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Screenwriter's Resource Guide

Screenwriters play an integral role in the creation of stories intended to be seen by wide audiences on TV, in theaters, and online. When producing great work, screenwriters can comment on society, culture, and morality and explore human truths simply by writing a good story. While many assume that screenwriting is an easy profession to break into, the truth is that mastering this particular form of writing can take many years. In addition, to become a successful screenwriter, you must learn how scripts are currently being written by reading screenplays of existing films or shows, note entertainment industry trends, and understand the business of selling your writing for money. To break into the business and eventually earn your golden ticket into the Hollywood system, be open to taking cues from screenwriting professionals who have already earned their seat at the table.

Wordplay: A Foot in the Door

Created and run by Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio, two Oscar-nominated screenwriters, Wordplay is renowned for offering budding screenwriters insights into the movie industry and professional screenwriting.

Screenwriter John August's Digital Document Library

John August's official website provides screenwriters with a number of resources, including an interactive Q&A section, screenwriting fonts, and a podcast called "Scriptnotes" in which August delves into complex screenwriting topics in a conversational tone. Visit his virtual library to access a plethora of sample screenwriting documents and templates.

The Black List

Franklin Leonard, an industry insider, manages the Black List, which aims to bring attention to great but unproduced screenplays.

Script Magazine

This publication is geared towards educating screenwriters about the craft of screenwriting and features several interviews with working screenwriters.

Complications Ensue: The TV Writing FAQ

Writer Alex Epstein answers some of the most common questions asked about TV writing.

How Many Writers Does it Take … ?

Getting a screenwriting credit isn't as simple as just writing a good script. These days, the journey from idea to film is a complicated one, and who gets credit on screen isn't always clear-cut.

Adapting Public-Domain Works and Credits

This answer to a reader-submitted question addresses when writers should credit authors after adapting classic works for their screenplays.

The Academy Nicholl Fellowship: Script Formatting

As one of the most prestigious screenwriting fellowships, the Nicholl Fellowship is invested in supporting new screenwriters who are honing their talents. Find script formatting tips on the official website of the fellowship.

The Internet Movie Script Database (IMDSB)

Read and reference thousands of scripts from your favorite movies on the Internet Movie Script Database.

Script/Story Checklist

Consider these ten questions when writing any screenplay.

Discovering the Great Movie Idea for Your Next Screenplay

Find advice for screenwriters who don't know where to start coming up with the idea for their next piece.

Screenplay Library

Read screenplays across a variety of genres provided by Drexel University.

Scriptwriting Essentials

The BBC offers new writers advice on how to create scripts that would appeal to their production needs.

Austin Film Festival Screenplay and Teleplay Contests

The Austin Film Festival hosts screenplay contests with judging panels that include working screenwriters, managers, agents, and production company representatives. The festival has been considered a wonderful place to network for several years.

Screenwriting Tips From Maren Ade

Explore the creative process of German screenwriter Maren Ade and the techniques she uses to complete a screenplay.

Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab

This five-day workshop allows screenwriters who are interested in writing independent films to work with professionals to perfect scripts and hone their craft.

What Is a Logline and Why Do I Need One?

The New York Film Academy discusses why loglines are important to the process of getting screenwriters' work read by agents and managers.

The Hollywood Reporter: Pilot News

A popular website among industry professionals, The Hollywood Reporter posts breaking news on the status of television pilots and advises readers of whether they've been picked up for a series. Keep an eye on this site to make sure that the projects in development aren't too similar to your own.

TV Tropes and Fiction Writing

Michigan State University discusses TV tropes and offers advice to aspiring writers on how to avoid them so that they can produce original work.

The Beat Sheet: Skeleton of a Screenplay

Learn about the beats of a good screenplay and how to make sure that your plot has a good rhythm.

Keefer's Advanced Sequencing

A New York University professor offers her own method of screenplay sequencing that can help writers complete screenplays that truly stand out from their competition.

Screenwriting Advice in Six Seconds or Less

Screenwriter Brian Koppelman has created a series of Vine videos sharing his wisdom about the craft and business of writing scripts.

Writers Guild of America: Ask the Expert

The Writers Guild of America offers visitors a list of professionals in a variety of industries who they can contact to ask questions and gather facts about their subject material.

Don't Fall in the Pit!

Screenwriter Jane Espenson looks at the things that can doom a scriptwriting competition entry to failure.

Screenwriting as a Career: Tips From Top Names in the Industry

Five famous screenwriters share career advice for those looking to make a name for themselves in the field.

Performing Arts Form for U.S. Copyright Registration

Fill out this form and send it to the U.S. Copyright Office to reserve your screenplay's seat in the Library of Congress.

Register Your Material

The Writers Guild Association West Registry allows new writers to protect their work by uploading it onto a website and associating it with official identification numbers, such as driver's license numbers and birthdays.

The Writers Lab

This four-day immersive workshop is specifically designed to help women over 40 break into the business of writing for film.

HBO Access Writing Fellowship

Diverse writers can apply to this program and gain the skills necessary to compete with other writers during staffing season or work on one of HBO's programs.

CBS Writers Mentoring Program

CBS offers a program to writers that pairs them with established writers and producers who can help guide them in their careers.