Writers Need to Network

Writers Need to Network

I’m a big advocate of networking and writers don’t do it enough. There are millions of writers out there with millions of scripts, and very few producers with the money to produce them. You can’t simply be a name on a 110 page document. People like to work with folks that they creatively jive with, and producers are no different. That means sitting in front of your laptop banging out a screenplay is only half of your job. If you want to work consistently, you need to build a network of like-minded industry people around you and that takes effort.

There are lots of networking opportunities. Here are a few:

Volunteer at a film festival or a pitch festival

One of the perks of volunteering is that you’re allowed to go to the networking mixers for free. If you have more time than you do money, this is a great way to save yourself a few hundred dollars and still have the opportunity to meet attendees and guests.

Join a writers group or filmmakers group

Writers groups are good because they consist solely of other writers that can help you stick to your writing goals and give you feedback on your scripts. A filmmakers group offers other benefits by allowing you to meet and form relationships with people involved in various aspects of development and production. Join both. For a list of existing groups in your area, check out meetup.com. If you don’t have one in your community, considering starting one of your own and advertise at your local college’s film/media school, libraries, and online.

Go to a writer’s conference, workshop, or retreat

The great thing about these types of events is that you often get to interact directly with guest speakers and panel members, plus you meet a lot of other writers as well. They can be expensive, but if you were planning to take a vacation anyway why not double up?

Network through Social Media

Lastly, you can network online through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Organizations like the Network ISA offer free live chats with working industry professionals that can later be downloaded as podcasts.

Whatever you do, get out from behind that monitor and meet people. You never know, the person you meet tomorrow may introduce you to the producer that’ll buy your script next month.

Christine Conradt
Christine Conradt

A graduate of the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, Christine has written and/or produced more than 40 independent and made-for-tv movies. Her films have aired on Fox, USA, Lifetime, and LMN. She often speaks at writer’s conferences and on panels, has contributed to two screenwriting books and has plans to publish two books within the next year. Follow her at Facebook/ScreenwriterChristineConradt, on her website at ChristineConradt.com, and on Twitter @CConradt.

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  1. Or actually work in the business as a grunt in the beginning and then move up to assistant jobs. It’s a great way to get face time with producers, writers, directors and cast. Once you’ve proved your worth and have their ear there is a way better chance they will read your work and give it a chance. That could be as simple as suggestions, putting it in the path of the right people or even showing interst themselves.

    • I completely agree with you, Chris. Working as a grunt does a lot more than just put you in contact with people that can help you get your script made. It also teaches you other aspects of the industry and a writer that understands production, casting, etc. is typically a better writer because of it. The problem is that most people can’t afford to quit their day jobs and work as a grunt (which doesn’t pay much) unless they are right out of college. For adults that are trying to become writers and still need to support families and pay mortgages, there are other things they can do that will still allow them to keep financially afloat.

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