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How To Get A Screenwriting Agent: The Ultimate Guide

 

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“How do I get a screenwriting agent?”

This is the most popular question we get here at Script Reader Pro.

So, in this post we thought we’d finally demystify the process of how to get one, once and for all.

This is a step-by-step guide on screenplay agents (and managers), what they do, and how as an aspiring screenwriter you should go about getting them.

Part of the problem, however, is that getting a screenwriting agent can often feel very elusive – almost like a dream that only the special writers get to fulfill.

However, it’s not impossible.

It just takes a handful of things all coming together — persistence, a strong desire to succeed and a highly developed writing ability.

In this post, we’ll be examining:

  • The key difference between screenwriting agents and managers
  • How to avoid the rookie mistake many aspiring make when sending out their work
  • A 10 Step Guide on how to get a screenwriting agent
  • Query letters: when to send them and when not to send them
  • How to craft the perfect script query letter
  • Hacks and resources on how to research your market
  • What to do and not do when submitting your screenplay
  • How and when to follow up your submission
  • What to do if all of your queries are rejected
  • What to do if a script agent or manager shows interest in your work
  • What to do after signing on the dotted line
  • Personal stories of a few of our script readers on how they got their script agent

Let’s get started with a few definitions.

The Role Of Script Agents And Managers Explained

The business side of a screenwriter’s life is handled by several different representatives.

There’s your agent, your manager and your attorney. And they all handle unique areas of your career.

Your script agent and attorney handle legal matters.

They’ll be there for you when you’ve lined up and are looking to close a big deal.

Your agent will take a 10% cut of that deal, and your attorney will take 5%.

However, they generally won’t help you set up general meetings, or offer you much feedback on your writing.

They’ll often be in communication with you only when necessary.

In spite of what you may have heard, screenwriting agents almost never respond to query letters or unsolicited submissions.

The legal risks are too great, and the slush pile of submissions would also be too great.

Managers, however, often find new clients via query letters and online submissions (some even have submission links on their websites).

So, while screenplay agents are tremendously useful when you get a deal lined up for some serious coin, they’re not the only kind of representation for screenwriters.

In fact, oftentimes they’re the wrong sort of rep for a new writer to chase.

How To Get A Screenwriting Agent: Get A Manager First

How To Get A Screenwriting Agent

Managers, on the other hand, are there to hold your hand from day one and look at a writer’s entire picture.

They will help you mold your career, hone your voice and focus your talent.

Not only that, but managers are usually willing to take on unknown writers, especially at smaller companies.

A manager will then read your work and help you get it to a place where it’s the best it can be, unlike a script agent who will just take it when it is ready to be sold.

And whereas agents have anywhere from thirty to sixty unique clients, managers rarely have more than fifteen or twenty.

Because of their shorter rosters of clients, they have more time for each.

Overall, agents seem to be very focussed and (stressed!) whereas managers are often more laid back — more like an encouraging sports team coach.

A manger will read your work, give you notes, help you pick which new concept is really worth your time.

And when you and your work is ready, they help you line up an agent.

This is because they all share clients – and most agents only discover new clients through personal recommendations.

It’s easy to understand why: recommendations are already vetted and endorsed.

Often, the personal relationships managers have with agents in Los Angeles or elsewhere are fundamental to getting you signed.

And their superior networking skills could well put you together with producers too.

“In my experience, a manager is the golden ticket to getting an agent, and from what I’ve seen for myself and my screenwriter colleagues, they’re one of the only real ways to get one.” – John McClain, Script Reader Pro screenplay consultant

If you have a strong relationship with a producer who can reach out to agents on your behalf, or perhaps you know an agent one-on-one yourself, then you have other options.

But if you’re new to the business and don’t know anyone in the industry, you’re better off targeting managers.

And here’s the best news: finding one tends to be much easier than finding a screenwriting agent.

how to get a screenwriting agent

A Ten Step Guide On Getting A Screenwriting Agent Via A Manager 

While we advise targeting managers first, we’ll also be mentioning how to get a screenwriting agent.

Maybe you already have a manager? Or feel you can go it alone on that front, so just need a screenplay agent?

