Resources

REGISTERING YOUR WORK

Writers Guild of America

US COPYWRIGHT OFFICE


PLACES TO GET SCRIPTS

WGA Shavelson-Web Library

Google TV Script Database

Script City

Daily Script

Simply Scripts

Drew’s Script-O-Rama


IMPORTANT SITES TO BOOKMARK

Deadline Hollywood

IMDB – Internet Movie Data Base

IMDbPro

Deadline Hollywood

The Hollywood Reporter

Variety

The Tracking Board

Tracking B

Broadway World

Playbill.com

Done Deal Pro


PUBLICATIONS FOR WRITERS

Variety

The Hollywood Reporter

Written By Magazine

Script Magazine

Creative Screenwriting Magazine

Fade In Magazine

Film Comment Magazine

Entertainment Weekly

Premiere Magazine


FORMATTING AND PROOFREADING RESOURCES

Scriptproofed

Grammar Girl

The Hollywood Standard by Christopher Riley

The Screenwriter’s Bible by David Trottier


FEATURE FILM LABS, FELLOWSHIPS & MENTORING PROGRAMS

SUNDANCE INSTITUTE SCREENWRITERS LAB

The Screenwriters Lab is a five-day writer’s workshop that gives independent screenwriters the opportunity to work intensively on their feature film scripts with the support of established writers in an environment that encourages innovation and creative risk-taking. Through one-on-one story sessions with Creative Advisors, Fellows engage in an artistically rigorous process that offers them indispensable lessons in craft, as well as the means to do the deep exploration needed to fully realize their material. The January Screenwriters Lab is held in January, just before the Sundance Film Festival.

NICHOLL FELLOWSHIPS IN SCREENWRITING

Up to five $30,000 fellowships are awarded each year to promising new screenwriters. From the program’s inception in 1986 through 2009, over $2.8 million have been awarded to 121 writers.

THE GUY A. HANKS & MARVIN MILLER SCREENWRITING PROGRAM

Established by Drs. Bill and Camille Cosby in 1993, at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Named in honor of Camille’s father, Guy Alexander Hanks and Bill’s producer, Marvin Miller. The fifteen-week intensive workshop was designed with a two-fold purpose: To assist writers in the completion of a film or television script. And to deepen the participants appreciation for and comprehension of African American history and culture.

OUTFEST SCREENWRITING LAB 

A dynamic 3 day, mentor-led workshop in Los Angeles for selected screenwriters. Screenplays submitted for consideration should display significant content or thematic material regarding gay, lesbian or transgender person and/or issues.

WOMEN IN FILM MENTORING PROGRAM

The Women in Film Mentoring Program nurtures emerging talent in the entertainment industry by connecting individual WIF members with established professionals for a period of one year which they benefit from one-to-one interaction. As a prerequisite to joining this program, you are asked to attend a seminar on January 18th, 2012 at the Los Angeles Film School from 7-9 pm. You bring your application on that date. Click the above link for more details.


TELEVISION DIVERSITY, FELLOWSHIP & STUDIO PROGRAMS

SUNDANCE EPISODIC STORY LAB

The Episodic Story Lab will be organized as an immersive experience for ten writers over a five-day period at the Sundance Resort in Utah, home of our Feature Film Program and Documentary Film Program Labs. Although drama and comedy writing (single camera half hour comedy) are considered different skill-sets in episodic storytelling, the Lab will include writers and advisors from both areas of focus, divided into separate tracks for the first three days of one-on-one creative story sessions. The full group will come together for late afternoon and evening screenings and conversations and for the remainder of the Lab. The second half of the Lab will include extended in-depth sessions focused on navigating the key creative and tactical elements that are central to any writer/showrunner’s success.

DISNEY | ABC WRITING PROGRAM

Fellows become employees of Disney | ABC Television Group and will be paid a weekly salary of $961.54 ($50,000.00 annualized) plus any applicable benefits for which they are eligible in accordance with the then-current Company benefits plans. The program is designed to expose aspiring writers to key executives, producers and literary representatives – all essential in the pursuit of a writing career. Additionally, while in the program, fellows have the opportunity to work one-on-one with a current programming or development executive to create spec scripts of series from the current broadcast season. The ultimate goal is to prepare and nurture the fellows for a writing career.

NBC WRITERS ON THE VERGE

This is a 10-week program focused on polishing writers’ material and readying the participants for the staff writer position on a television series. Classes concentrate on creating an exceptional spec script and understanding the dynamics of pitching oneself in the television industry.

