Screenplay Submissions 101: How to Submit Like a Pro.

5 steps to getting your script into the right hands.

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by Script Reader Pro in How to Sell a Screenplay
November 2, 2015 43 comments
screenplay submissions

Screenplay submissions 101: how to submit a screenplay like a pro.

So you’ve written a great script… Now what? To many aspiring screenwriters, figuring out what to do with a screenplay once its finished is even more difficult than writing the thing in the first place.

Maybe you’ve just finished a screenplay but have never tried submitting it to a manager or producer? Or maybe you’ve already tried submitting your script, but haven’t had the response you were hoping for?

Let’s talk screenplay submissions: a 5-step strategy including the best insider tips on how to submit a screenplay to the right places. And at the right time, once your script is finished.

Step 1: make sure your script is 100% ready.

Before you start any script submissions strategy, it’s vital the screenplay itself has been thoroughly vetted. This means by someone you trust for solid, unbiased feedback.

Get together a circle of trusted writer/industry friends and give it to them. The trick with this is to make sure you let them know you want their honest opinion. You don’t want them to just say nice things because they’re your friends.

If you don’t have friends in the industry, or you want independent advice, you should consider hiring a professional script consultant. If you then get a “Consider” or “Recommend” grade on your script, you’ll know you’re onto something.

A “Pass” grade means your screenplay will need tightening up before it’s ready to send out. Any reputable script doctor/consultant will tell you how to do this.

A third way you know your script’s ready to submit, is if it wins or places highly in one of the best screenwriting contests out there. Overall, if you don’t get stellar feedback on the screenplay—if any page is less than breathtaking—you need to rewrite it.

However, once you are 100 percent sure you have something wonderful on your hands, then you’re good to go to Step #2 of the script submissions process.

Step 2: build a screenplay submissions contact list.

When you’re first looking for a manager, compile an extensive list of the people or entities you feel your script would be perfect for and want to target. A great starting point is our Screenwriting Managers List that lists all the major ones working in Hollywood today.

But do your research first. You can also find out the names of producers and managers on IMDb Pro who work with similar material to your own as they’re the people most likely to dig your script.

You can also attend pitch fests, festivals and events where real producers, execs and managers are in attendance. You can keep track of them all this year using our Screenwriters’ Calendar.

Get friendly with these people (but not in an overly schmoozy way) and you’ll soon start adding real and promising contacts to your screenplay submissions list.

Screenplay Submissions

Step 3: prepare your pitch.

When you have a script ready to send out and a list of potential managers and producers interested in reading it, you don’t want to hit them all up all at once.

Send about twenty queries every few days and change up the email query here and there according to the responses you get. But first, you need to write a query letter/email that gets attention…

In a query letter, you want to be as creative as possible in order to make people sit up and take notice.

Think of the email as an elevator pitch—you’ve got a matter of seconds to impress and that’s it.

Make sure your query letter is written in the voice and tone of your screenplay. This will make it stand out over the thousands of script submissions already coming in alongside yours.

Phone calls can work too if you have that certain type of personality that’s going to leave a great impression. Calling to ask who you should submit a query to—and making a connection with that first point of contact in the office—is never a bad thing.

Step 4: get your timing right.

Some days are better for screenplay submissions than others. First up, Mondays, when people are overloaded with a weekend’s worth of emails, are best avoided.

Friday afternoons are also a no-go when people are already done for the week. And by the time they get to second-hand stuff on Tuesday, it will be so far down their list they might not even see it.

Holidays are also not a great time to query either. Hollywood shuts down on holidays, so that means most of July and December. And January is also a slow crawl.

The best time for screenplay submissions is midweek. If it’s a great enough query it may have them request the script for that weekend’s reading. Getting the timing right is a major part of learning how to submit a screenplay.

Step 5: be patient.

This is the most important step to remember if you have had a script request: Write a very respectful reply and thank them for their time,  saying you look forward to hearing back from them. And then forget about them. For now.

