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What can I Do to Break into the TV Writing Industry?

What can I do as an aspiring screenwriter to get my stories out there. I write all kinds of different things with relatable characters that touches on REAL topics of today. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!🎬

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Karin’s Answer

Hi Gavin,

I just accidently stumbled over this project that might be something for you:

https://www.teenwritersproject.org/soundstage.html#/

There is also an ad on LinkedIn that they are looking for writers.


You find links to some more resources below.

Also check Indeed, LinkedIn and Upwork for ads looking for writers.


Good luck!

KP

Karin recommends the following next steps:

https://www.spokanelibrary.org/writing-resources
https://www.washingtoncenterforthebook.org/workshops-conferences-and-networking-for-writers/
http://www.spokaneauthors.org/
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Sikandar’s Answer

Start by focusing on the genre where your talents shine brightest. This will be your key to landing that first job. Remember, potential employers want to see proof of your abilities, and spreading yourself too thin initially might not be the best strategy. Once you've built a strong foundation, you can then branch out and explore other genres.

After identifying your genre, participating in competitions could be a valuable step. These events can provide tangible evidence of your skills, something that recruiters are always on the lookout for. If you blend into the crowd, it can be challenging to land a job. So, concentrate on your chosen genre, strive for victories at festivals, and demonstrate that you can excel in your field.
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Anshra’s Answer

Write Consistently: Regular practice sharpens your skills.

Network: Attend industry events and build connections.

Diverse Portfolio: Showcase versatility in your writing samples.

Online Presence: Utilize platforms, websites, and social media.

Competitions: Enter reputable screenwriting competitions.

Feedback: Seek constructive criticism to improve your work.

Research Representation: Identify and query agents or managers.

Be Persistent: Rejections are part of the process; stay resilient.

Stay Informed: Understand industry trends and demands.

Passion and Risk: Stay passionate, take calculated risks with your stories.
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Gavin !

I commend you on your enthusiasm and ambition to become a screenwriter! I'd say that your responses to your question have remarkably great advice and I would like to contribute as well.

One does not "break into" being a screenwriter, it is a process just like anything else. There's no advice that I could give or secret passage to success because it will 100% depend on you. There are things that you can do to improve your chances of making a living from writing, but there are no guarantees and it is an opinion business, so one must just have the strong desire to write and know where to submit manuscripts or screenplays.

Since you do not know how to begin, I would advise taking some television and film courses in person in college and becoming familiar with film, television and theatre. A big piece of advice is to learn all formats and not limit yourself to only writing for television. The more versatile you are, the better experience your process will be. I always recommend that beginning entertainment writers read Writer Magazine. You might be able to see who is accepting scripts at any given time for TV, Video, Film or anything.

If you are in high school, take a creative writing class and if you are thinking about college, major in Film or Communication Studies and take playwriting, too. The best way to meet like-minded people and opportunities to stage readings of your work will be locally for now as you build experience and education. Start to become active in your local writing and video community and pretty soon it will be clear to you about what steps to take.

You can produce your own scripts with some friends who are actors and directors and create a channel on You Tube to build a collection of your work.

Look into finding some independent filmmakers in your area and submit your scripts to them. If you keep up with Writer Magazine there are notices about who may be accepting scripts, too. Become familiar with how to register and copyright your scripts. I have left a link about this below for you. You can browse festivals to submit your scripts to via the website Film Freeway which is referenced below. Remember that being versatile and tenacious is key.

Keep aware of content creator jobs on Indeed or Linked In. I often do see notices for people to create content for videos. Once you have a lot of experience behind you and education, than you can consider relocating to either Los Angeles or New York City. See how things go for you locally, though. You're not all that far from L.A. if you can fly there once in a while.

I hope that this is helpful and I wish you all the best ! Never give up !

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

WRITER MAGAZINE https://www.writermag.com/
WHERE TO SUBMIT YOUR SCRIPTS https://newbiefilmschool.com/where-can-i-submit-my-movie-script/
SCRIPT REGISTRATION AND COPYRIGHT https://www.marklitwak.com/copyright-registration-of-scripts--films.html
SUBMIT YOUR SCRIPTS TO FESTIVALS https://filmfreeway.com/APAFFS2S20
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Travis’s Answer

1) Make sure your pilot scripts are formatted correctly.
2) Make sure they're also good! -- I suggest getting readers who can give you notes, and they should be people who know scripts (NOT family and non-film industry friends).
3) Submit to the various fellowships that the networks hold every year.
4) Submit to any other fellowships that you may qualify for that many production companies hold.
5) Network all you can -- on social media, in person, however you can. Meet people in the industry. Become friends with them. DO NOT come across as just trying to meet them so they can help you... that comes off as desperate and nobody will wanna talk to you.
6) If you're not in Los Angeles already, do your best to get here. YES, ever since Covid, there are a lot of zoom rooms and zoom meetings. BUT, it's still much easier if you're local.
7) If you're able to get a job as an assistant on a show? DO IT! Sure, you wanna be writing already, but many showrunners will staff from within - meaning if you're a writer's assistant, and you're awesome at it, you'll have a pretty good chance of getting promoted to writer in future seasons.
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John’s Answer

Hello! "Breaking into" this industry isn't easy. It requires work and a mindset of patience and perseverance. Educating yourself through webinars, classes, and writing labs, swapping your scripts with other writers' scripts, and giving notes to those writers, and joining and participating in writers' groups and workshops are some valuable steps you can take on your writing career path. Networking is also a must. This requires you to put yourself out in front of screenwriters, managers, producers, etc., and begin building relationships with them. Always be bringing value to a networking opportunity. Never expect a helping hand and be appreciative if you get one. It usually comes based on your values and professionalism. Always be adding to your writing portfolio because you'll want to be able to answer the inevitable question asked by execs..." What else do you have?" after a requested script. It's an investment you are making into your career, and a quick shortcut isn't common.
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