CBS DIVERSITY INSTITUTE WRITERS MENTORING PROGRAM

CBS’s program focuses on opening doors: providing opportunities to build relationships with network executives and showrunners; to support new and emerging writers in their efforts to improve their craft; and to develop the interpersonal skills necessary to break in and succeed.

FOX AUDIENCE STRATEGY (formerly FOX Diversity Writer’s Initiative)

This is very exciting! FOX has completely revamped their program. The Intensive is designed to introduce experienced writers with unique voices, backgrounds, life and professional experiences that reflect the diverse perspectives of the audiences we create for to a wide range of Fox staff writers, showrunners, directors, screenwriters and creative executives. These collective individuals will work with the selected writers to build on both their general craft and the business of writing for television, feature films and digital content with an added goal of creating a viable resource of experienced staffing opportunities.

NICKELODEON WRITING FELLOWSHIP

Developed to broaden Nickelodeon’s outreach efforts, the Nickelodeon Writing Fellowship is designed to attract, develop and staff writers with diverse backgrounds and experiences on Nickelodeon Network productions. Operating in a three-phased structure, the Fellowship provides a salaried position for up to one year and offers hands-on experience writing spec scripts and pitching story ideas in both live action and animation television.

WARNER BROS. WRITERS’ WORKSHOP

The Warner Bros. Television Writers’ Workshop consists of three components, Lectures, Simulated Writer’s Room, and Staffing, all geared towards preparing the writer for a successful career in TV writing.

NBC DIVERSITY SCENE SHOWCASE 

A one night event where NBC produces a showcase of 5 minute scenes by up-and-coming diverse writers, starring new diverse talent. Submissions are two, original 5 page COMEDY scenes with two characters (no additional cast allowed). The scenes must be of a comedic nature.

DC COMICS TALENT DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP

A program for emerging comic book writers whose goal is to place program writers on staff of DC Comics series. Submissions consist of a current resume, short composition, original writing samples (comic samples preferred, but other fiction writing is also ok) and a submission agreement.

HBO ACCESS WRITERS FELLOWSHIP

The next cycle will accept applications in 2017. HBOAccess provides mentorship for up to eight diverse emerging storytellers. Following a week of master classes, writers are immersed in 8 months of mentorship with an HBO creative exec as the writer develops a script suitable for HBO or Cinemax. Submissions include a bio, resume, application, and full pilot script.

PGA DIVERSITY WORKSHOP

The PGA Diversity Workshop accepts 10 applicants for a workshop consisting of weekly lecture classes and mentorship from a PGA member. The workshop will cover topics ranging from pitching to marketing to new media opportunities. Application materials should include a full pilot script, bio, resume, and 2-page summary of your material detailing the audience it will reach.


REPUTABLE SCREENWRITING CONTESTS

AUSTIN SCREENPLAY & TELEPLAY COMPETITION

Since 1994, the Austin Film Festival has been in the business of introducing gifted, up-and-coming writers to the world. Among the most recognized and prestigious contests of their kind, the AFF’s Screenplay and Teleplay competitions offer a springboard for aspiring professionals eager to take the leap from writing for pleasure to writing for a living.

FINAL DRAFT’S BIG BREAK SCREENWRITING CONTEST 

Big Break™ is an annual, global screenwriting contest designed to launch the careers of aspiring writers. Big Break™ rewards screenwriters with cash, prizes, and A-list executive meetings. Winners and finalists alike have had their screenplays optioned and produced and have secured high-profile representation as well as lucrative writing deals. Since its inception in 1999, Big Break™ has awarded screenwriters with over $280,000 in cash and prizes and invaluable industry exposure. A panel of notable industry professionals conducts the final judging.

NEW YORK TELEVISION FESTIVAL

The New York Television Festival was founded in 2005 as the industry’s first creative festival for television artists. The Festival strives to construct new and innovative paths of development and talent identification, while simultaneously complementing the traditional television development model. NYTVF has many initiatives, including:  Lifetime Unscripted Development Pipeline, FOX-NYTVF Comedy Script Contest, A&E Unscripted Development Pipeline, Comedy Central Short Pilot Competition.

THE TRACKING B SCREENWRITING & TV SCRIPT CONTESTS

Three finalists will be promoted on trackingb.com to our community of entertainment industry insiders AND will also be read by each member of our esteemed judging panel who will pick an overall winner.  Five honorable mentions will also be selected to receive exposure on trackingb.com.