If a month goes by (and often it’s a good idea to wait even longer), then feel free to check in with a friendly, respectful and professional email. But, in the meantime, keep writing, pitching and concentrate on what we call the 3P Principle:

• Process. Respect the process of screenplay submissions and the time of those reading your work.

• Patience. Be patient with these people and with the epic piles of screenplays they have to go through on a weekly basis.

• Personal. Leave your personal feelings at the door and don’t get offended by non-replies or evasive behavior.

If you can keep these three principles in mind, you will have a much easier time as you work your way through your screenplay submission process.

Screenplay submissions 101: conclusion. 

As we’re sure you’ve heard before, the screenwriters who succeed in this business are the ones who hustle. They’re the ones who’ve sent a ton of emails, worked connections, met people face-to-face, and generally put themselves out there.

Moving to Los Angeles is a great idea as then you’ll be around people who can help make things happen for you on a daily basis.

If you want to start your career from outside of LA it’s going to be harder to meet people in the industry face-to-face at the beginning of your career.

Nevertheless, you can still use online tools such as virtual screenwriting pitch sites to communicate and network with industry pros.


How do you go about submitting your scripts to the world? What do you think of our screenplay submissions strategy? Let us know in the comments below.

screenplay submissions

Liked this post? Read more on screenplay submissions and how to sell a screenplay…

How to Sell a Screenplay: 6 Most Popular Ways New Writers Make a Sale

How to Become a Screenwriter: A Pro’s Guide to Unlocking Your Career

How to Get a Screenwriting Agent and Manager in 10 Proven Steps

[© Photo credits: Unsplash]

  1. Jason Berges says:

    Love is blnd version for LGBT!

  2. Jason Berges says:

    I have a great idea to do a take on the LGBT commity to do a take off on Love Is Blind.. and call it “Q-Love Unseen” and incorporate the LGBT cominity.. I have some great ideas.. email me

  3. Jason Berges says:

    I have a great idea to do a take on the LGBT commity to do a take off on Love Is Blind.. and call it “Q-Love Unseen” and incorporate the LGBT cominity.. I have some great ideas.. email me

  4. Simone says:

    Moving to LA is great advice but I dont have the money right now. It is a dream I will make true tho one day.

  5. Michael says:

    That is the secret program in the game she plays all in desguise and host making it look innocent host not so polite and funny as he sounds. That would cover 2 pages not give title yet it starts with star and from own interest and experience put it in a story most sci fis based of facts.

  6. Michael says:

    A breezy day blows trees swaying making a russeling sound on leafs. An eye blinks in the sky ufo flies towards it wind takes personal item outside shop. INT. HOUSE – DAY Fog creeps around house owner vanishes after checking disturbance wondering where it came from coulndn’t figure out she ended up playing a game automatic she scratched her self causing her to loose a life HOST: Your going to loose i do hope so 3 lifes left had to move back one step lost five points and invisible crowd cheering wondered what it was and screamed when dissapeared. Same house but new people have moved in. It about hybrids and secret program how does that sound. Sci fi

  7. Vivek Chand says:

    I have very beautiful Hollywood webseries but I’m lower class family man I have no budget for make a webseries , I’m very poor man

  8. Danny Lewis says:

    My name is Danny Lewis. I’ve been in plays. Would you please assist me in submitting my script to the Tyler Perry Studios. I would really appreciate it!!!

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Yes, we can do that 🙂 We have a Script Marketing Mentorship that you can check out by following the link.

  9. Alex says:

    Do you have an article on how to actually write a professional submission letter? That would be very helpful, thanks.

  10. oscar julian lopez rincon says:

    great-job, guys!!!

  11. Vansh says:

    I am sending a script to Hollywood

  12. Satyajay Mandal says:

    I would like to tell you that very soon some new movies will come,Check the warner bros site for details

  13. Cheri McKay says:

    Script Granny taught me how to tap dance chicken George juke joint style better than Shirley Temple p

  14. Satyajay Mandal says:

    I would like you to update this site very soon

  15. Andrew says:

    I have an amazing script that’s like Tarantino. Would love to share it with you if your interested?.
    Will you please drop me an e-mail?

