This article originally appeared in LA Screenwriter. An edited version is reprinted here by the author with permission.
by Angela Bourassa (@angelabourassa1)
If you live in Los Angeles, take advantage of it! There are countless opportunities to network with other writers, actors, assistants, and all sorts of people who are also looking to build careers in the film industry. (One of the best ways is LiveReadLA‘s readings every few months, just saying.)
If you live outside of LA, it becomes A LOT harder to meet other screenwriters and grow your network. But it isn’t impossible. In fact, many of the best ways to connect with other screenwriters are online.
As Write/LA is an international screenwriting competition, we wanted to share some of the best ways that screenwriters outside of LA can connect with one another.
A word of caution — some of these resources have the potential to turn into major time sucks if you let them. Just remember that the best way to become a professional screenwriter is to spend your time WRITING, not talking to other writers about writing. That said, if you have questions to ask or opinions to share or just want to meet kindred spirits, here are some great places to do it…
I visit Scriptshadow every day. Carson Reeves, who runs the site, always has interesting and useful things to say, and it’s a great place to find scripts that are currently circulating around the industry — things that haven’t been made yet. Carson doesn’t actually post the scripts he reviews, but if you head down to the comments, there’s usually some friendly soul who shares a link. (That’s how I got to read the script for Mindy Kaling’s upcoming comedy, LATE NIGHT, for example.)
And the comment section is the place on this site to connect with other writers. I don’t know how Carson does it, but his articles get hundreds of comments every day. Getting involved on these threads will instantly connect you with a ton of very experienced and overall very friendly (if blunt) writers.
The Screenwriting subReddit is a terrifying and wonderful place. There are plenty of naysayers, but overall it’s a pretty awesome and supportive community. If you want someone — anyone — to take a look at your latest spec, you can post it. If you’re wondering what people think of a particular contest, you can ask. This is also a great place to go looking for scripts you can’t find elsewhere. Just remember to search the forum history before posting something new.
This is a private Facebook group, but if you just ask to join, I think they accept pretty much everyone. This group is cool because it is run by Christopher Lockhart, who is the Story Editor at WME, and he actively participates in the group. He’s legit, and this group gives you a direct connection to him. Just don’t post asking him to read your script — that would be a good way to get kicked out. Rather, people regularly use this group to present loglines and get feedback on them or to share industry news and recent successes.
This is another private Facebook group that is super easy to join, and also incredibly active. It WILL take over your Facebook feed. But the people on here are nice and many of them — at least the most active participants — are produced or sold screenwriters. There’s a lot to learn here and plenty of nice people to connect with.
Of course, the best way to really connect with writers is in the real world, and a meetup is a great way to do that. Check the site for existing screenwriter meetups in your area, and if one doesn’t exist, start one! Being the moderator will mean that everyone wants to meet you, which makes it that much easier to connect with other writers. It’s more work, sure, but the rewards are greater. Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid!
Angela Bourassa is the founder of LA Screenwriter and the co-founder of Write/LA, a screenwriting competition created by writers, for writers. A mom, UCLA grad, and alternating repeat binger of The Office and Parks and Recreation, Angela posts articles through @LA_Screenwriter and unique daily writing prompts through @Write_LA.