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August 11, 2023

How to Network as a Screenwriter Without Living In LA

Los Angeles might be the Mecca of filmmaking, but in today's digital age, things are changing. Thanks to the internet and the changing nature of the film industry, the world is your networking oyster.

In this blog we'll break down why networking is an instrumental and important part of the film industry and what you can do to widen your network wherever you're at on your screenwriting journey.

Why network?

Networking as a screenwriter opens opportunities to enter competitions, pitch events, access literary agents, commissioning editors, and details about production companies and publications accepting pitches. It can also be a good way to find mentors and beta readers. Or if you sell a writing service, networking could offer an excellent platform to sell these services to businesses or individuals who are your target audience.

To be a great writer you have to also be great at networking and business.

Make personal connections with like-minded people

Many screenwriters often experience loneliness, and networking offers the chance to develop a support system of fellow writers who understand the feeling. Establishing a support network is hugely beneficial as it means you can share writing advice with other professional writers, and therefore gain access to additional audiences.

A fun networking event
A networking event can be a fun-filled evening with other like-minded people

It also opens opportunities for collaboration with other writers on projects or in marketing, for example, running an online event or a live chat together. You might also wish to form a critique group to share feedback on each other’s work and bounce ideas around.

Learn more about the industry

Networking for writers is a fantastic way to learn more about the industry and gain insight from fellow professionals. Many writers recognise that the industry can be tricky to navigate, especially for those new to it, and are happy to share their tips and experiences. Networking events are also a great approach to keep up to date on trends, news and developments.

What type of networking event?

You certainly don’t need to live in L.A. to network as a screenwriter. This is especially true now that many events are hosted online. Finding the perfect networking event for you depends on what you want to achieve by networking.

Want to make professional connections?

If you want to meet editors and publishers, attending a book fair, author conference, literary festival or a film festival like the Sundance Film Festival is a good place to start.

Want to connect with other writers?

If you aim to meet other like-minded writers, it’s worth considering joining a local writers’ group, an online workshop, an online community, or attending a writing event or retreat.

Also think about the type of event you attend. Some events might be more formal than others.

A hotel in London with chandeliers and a Union Flag set up for a networking event
Consider the kind of writers event you want to join and what you want to get out of it

Want to secure professional opportunities?

Entering competitions and pitch events is a brilliant way to go about this, as well as securing regular speaking and teaching opportunities to boost your profile.

Networking tips for writers

Be prepared.

Research the event before you go. It will help you know who might be there and what to expect.

Think about what you’ll say.

Try and be proactive to make the most of any networking opportunity. Introduce yourself and ask questions, whether you’re speaking to fellow writers, literary agents or potential clients.

Have business cards or your contact details ready.

If a chat goes well, offer your business card or ask for theirs so you have their phone number and email, and ask if you can reach out and follow up on the conversation.

Don’t be afraid to chat to people.

Having face-to-face conversations can sometimes feel daunting, especially if you don’t know anyone there or if you’re an introvert. However, simple gestures like smiling, making eye contact and being open to talking to new people can help put nerves at bay.

Ask genuine questions.

Show interest in the other person and their work by asking about their work and writing goals. Take the time to get to know them and find out what they do and what their interests are. Sometimes people are looking for feedback and advice, and sometimes they are just looking to make connections.

What should you do after a networking event?

After the event, connect with the people you met. You can do this either by finding them on social media or sending a message or email. A strong follow-up will help you continue to make a good first impression, make it easy to stay in touch and build valuable relationships. If you promised to do something when you spoke, make sure you do it.

Networking is vital for writers in 2023

There are brilliant benefits to networking as a screenwriter. Whether your networking goals are professional or personal, networking is a fantastic way to expand your knowledge, strengthen your writing skills and establish a support network.

By taking a proactive approach to your chosen writing community (either online or in-person), you’ll establish a network of supportive and talented writers for advice, feedback, and encouragement.

Whether you're just starting out or you're wanting to take your professional screenplays to the next level, Arc Studio has your back and it's free to download. With an AI research assistant in-built there's never been an easier or better time to write a screenplay.


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How to Network as a Screenwriter Without Living In LA
Danielle Owen-Jones

Danielle Owen-Jones is a professional writer and the author of two romantic comedies, Stone Broke Heiress and Stuck With Him, published worldwide by Bookouture (Hachette UK). Danielle worked in journalism and PR before launching a freelance content writing business alongside writing her novels.

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