In any event, follow this process and you will be giving yourself the optimal chance of finding a screenwriting agent or manager.

Step 1: Make Sure Your Writing Is White Hot Before Finding A Screenwriting Agent Or Manager

How To Get A Screenwriting Agent

Before even thinking about getting a screenwriting agent or manager, you need to make sure your work truly stands a chance.

This means getting feedback on your screenplay(s) from friends who work in the industry, if you know any.

If you don’t, then get some script coverage from a professional reader.

They will give your script an industry standard rating of either “Pass” “Consider” or “Recommend”.

Whatever grade you receive, your script will probably need some work doing to it.

But a “Recommend” will need very little before you send it to a screenwriting agent or manager, and a “Pass” will need a lot.

There’s no way around this part.

In order to ultimately attract high caliber representation that will change your life, you have to generate life-changing material that will attract a stellar team.

If your work’s not ready yet, it’s time to take a deep breath, slow down a bit and write.

Get good and forget about signing with a script agent or manager for a while.

Keep learning, exploring, and experimenting with your craft.

Keep reading screenplays, writing constantly, getting some high-quality script coverage and continuing to grow as a screenwriter.

Then, once you get a “Strong Consider” or “Recommend” from an industry professional on your script, write another.

Ideally, you want to only try getting a screenwriting agent or manager once you have two or three kick-ass scripts in your portfolio.

This is because the first question any script agent or manager will ask you is, What else have you got?

They’re looking for real screenwriters with a future in the business.

And that means writers who can demonstrate an ability to consistently produce stellar material.

As eager as you may be to get your screenwriting career moving and start finding a screenwriting agent or manager, resist the urge at all costs.

Unless that is your work has already received some glowing feedback from an industry script reader who agrees it’s time to start looking.

Once this happens you’re ready to move on to the next step.

Step 2: Pen A Great Screenwriting Query Letter  

How To Get A Screenwriting Agent

There’s much controversy these days over whether screenwriting query letters still work.

Or if they’re a relic from some “golden age” of Hollywood that’s long past.

Well, they do still work, but it’s not a good approach for getting a screenwriting agent.

Agents simply don’t look at query letters.

With dozens of clients all vying for their time they’re stressed out enough already, so don’t waste your time.

However, we do recommend writing a good query letter and sending it to managers.

How to write a script query letter  

Managers field dozens of query emails a week, and the best way to stand out is brevity and clarity.

So keep your screenplay query letter short, friendly and engaging.

There’s no need to mention accolades from unheard of screenwriting institutions or contests because, frankly, they won’t care.

What they’re interested in is your logline, short synopsis, and if you sound like an intelligent and communicative person.

The best way to illustrate this is to add some examples of real life query letters.

Here’s the query letter that gained one of our readers, Scott Parisien, representation.

Screenplay Query Letter Sample 1 

Subject line: 

Bourne-esque action thriller from contest-winning writer!

Email body: 

Dear NAME HERE,

What would you do if you saw a face on a missing person poster that looked exactly like you?  

Well, that’s exactly what’s happened to Ethan Monroe — a British ex-pat who’s come to the States to start a new career. 

When he discovers this poster and delves into his cloudy past, he finds holes and secrets that reveal he may not be who he thinks he is at all.

THE OSIRIS VENDETTA mixes action and intrigue with exciting, memorable characters and a twist that you will not see coming. 

My last two thrillers placed highly in industry contests, with my script FERAL winning the All Access Competition.

I look forward to your request to read the script. Thanks for your time.

Scott Parisien

XXX-XXX-XXXX

Screenplay Query Letter Sample 2

Dear NAME HERE,

Title: XXXXXX

My name is XXXXXX and I’m a produced screenwriter whose first screenplay, XXXXXX, was purchased by XXXXXX. 

It was then produced into a feature film starring XXXXXX (“Nightcrawler”) and XXXXXX (“La La Land”). 

My latest screenplay is a moving comedy drama called XXXXXX. 

Logline: XXXXXX

XXXXXX is a story in the vein of XXXXXX and XXXXXX that tells the story of… 

Please contact me at XXXXXX if you would like to receive a copy of the script. 

