100 Top Screenwriting Managers to Contact.

Download a list of the best working managers in LA who represent screenwriters.

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by Script Reader Pro in How to Sell a Screenplay
January 20, 2022 161 comments
screenwriting managers

Screenwriting managers list of the top 100 Hollywood management companies.

This is a comprehensive list of the top screenwriting managers and literary management companies currently working (mainly in Hollywood) who are worth submitting queries to.

There are over 100 managers on the list, and the best news is that each one is looking for new writers just like yourself.

While it’s true screenwriting managers are often flooded with queries and submissions, they’re often much more open to receiving them than screenwriting agents. You can read more about why it’s a good move to contact managers over agents in our post, How to Get a Screenwriting Agent and Manager.

This screenwriting managers list is divided into 3 sections. 

• Accepts unsolicited queries. These are all managers and management companies who welcome queries and submissions from writers without representation and without a referral from an industry professional they know.

• Does not accept unsolicited queries. These screenwriting managers and literary management companies state they do not wish to receive unsolicited material from writers.

• Unknown submission policy. These script managers and companies don’t state a preference one way or the other.

Hopefully, this will better help you navigate all the various managers in the list, although, when it comes down to it there’s not as great a difference between “solicited” and “unsolicited” as you may imagine. We’ll discuss this in more detail below.

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Preparing to query screenwriting managers.

The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure you have at least two high-quality screenplays in your portfolio that are ready to send out into the industry. How do you know when they’re “ready”? When they’ve achieved at least one of the following:

• Received high praise from an agent, literary manager, producer or executive

• Created a buzz on an online pitch site, such as the Blacklist

• Won or placed very highly in one or more of these best screenwriting contests

• Received a “Recommend” from one or more script coverage services

If your screenplay hasn’t achieved all or any of the above, we highly recommend that you DON’T START SENDING IT OUT to screenwriting managers. They get a ton of submissions and yours will most likely get lost in among them.

Don’t make the same mistake as many aspiring writers by querying screenplay managers without having scripts that are guaranteed to impress. Two, but preferably three, amazing screenplays.

There’s no point putting yourself out there with just one awesome script if that’s all you have. The first question any respectable manager will ask is, “What else have you got?” And you’d better be able to show them another script that’s equally as good if you don’t want to blow your big chance right there and then.

The query letter.

Next, you’ll need to craft an effective query letter, or “query email” in most cases.

Make no mistake: this pitch needs to be red hot. It needs to be short, sweet and compelling, enticing its reader to simply have to read that screenplay.

This is your one moment to shine.

Include a logline, short synopsis of the script and simple personal bio, remembering to mention that time you met at the Austin Film Festival, that referral you received, or the fact you placed highly in the Nicholl contest.

We don’t have space here, but there’s a ton of useful information out there on how to write a great query letter. Look it up and, if needs be, even pay a pro script consultant to take a look at it before approaching the screenwriting managers on this list.

It may also be a good idea to write a longer synopsis of around two to three pages in length, in case a manager requests to read that first rather than the whole script.

Finally, create a spreadsheet, detailing the name of each Hollywood management company or literary manager you’ve approached, who you spoke to or emailed, and when, and what the outcome was. Trust us, this step is invaluable.

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Working out which screenwriting managers to query. 

While our list of script managers is pretty comprehensive, they may not all be suitable for you, or open to accepting your submission. Therefore, it’s worth drilling the list down a little so you’re only querying those managers who may not only make a good fit, but also be likely to be interested in your material.

The obvious place to start with is the screenwriting managers in the first section of the list who openly accept unsolicited queries.

These managers don’t mind if you’ve never met, haven’t been referred by anyone they know in the industry or if you don’t have any representation of any kind.

They’re actively looking for new writers and so there’s nothing standing in your way from querying them. (There may well be many of these managers hiding in the third “unknown submission policy” section too.)

Breaking the rules.

This is not to say screenwriting managers who say they don’t want to receive unsolicited material necessarily mean it. It’s not as uncommon as you may think for writers who’ve ignored the “no unsolicited submissions” notice and sent in a query anyway, to receive an email saying, “Normally we don’t accept unsolicited queries, but please send over your script.”