WRITER BLOGS

By Ken Levine

Company Town: The Business Behind the Show

Jane Espenson — Jane in Progress

John August

Script Girl

Scott Myers — Go Into The Story

The Bitter Script Reader

William Martell — Sex in a Submarine


PODCASTS

INTERVIEWS~ WRITERS, SHOWRUNNERS & INDUSTRY EXPERTS

~Nerdist Writers Panel: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nerdist-writers-panel/id455020248

Major source for comic book/super hero writers, but also frequent podcasts by showrunners and writers of all television (and film) genre’s.  Posts are several times per week but very easy to click on the “info” link to see if its subject matter is of interest to you.

~TV Writer Podcast (Gray Jones/Script Magazine) – http://www.tvwriterpodcast.com

The podcast channel “Script Magazine,” also hosted by Gray and last active in 2012, moved to this site. Gray interviews many experts and consultants in the field (check out Tawnya’s interview dated 6/28/13). A great resource and easy to stay current as posts are monthly or so.

~Writers Guild Foundation- https://www.wgfoundation.org/introducing-wgf-podcast/

Equal weight given to TV & Film, great events and panels. Featuring Genre Smash!

~KCRW’s The Treatment with Elvis Mitchell- http://www.npr.org/rss/podcast/podcast_detail.php?siteId=4819475

The SoCal PBS radio station’s popular interview show. Many actors interspersed with directors and writers.

~Austin Film Festival’s On Story Podcast- http://www.onstory.tv/zpodcast-2/

One of the best film festivals (and script contests!) around, particularly celebrated for its laid back manner, this podcast provides an uncensored inside look at film and television via lively panels and amazing interviews. If you can’t go, you can listen!

-KCRW’s The Businesshttps://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/kcrws-the-business/id73330606?mt=2&i=325313644

The Business is hosted by respected entertainment industry journalist Kim Masters of the Hollywood Reporter and produced by KCRW. Each week The Business features an analysis of top Hollywood news, in-depth interviews and the occasional feature story.

TIME CAPSULE PODCAST

~Sam and Jim Go to Hollywood (Jim Dunn & Sam Ernst) – http://samandjimgotohollywood.libsyn.com/webpage/category/podcasts

Heartfelt and real, this podcast begins shortly after these writing partners took the huge leap of faith of uprooting their families and relocating to LA to pursue their dream.  It follows their struggle, in real-time, week by week, month by month, starting in 2005 up through the milestones of first option, first staffing job in 2007 and finally, first showrunning job in 2010 with their series, “Haven.”  Fascinating peak into the two steps forward, one step back journey and how they persevered, along with how the writers’ strike of 2008 affected the industry in the midst of their upward climb.  You’ll feel like they’re old friends by the end of the 44 episodes.

TV WRITER’S PERSPECTIVE 2014

~ Children of Tendu (Javier Grillo-Marxuach/Jose Molina) – http://childrenoftendu.libsyn.com

Like Jim & Bob, this is another fascinating podcast by working writers, albeit just close friends and not writing partners.  While Jim & Bob offer a take on the industry in midst of a huge sea change in the mid 2000’s, Javi and Jose’s podcast is completely current, having released 13 episodes in 2014.

~USC School of Cinematic Arts – http://cinema.usc.edu/writing/speakerseries/

“Conversations with…” is a wonderful series of intimate talks with the best and brightest filmmakers of our time. David Lynch to Ron Howard to Ron Moore.

FILM PODCAST

~John August & Craig Mazin’s Scriptnotes- http://johnaugust.com/podcast

Very influential podcast, these two working screenwriters weigh in with a vast knowledge of Hollywood and navigating therein. (Recommend this podcast based on their “three page challenge” alone, in which the guys evaluate, line by line, the first three pages of submitted scripts. Invaluable exercise in a world where the first few pages of your script can mean it gets read or tossed aside.)

CRITICS

~HITFIX’s TV Critics Alan Sepinwall & Dan Feinberg- http://www.hitfix.com/podcasts/firewall-iceberg

The pair discuss important debuts & finales, missteps and successes, and series updates.  A concentration on the premium cable and network series, but touches upon all aspects of scripted television. Agree with the analysis or disagree, it’s a voice “outside” the bubble of Hollywood.

Talking TV with Ryan & Ryan- http://talkingtvwithryanandryan.libsyn.com/webpage/category/Podcast

Maureen Ryan and Ryan McGee evaluate the latest and greatest of TV.