Updated: Apr 23, 2019
The competition to become a successful screenwriter is fierce.
Not all of us have the luxury of dropping everything, moving to LA and hoping that everything “works out.” For those who are just starting out, they often don’t even have the benefit of connections within the business. It is hard to break in, but not impossible. In an online world that continues to grow with each passing year, there are a slew of new opportunities for those aspiring screenwriters.
Yes, connections and networking is always the most beneficial marketing plan you can have. But, this list is a great starting point for those who have not yet reached that point.
Note: this list has been updated for 2019!
It’s LinkedIn, but for the film industry. While it can get a bit overwhelming, there are a ton of marketing opportunities to be had here for screenwriters. Check out their "Pitch Sessions" (under the "Script Services" tab on their site). Listed here is an ongoing selection of Producers looking for screenplays. You can sign up to pitch them your screenplay. This opportunity allows you to get face-to-face time with a real producer, which is the best way to sell your concept.
SELLING YOUR SCREENPLAY
This site, run by Ashley Meyers, is excellent. He offers services that will put your screenplay in front of a wide range of producers across America, via email. Now, that’s a lot more personal than having your screenplay lost in a sea of others on an online database. He knows how to market and sell a screenplay because he has done it. Many people have gained success from his services. Check out his query letter blast service to learn more!
This is an online application submission service for film festivals across the globe. There are thousands (probably more) of screenwriting competitions going on every year. Placing in the top ten of good screenwriting competitions often comes with a lot of benefits, both monetary and networking. This is a great place to start, as it will also give you a sense of how good your screenplay is. A lot of producers won’t look at screenplays by newcomers that don’t place well in festivals like these.
Bonus: Subscribe scriptsociety.com and receive a FREE festivals of 2019 guide.
This is an online screenplay database. I know, I know... I said to avoid these! But this one is different. In order to have your screenplay included on their site, you need to pass their three reader analysis. Because of this process, they deliver quality over quantity, which attracts more producers. Additionally, once you get your script on their site, they will promote you in order to help you sell your screenplay. As far as online databases go, this is one of the best.
If you are looking for a more personal touch, we recommend checking out Lee Jessup. She has been mentoring aspiring screenwriters for 20+ years and knows the industry inside out. Her blog and coaching services are a great starting point for any aspiring screenwriter trying to break in to the ever competitive film industry.