There’s no harm in sending these screenplay managers in the second section a query also. After all, what have you got to lose? The worst that can happen is your email will be deleted, but if you send an outstanding query and logline, you stand a slim chance of it catching someone’s attention.

Screenwriting managers and genre.

Another good tactic is to first target all the managers on the list who share your genre sensibilities. Look up all those who represent writers who’ve written movies similar to ones you’ve personally enjoyed, and are similar to your own, and reach out to them.

If you have a low budget indie thriller, for example, it’s possible that the literary manager who represents Jeremy Saulnier is more likely to be interested in your material than one who represents Judd Apatow.

As a new writer, it’s also a good idea to start by targeting the smaller literary management companies and newer screenwriting managers who are yet to establish huge client rosters, as opposed to the bigger, more established managers.

Smaller companies and new managers often have more time and attention to give aspiring writers and their blossoming careers and are hungrier for success.

Sending your query letter.

Once you have everything in place and the time has come to actually contact the managers on your list, make sure you find out who to address your query to and what their individual submission policy is.

If they accept unsolicited queries, they’ll often have specific instructions on this on their website. (We’ve linked to these pages in the list.) If, as in many cases, they don’t, then it’s a case of trying to find the name of an assistant at the Hollywood management company who you can personally address your query to.

Try to avoid sending generic queries to “Whom it may concern,” or “Sir/Madam,” as this just looks like you’re mass querying everyone in town at once. If all you have is a phone number or email address, but no idea who to contact, call or email and ask who you should send your query to.

Getting personal. 

Once you have a name, individually craft your query to that person and either call or email them. (There are hardly any managers left who only read actual snail mail letters.)

If you have a confident phone persona, calling can be a great option as it’s a better way of establishing a human connection. An email, on the other hand, can easily wind up in a trash folder, be deleted or simply forgotten about.

Sending out queries to screenwriting managers means just that—you’re only querying whether they’d be interested in reading the script, so avoid sending it right away. Or anything else, like a full synopsis, character breakdown, pictures and such like.

How and when to query screenplay managers. 

Most managers also prefer to receive queries in the body of the email, rather than in an attachment. If they’re intrigued by your query, they’ll get in touch and request to read either a full synopsis or the screenplay itself.

Finally, make sure you don’t send your query letters out over weekends, public holidays or other times when screenplay managers are less likely to be fully focused on work. The best time is probably mid-week.

Next steps. 

If you don’t hear back right away, don’t panic. Resist the temptation at all costs to leap on the phone and call all the literary management companies you queried, demanding to know why they haven’t yet responded. If they don’t get in touch, they’re probably not interested.

However, there are a number of possible favorable responses to your query:

• A request to read a synopsis. Great, send it in!

• A request to read the script. Even better. Ask what their submission policy is and send it in

• A request to read something else. In this case, you should ask whether they want to read a synopsis or the whole script and send it in

After receiving one of the three responses above, it’s permissible to follow-up your submission to your screenwriting managers after a couple of months. Again, keep the query to the point, friendly and professional.

While you’re waiting… 

But while you wait, you should be writing, honing your craft, networking and hitting up more screenwriting managers with fresh queries. If you don’t hear anything back or anything favorable about your query, synopsis or screenplay after a literary manager has read it, then it may be a case of rethinking your strategy or the quality of your work.

The great thing is that screenwriting managers genuinely want to find new talent.

They need you as much as you need them, so you have more power in this situation than you may realize.

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Download our screenwriting managers list.

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As we stated in the first section of this article, you only have one chance to impress so make sure you have at least two high-quality screenplays under your belt BEFORE querying the screenwriting managers on this list.

All of the information contained in the list is freely available on the web from the screenwriting managers themselves, but they don’t like being inundated with material. Go easy on them and on the follow-ups, and be polite and professional.

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Let us know what you think of our Screenwriting Managers List in the comments section below. Have you got a screenplay manager? If so, how did you get him/her? What strategies do you use in trying to snag the attention of screenwriting managers? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Enjoyed this post? Read more on screenwriting managers and agents. 

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

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

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