Thanks for taking the time to consider my work, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards, 

Your name

XXX-XXX-XXXX

As with much to do with screenwriting, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to writing a query letter for a screenplay.

There are a few things you’ll want to avoid, however:

  • Going on too long. Managers are busy people, just like the rest of us. So make sure you keep your script query letter to three-quarters of a page or less.
  • Sloppy presentation. This letter is your first impression so it needs to be faultless. Avoid at all costs: typos, spelling mistakes, grammar irregularities, wonky formatting, etc. Get someone to proofread it first.
  • Overdoing it. Just send the screenwriting query letter and nothing else. No fancy fonts. No brightly colored banners. No pictures. No video clips. And don’t attach the actual screenplay, treatment or character list either.

Step 3: Research Who To Send Your Script Query Letter To

How To Get A Screenwriting Agent

As we’ve already mentioned, getting a screenwriting agent via a cold query letter is highly improbably, and so focus on managers.

Firstly, if you haven’t already, sign up with IMDb Pro.

As of writing, it costs $19.99 a month, but you can save 37% off this price by signing up for an annual subscription at $149.99.

That may sound like a lot of money, but it’s not really if you’re serious about getting a screenwriting agent or manager.

On IMDb Pro you’ll find the contact details of everyone you could ever want to get in touch with — the movies they’ve worked on, are developing and the writers who are signed with them.

It’s advisable these days for newbie writers to stick to one genre and so look for managers who work with writers with a similar style to yours.

For instance: all you write are Dude Comedies?

Well, scope out some of your favorite Dude Comedy writers and do the work necessary to find out who represents them.

Same goes for any and all genres.

The annual Black List, released every December, is another terrific (and free) resource for finding managers.

You can read all of the loglines for the most popular scripts of the year, find projects that seem similar to yours, and discover the names of the representation behind each project.

If you really are stone broke and can’t afford a subscription to IMDb Pro, you will find a list of agents for screenwriters on these sites:

Finally, type in “Managers and Agents” into DoneDealPro.com.

This site is one of the best only repositories for gossip and opinion about various reps.

You can find out who’s liked and who’s loathed, which could very well save you from entering a toxic relationship with the wrong manager.

Step 4: Submit Your Screenplay Query Letter

Next, create a spreadsheet, adding in the details of everyone you want to contact.

But don’t go overboard and create a list of 800 names.

Start with a small list of around forty or fifty of your ideal script managers.

Then add another fifty once you’ve submitted to all of them.

Individually craft each query before sending out.

And always, always get the name of the person you want to query — whether it’s the manager themselves or their assistant.

If it’s not clear who to send it to according to IMDb Pro, give the company a call and ask.

And make sure you stay organized. Keep a record in your spreadsheet of when and who you’ve sent it to.

When’s the best time to send screenplay query letters? 

How To Get A Screenwriting Agent

What’s the best time of the week? Time of day? Season of the year?

There aren’t many hard and fast rules, other than never send script query letter over the weekend, and probably not on a Monday or Friday.

Avoid the two weeks surrounding Christmas, and any other big holidays.

But generally, managers will read your (short) email quickly and get back to you.

While screenplay query letters can be a useful tool in your armory, they shouldn’t be relied upon.

You should also be using other online and offline methods too in getting a manager and, ultimately, getting a screenwriting agent.

Step 5: Finding A Screenwriting Agent Via Contests And Submission Websites 

While sending out query letters to managers, there are other things you can be doing in your quest to get a script agent.

These include submitting to script contests and a couple of select screenplay submission websites.

Again, you’ll need to do your research, though, first before submitting.

Focus on the script competitions that promise the winner’s meetings with screenwriting agents and/or managers.

Some of the best ones, such as The Nicholl’sFinal Draft’s Big Break, and CineStory will put you in touch with producers, screenwriting agents and managers if you place highly.

There are also a few decent screenplay submission sites out there which highlight great screenplays and could get you attention.

The Blacklist website (an offshoot of the yearly best scripts of the year list) is a good bet.

This site works on the premise that you upload your screenplay to the site where it can receive recommendations and be spotted by script agents and managers.

You can become a member as a Guild or Non-Guild screenwriter.

