Ready to make submissions? Great! But stop right there peeps, ‘cos there’s four things you MUST do before you send your screenplays anywhere:
1) Have An Online Presence
NEWSFLASH: You need to be visible online. This is non-negotiable. Agents, producers, directors, – even script readers! – like to Google people whose submissions have landed on their desks.
Why? Well it’s to check to make sure you’re not an axe murderer and that you actually know what you’re talking about, simple as that.
The good news is, if you’re not into social media like Twitter and Facebook, there’s plenty of other options, like the excellent About.me, which is kind of like an online business card. Check mine out, HERE.
But if you DO like chatting online, remember your manners and make sure you don’t drop any serious clangers… Unlike this guy:
#Pitmad is an online Twitter pitching event for novelists, but the advice is still good for screenwriters: NEVER, EVER slag people off online who you want to work with!! In fact, try not throw shade at *anyone* online, because these things do have a habit of coming back to haunt you. Supersadface.
2) Make sure people can reach you
So many writers make this mistake… They might have an online presence, but they FORGET to fill in their profiles and bios! ALWAYS INCLUDE:
- A photo (No, it doesn’t *have* to be of your face)
- Some relevant (real) info about you (quirky is fine, but not TOO quirky)
- Relevant URLs – ie. (website, social media platforms you can be found on, etc)
- An email address/contact button (this doesn’t have to be on every single profile)
Here’s my Twitter bio. As you’ll see, it has my real name as well as my Twitter handle (@Bang2write), plus some brief info underneath: my agent, what books I’ve written, my website URL and so on. I’ve included my About.me page here which has a contact button; so does my website. In addition, I’ve added a photo, in this case one of my novels, The Decision: Lizzie’s Story.
3) Include a Title Page!
I can’t tell you how many screenwriters forget to include a title page. Unless you’re expressly told NOT to include your contact details on the title page, make sure you include:
- The script’s title
- Your name
- Your phone number
- Your email address
- Your agent (if applicable)
- Home address optional
4) Don’t forget to NAME YOUR FILES
I can’t stress this enough: NAME YOUR FILES, especially when sending via email. It’s all very well saying, “It’s in my accompanying email” or “I had to put the title and name in the upload page”, but you don’t know where these files are swimming off to in cyberland!! Chances are, some office junior or kid on work experience is filing them in a Dropbox somewhere.
So make it easy for them NOT to screw up!!! ALWAYS name your files with your OWN name and preferably, the title of your submission as well as what it is, ie:
MORE: The Script Submission Tip That Nearly ALL Screenwriters Don’t Do, plus don’t forget to download the FREE B2W Submissions Checklist PDF, which you can find HERE.
- More articles by Lucy V. Hay
- SUBMISSIONS INSANITY: The 10 Submissions Commandments
- What Screenwriters Need to Know About Submission Releases
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How to Make Your Submission Stand Out
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Explains the Process of Querying Agents
Helps Writers Make Sure Their Queries are Ready to Go