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      You can purchase one of our script coverage services but we’re not a production company looking to produce scripts.

  16. Tony Trusell says:

    I have completed a super nice screenplay script.
    I have no compass or set the direction for publishing but I’m in the hunt.

  17. Tony Trusell says:

    I have completed a super nice screenplay script. i

    I have no compass or set direction for publishing but im in the hunt.

  18. Peter Mburu says:

    I am reading this in Kenya and I am ready to fly!

  19. Peter Mburu says:

    I am reading this in Kenya and I am so convinced I will bring “Hollywood” shooting home if I keep your advise alive!
    Thanks for your great tips.

  20. The Raven says:

    Be positive to keep writing no matter what. That is my advice.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thanks, Raven!

  21. Duane Kinnnard says:

    When sending a treatment do you send it as an attachment, or copy paste

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      It’s always best to ask for a submissions policy first.

  22. Mapfaka Norman says:

    Difference between Action Comedy Drama Horror and Thriller movie scripts please.

  23. Ferdinand says:

    You made a number of fine points about screenplay submissions but missed one important fact: no one is going to read your script unless you have an agent.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thanks for the comment, Ferdinand but that’s not exactly true. You can most definitely get your script read without an agent.

  24. Jesse Gibson says:

    Does this work for pitching television series pilots as well?

  25. Tammy says:

    Without doubt the best screenwriting site I’ve seen. Thanks for providing us aspiring writers with a vision of what could be!

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      You’re welcome, Tammy. Best of luck to you.

  26. Billy Fourie says:

    Thanks for the information. It certianly makes so much sense. Had 3 requestes for my script and ………. well its been a while so PATIENCE is key I realise from your post. I’m not the screenplay writer, but its my life story so I have to do all the work to get it read and produced. This is something I enjoy doing though, once again thanks for the information.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thanks for the comment, Billy, and good luck with the script.

  27. Charles Frankhauser says:

    Thanks – good advice. I appreciate the complexities so went a different route. Adapted Amazon novel, Atlantic City Nazi, to feature-length treatment & script and published it on Amazon under title, RC and RUBY Screenplay. People enjoy reading script, I own rights, and that’s enough for me. Best regards, Charles

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thanks for the comment Charles, and best of luck with your script.

      1. PIERRE RONALD says:

        I have great scripts to make good movies, l wanted to sell them for a few dollars to make a living out of it.
        Titles: Confronted. Berto&Carrie. Wrongful Death. Situate Parties. Just For A Ride. I have a lot genres: such as action, drama, comedy, thriller. You can reach me at 718-576-4582. 917-965-8657

  28. Amir says:

    I’m a writer from Middle East and I want to pitch my screenplay to Holy wood producers but my only way is online submitting sites. could you help me and give me a list of free submitting sites? (dollar is very expencive in my country and I can’t afford monthly payments of the sites)
    thanks (:

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Hi Amir – check out this post:

  29. Jack Brewer says:

    Great post thanks for this Script reader pro.

  30. Dave S says:

    Enjoyable read. Great insights. Glad you mentioned Stage 32. I met a manager on there and he was kind enough to read my work and give me notes. The relationship built from there and now he’s my manager. I’m also working with a producer I met there on a short I wrote.

    1. Thanks Dave. Yep, Stage32 can be really useful for making connections — sounds like you’re onto a winner 🙂

  31. Sarah Gabrielle Baron says:

    Gee, I thought I could just float around in the nebula of obscurity and wait for the Universe to bring producers to me…. No, I’m still on Step 1 of the process. When will my babies be ready!?! Ah well. It’s not as painful as childbirth, just takes longer, and is easier to ignore when they don’t do what you want.

    1. Keep at it Sarah! They’ll be ready soon enough 🙂

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