It costs Non-Guild members $25 per month to host at a screenplay or pilot, and this must be upheld every month for your membership to remain active.

InkTip is another good choice.

Again, it involves uploading your screenplay and/or logline to the website where script agents, producers and managers can find it.

And like with the Blacklist, you can track who’s viewing your script and what they think of it.

There are quite a few screenplay submission sites out there, though, who won’t do much for your career at all.

So do your research and be careful where you upload your screenplay.

Step 6: Getting A Screenwriting Agent Via Networking

How To Get A Screenwriting Agent

If you have friends or family members in the business who might have connections and are willing to go out on a limb for you, so much the better.

You’ll swiftly learn that it’s who you know is equally important in this business.

For those who aren’t lucky enough to have any connections in the industry, get out there and start going to places script agents, managers and producers are likely to be.

These include:

  • Writers’ groups. Go on craigslist.com, meetup.com and join a group. Not only will you get valuable feedback on your work, but you may meet your first manager.
  • Festivals/conferences. Screenwriting conferences, film festivals, pitch festivals are all perfect places to network. You can import the top screenwriting dates to your iCloud/Google calendar from this year’s screenwriters’ calendar.
  • Coffee shops/bars/gyms near talent agencies. Screenwriting agents and managers are likely to be hang out in places near their work places, so take advantage of that. Move to West Hollywood if you can and you’ll run into these people all the time.

It’s all about having a great couple of scripts and then putting yourself in places where you’re most likely to either meet people who work in the industry or know someone who does.

If it’s a feasible option, consider moving to LA.

We have a post called 4 Bad Reasons Screenwriters Give For Not Moving To LA (And Why You Should Ignore Them) that you may find persuasive.

If you are lucky enough to get a script request from a screenplay agent or manager in person, then don’t try to put on a persona.

Just be yourself: cool, calm and collected. But deadly serious about writing.

The last thing you want is to give a prospective rep the impression you’re going to be an annoying client.

Think Bradley Cooper rather than Zach Galifianakis.

Step 7: Following Up With Agents For Screenwriters And Managers

If your query letter or screenplay isn’t up their alley, then you may or may not hear back.

But don’t get impatient and start pestering them with tons of follow-ups.

Give the manager you submitted to (or script agent you met) enough reading time.

Six weeks is reasonable time lapse before you start making enquiries.

If you haven’t heard from them in two to three months, an email or call is definitely in order.

In that time, you should have started seeing responses from your other submissions, one way or the other.

You may get your material returned to you simply with a compliments slip, but hopefully you’ll get at least a form letter.

If you’re lucky, a screenplay agent may take the time to give you some personalized feedback, in which case reach out and thank them.

There’s nothing to be lost in that situation by asking to contact them with more material down the line.

But let’s say a manager or script agent wants to read your screenplay. Congratulations!

Again, send it in with a thank you note and nothing else.

No character bios, treatment or any other bells and whistles many novice screenwriters feel the need to submit.

Or let’s say you get a positive response from Company X and you’re still waiting for Company Y to get back to you.

There’s no harm in calling Company Y and asking them if they’ve had a chance to look at your script.

Say you’ve had interest from Company X and you’re thinking of signing with them, but don’t be arrogant about it.

Just be polite and respectful.

It’s a poker game, and you want in at the table. And the good thing is agencies genuinely want to find new talent.

They want you as badly as you want them, so you have more control in this situation than you may think.

Step 8: What To Do If No Script Agents Or Managers Are Interested

How To Get A Screenwriting Agent

If after sending out several copies of your screenplay you get nothing but rejections, then it’s time to assess why.

Re-read your script and take a good hard look at it.

Compare the characters, dialogue and writing style to a professional screenplay.

Does it hold up?

Ask yourself: would I pay money to watch these events up on screen?

Is this the very best I can do? Or could I improve it?

Depending on your answers, it might be time to get back to work on the script.

Or what if no one wants to read your script in the first place?

In this case, it’s time to take another look at your query letter.

Or how you’re approaching people in person.

Go back and rewrite it. Shorten it. Make it more punchy and intriguing.

Or have a think about what first impression you may be giving people.

