Screenwriting Career Goals for the New Year

Continued from Page One: Screenwriting Resolutions: Craft Goals

If you aspire to get paid for your writing, you will need to balance your craft development with marketing efforts.  We writers are often most comfortable alone in front of our laptops, so it’s tough to put ourselves and our work out there. But you have to do it. There’s no way around it.With that in mind, I suggest you compartmentalize — make a list of smaller goals for the year that will lead to bigger ones. Don’t give yourself hard cut-offs, it’s too much pressure and it promotes an “all or nothing” mentality which isn’t healthy. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Here’s a sample list…

CAREER GOALS (just a few examples; everyone’s in a different place):

  • Submit to three contests (stick to the most prestigious ones).
  • Post a script on and submit to leads via their Preferred e-Newsletter. IMHO, Inktip is the best resource online for getting your logline in front of working producers who make feature films (and no, they’re not paying me to say that). But you can’t rely only on the Internets, my friend; you still gotta…
  • Work the phones! You have to pick up the phone and cold-call management firms and production companies — you will invariably get rejected by some for legal reasons (the “no unsolicited submission” rule) but if you stay persistent and positive and use your smarts to get past that gatekeeper, you will eventually get an eager assistant on the line to whom you can sell your Logline (and yourself) and get that coveted submission request. To aid this…
  • Get face time with industry pros! Go to festivals, conferences or just get your butt to L.A. or New York and hang out in hot spots where the working pros go to network and nosh. An in-person meet and greet is ten times stronger than an email or phone call. With the latter two, you’re just an email address or a voice; but if they’ve shook your hand, they know you. (Hint: If they’ve met you, the guilt-factor is higher when they avoid your call! Keep calling and leaving them those “Remember me?” voicemails and they’ll eventually cave and call you back.)
  • Submit to three Managers/Agents and three Production Companies. You will learn a lot from their responses and maybe even get a meeting out of it (and if they tell you they can’t do anything with your current submission but they’d like to read something else, that’s when you submit that second script you polished up earlier in the year). Once you’ve done these things, make sure to…
  • Follow Up! Remember me? (The guy who was outside your home last night at 3:00 A.M.? I…won’t…be…ignored.)

If you want to set your sights higher, then you can gun for things like signing with a Rep, getting a produced credit (a short is a good place to start), getting a pitch meeting, etc.

Here’s to a great New Year filled with Craft and Career success!

Good Luck and Happy Writing, my fellow writers and friends,


2 replies
  1. carmelo
    carmelo says:

    I have a good question about submitting to agents and or production companies. Do you recommend any particular electronic submission service? I.E is “” or any of the others auto or electronic submission services any good? Or are they all scams? Should I just get myself an old fashioned agent directory?
    Any tips would help!



    • Dan
      Dan says:

      Good question, Carmelo.

      The only service I endorse is It’s the only one I’ve used and know several people who’ve had success with it. Now, that’s putting you in touch with producers, not necessarily reps (agents and managers). For Reps, I suggest the old fashioned way — cold calls, networking to find other writers with reps who can give you referrals, and query letters to those companies (mainly management firms) that accept them. Contests can also be great for getting a rep, but you usually have to win or place in the top three of a well-known contest that has a track record of delivering on is promise of industry access. Good luck and happy writing!


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