first episode.

She received the award at the college's certificate ceremony, completing a year long stay in Los Angeles.