By the way, going onto online forums to complain about agents isn’t a good idea.

Nor is complaining about them to other agents.

Even though they’re competitors, agencies still talk to one another, so you might get known for all the wrong reasons.

The motto again here is: be polite and respectful at all times.

Step 9: What To Do If A Manager Or Script Agent Wants To Sign You

How To Get A Screenwriting Agent

Should your work receive a positive response from a manager or screenwriting agent, you will feel like you’ve been “chosen”.

And likely you’ll want to sign with whoever shows the least bit of interest.

That’s the wrong strategy.

For a start, a reputable script agent or manager will never ask you for money up front. Or a monthly fee.

Apart from avoiding scam artists, the best thing you can do for your career is find a team of reps who love your work and really believe in your creative goals.

You want a team of people who see what you’re trying to accomplish and have the tools (and interest) to get you there.

Don’t just sign with the first person who asks to meet you.

And that meeting will likely feel like they’re interviewing you, but this isn’t entirely true.

You’re also interviewing them.

It’s important (and difficult) to realize that you’re their employer and not the other way around.

So don’t be afraid to ask questions about who they regularly deal with or their way of working, that kind of thing.

Whether your work fits with their aims, and vice versa, should be a key part of the process.

Take meetings with all of your potential reps, and assess who’s the best for you.

Go with the one who shows the most detailed enthusiasm about your work, that seems keen to nurture you.

The one that, importantly, you can sit in a room with and actually get along with.

That’s the one you want.

Overall, finding a manager or a screenwriting agent is much like finding a lover.

You both need to support one another through thick and thin, and you’d better make sure you keep each other excited.

how to get a screenwriting agent

Step 10: What To Do After Signing With A Screenwriting Agent Or Manager 

So you’ve finally jumped all the hurdles, met with a rockin’ script agent, and signed on the dotted line. What can you expect?

Depending on the status of your various projects, your work will be sent out in an appropriately strategic way.

You’ll meet directors and other attachment elements, and you’ll be sent out on The Water Bottle Tour.

This is an intense round of general meetings where you’re offered a water bottle at each one.

One or more of those meetings may generate future relationships and work for you, and if so you’re on your way.

Now let’s take a look at the personal stories of some of our script consultants here at Script Reader Pro.

Hopefully their stories will inspire you to follow in their footsteps.

How To Get A Screenwriting Agent: By John McClain

How To Get A Screenwriting AgentHere’s a very brief rundown of exactly how I landed a manager, and subsequently a screenwriting agent.

Several years ago, I wrote a script that I hoped would serve as a calling card, a project that would be attention-grabby and exciting for people to read.

It was an expensive period horror that I really never imagined would get made (spoiler alert: it hasn’t gotten made), but I knew it would be a fun project that was unlike anything people had read.

Armed with a subscription to IMDb Pro and three years’ worth of annual Black Lists, I sought out screenwriting managers that seemed to nurture writers with similar styles or interests as mine.

Then I reached out directly, submitting my work to those who asked to read me, and met with the one team of managers who loved my material.

They’ve been the oldest and most reliable part of my team of reps ever since.

I also sent queries to agents, and while ALL of the managers I contacted, called or emailed back, none of the agents reached out at all.

I’m telling you, they only operate on a relationship basis!

After signing with my management team, we spent two and half years workshopping the script and writing new material. (That’s right: two and a half YEARS)

The first script didn’t sell, but it did garner me several meetings which lead to work that went through a Sundance Lab, and another project that sold and landed on the Black List.

After that long haul, my managers reached out to screenwriting agents on my behalf, and I landed an amazing rep at one of the big five [William Morris Endeavor (WME), International Creative Management (ICM), Creative Artists Agency (CAA), United Talent Agency (UTA), Paradigm Talent Agency] as well as a terrific attorney.

It is easy for me to say that my managers and script agent have absolutely changed my life.

But they didn’t do it out of the sweetness of their hearts or because I’m a nice guy.

They did it because they believed in my work, and because thought they could make money out of me.

In other words: the writing was good.

How To Get A Screenwriting Agent: By Scott Parisien 

How To Get A Screenwriting AgentAt this point in the game for myself, I have had two agents and two sets of managers.

My first agent I happened to snag with a query letter. He was a small agent, outside of LA, but took a chance on me.

I worked with him for years and he helped set up my first project that had legs, even though it fell apart a few weeks before production was due to take place.

Poor health took him out of the picture, and I was left with nobody on my back.

After a few hard years, I won and placed well in some contests and snagged a high tier management company with some well-crafted query emails.

I was with that management team for five years, and it was a constant battle of agreeing or disagreeing over ideas and choices and career wants and needs.

The interesting thing to note is that even my managers didn’t want to get me set up with an agent until I had a project that they were able to get close to a sale.

They didn’t feel it was worth bringing them in if I had nothing yet to offer them.

After five years, I decided it was time to move on and I fired that team, even though they had high caliber projects making noise.

It was a hard decision, but I felt they were just not the champions I needed.

Soon after, I found a new manager, a smaller one, with a passion for story and writers like I had never seen.

I then went on to win the Page Awards, and he helped me capitalize on the attention with a sale.

Having this manager for a year, far outweighed anything the larger and prominent managers did for me, all because he is a champion of my work.

Recently, through how big of a fan he is of my writing, he has managed to get me onto the roster of a great agent at a top house.

And I know he will be there when I have that big sale ready to happen.

All because I fully trust my manager and I know that agents need a hot commodity to sell, or they can’t afford to waste their time.

Overall, finding and getting a screenwriting agent is really the end game, once you have learned how to write a screenplay.

At least… having mastered the first level.

Beast mode is a harder level to get to, and even A-list screenwriters struggle to make it there, and stay there.

So, keep writing, always be learning, always taking feedback and see if it will make you better. And never give up.

How To Get A Screenwriting Agent: By Peter Briggs

How To Get A Screenwriting AgentI signed with my first screenwriting agent back in the early 90s when things were very different to how they are now.

On top of this, I was born a long way from Los Angeles: in a small northern town in England.

At some point it dawned on me I wasn’t that bad a writer and perhaps trying to get representation might not be out of the question.

So, I created my stack of screenplays. Now I had to find my market.

However, I was basically stuck with the smaller British homegrown agencies, and the two larger LA agencies with a London presence: William Morris and ICM.

Hollywood networking was way different back then and simply not connected for any individual “user” beyond a telephone.

Your sole avenue for gleaning industry names and contacts was the semi-regular purchase of hefty, expensive $100+ printed Hollywood Directories.

These days, the most useful thing you can do to help your research is buy an online subscription to IMDb Pro.

This unlocks those same direct-access email addresses for agents worldwide. (Or, at least, to their overstressed assistants.)

So, once I had my list of script agents, I hit the streets, hand-delivering my wares one pile at a time.

One morning, after several rejection letters, I received a crisp envelope with a William Morris logo on it.

Turns out they were interested in my work, and would I contact their office with a view to coming in to have a chat?

But, hold on: there was another envelope in the same batch. Only this one was from ICM.

In what was turning out to be a surreal morning, ICM also wanted me to contact them.

I immediately made appointments and headed into town to meet my prospective reps.

The ICM script agent talked about who he wanted to set me up with, and outlined his game plan for me over the next hour. I was impressed.

In comparison, the William Morris guy was less in-depth, and didn’t flatter my writing other than saying he enjoyed it and was interested.

I told him ICM were also interested, so he said to let him know what I decided.

I think I was out the door in about ten minutes. I was disappointed.

It was a no-brainer. I went with ICM, but this turned out to be a big mistake.

Our personalities didn’t really gel. And his “game plan” turned out to be hot air.

After a few months I ditched ICM and signed with the script agent at William Morris.

A few months later, I handed him my Alien vs. Predator draft, which I’d written on spec.

He flew to LA the next week and sold it to Larry Gordon and 20th Century Fox.

Overnight my career had begun.

Getting A Screenwriting Agent: Conclusion

How To Get A Screenwriting Agent

Always keep in mind that being a screenwriting agent or a manager is a job. And a tough one at that.

Just like a writer is only as good as his or her last screenplay, a script agent is only as good as his or her last sale.

They can’t spend time on small projects or projects that won’t attract stars or directors or producers.

It’s important to keep a positive attitude when it comes to all aspects of the business, but it is also important to be practical.

And realizing that if a screenwriting agent, say, only makes 10% on deals they put together, no one is going to take on a writer that doesn’t have commercial appeal.

Someone that they can see selling many scripts for a lot of money. Because if not, what’s in it for them?

Keep this in mind not only when hunting, but also when writing.

The percentage of good screenwriters out there is infinitesimal.

But you don’t want to just be “good”.

Getting a screenwriting agent or manager requires you to be fantastic.

Yes, it’s important to take your professional arc seriously, to strategize, to daydream, and to aspire.

But the most important thing you can do — the thing that you can control entirely and that will ultimately determine whether you snag a screenwriting agent or manager or not — is the quality of your writing.

Firstly, stop procrastinating.

We writers are world-class procrastinators, so make a binding resolution that getting a manager or script agent is to be your number one priority and stick to it.

Yes, if you’ve been an amateur so far, it can a big and scary step to dip your toe into the waters of professionalism.

But if you set the wheels in motion, persist.

And if your writing is fantastic, you’ll likely succeed.

8 Comments

  1. Sam Geloso says:

    Hello. This post was extremely fascinating, particularly because I was browsing for advice on how to get an agent for my writing career the other day.

  2. Christopher C. says:

    Thank you for this comprehensive guide; an aid into which direction I should choose to go on my writing journey.

  3. Jim Gulian says:

    What a helpful article. Thank you for your generosity. The content was eye opening and the three perspectives were the icing. I need to get to work.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thanks Jim, good luck with getting representation!

  4. John Carey says:

    That article is true and helpful. Thank you for writing it. Also, for screenwriters: make sure your script is polished before you show it to anyone in the industry. Study the formatting section in “The Screenwriter’s Bible.” Read “Your Screenplay Sucks.” Read at least ten other screenwriting books. One way to help polish a script is to workshop it with a group of writers who help each other. In L.A. there are a variety of these screenwriter workshops that are run on small donation. See MeetUp.com. In Sherman Oaks on Monday evenings, there is Actors and Screenwriters of Hollywood. In Venice on Thursday evenings, there is Beyond Baroque Screenwriting Workshop. There are others. I started the one called Screenwriting Tribe, which consists of over 200 writers and some actors who help writers polish their scripts. We hold a workshop every Sunday from 6-8 p.m. in Santa Monica. We read out loud and give feedback on 12 pages from 4 scripts from 4 writers in attendance at the workshop. Up to 15 people can RSVP to attend – usually two or three are actors. The first four writers who RSVP to reserve space at the two-hour workshop can bring several copies of their 12 pages. Each of the 4 writers gets 24 minutes at the workshop. After we read the pages out loud (usually about 10-11 minutes), we go around the table twice. The first time is for positive feedback. The second time is for constructive criticism. The writers remain quiet, both during the read and the feedback. It takes two to four months to put a full-length script through our workshop – 12 pages at a time. But, the script will be better for having been critiqued by dozens of other writers. The writer will improve their craft. The script will be more ready to give to agents, managers, studio readers, producers, directors, actors, financiers, and others, and to submit to writing fellowships and screenplay contests.

  5. Alice says:

    I personally like your post; you have shared good insights on how to get an agent. Keep it up.

  6. Brad says:

    I’ve decided to (re-)commit to my screenwriting career–I realize I have the talent but didn’t give it even a proper go. I love adapting for the screen, and writing for TV. I wrote an episode of an open submission TV show that industry friends praised. I’ve written 2 other feature length adaptations, including one with the blessing of the novelist. I see it is recommended to have 2-3 marketable scripts. Would adaptations count, or do I really also need to write some original scripts? I want to do that at some point, but my next great passion project was to adapt the first in a series of 3 science fiction novels. I want to best use my time. Thanks for any feedback!

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Hi Brad – adaptation is a great way to go as your script will be based on an existing IP. Overall though I’d recommend going for what moves and excites you the most. If that’s an original script then go for that instead but there’s certainly nothing wrong with writing a great script adapted from a novel.

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