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The Script Submission Tip That Nearly ALL Screenwriters Don’t Do …

 … It’s SO small, you’ll kick yourself.

When submitting screenplays and pitch docs via email, name your files with your own name.

I’m not talking about the title page (100% necessary btw, if you don’t do it), or any of the other pages (not necessary, though doesn’t hurt). I’m talking about the ACTUAL file itself, ie:

Lucy V Hay_pitch doc_Title.pdf

Lucy V Hay_script excerpt_Title.pdf

Of course, you don’t *have* to do it like I’ve set out above, it’s just an example. But in dealing with the Script Lab applicants for London Screenwriters Festival, I have seen just THREE applicants name their files! THREE. Instead, I’m more likely to get files called:

Screenplay title.pdf

or even just:

Pitch doc.pdf

No title, nothing! Just plain “pitch doc” or “script” – along with a whole bunch of others.

It’s not specific to LSF Script Labs either. EVERY SINGLE TIME I’ve run a contest or initiative with email submissions, writers forget to put their own names on their files, whether they are .pdfs, .docs, .docxs or .fdrs.

So, why does it make any difference?

Think about it: someone like me has to download all the files and place them in various folders. If I have to name your files as well, WHAT IF I PUT THE WRONG NAME OR TITLE ON IT?

I like to think this has never happened to me, but I can’t be sure – word blindness can happen, ESPECIALLY when there are lots of submissions and so many have no names OR titles AND the same titles crop up again and again. *Maybe* I’ve given someone a place on an initiative when it was *meant* to go to someone else. All because that first writer ddn’t name his/her files.

So, next time you’re submitting to a contest or initiative via email, NAME YOUR FILES as well as your title page.


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8 thoughts on “The Script Submission Tip That Nearly ALL Screenwriters Don’t Do …”

  1. getting ready to head to LA for NATPE Pitchfest. Wondered if you reviewed script and one-pagers for aspiring film producers. Produced pilot episode as well and am in final editing on that.


  2. Thanks for you many wonderful information. I was just reading about contest submission do’s and don’ts from and article linked from “Script”. You mentioned in one of the links I read that you use, Movie Magic Screenwriter. The problem I had is my title page isn’t linked to my script or it doesn’t appear to be. When I go to the title page, it saves as a different page altogether, so how do I know it followed my script when I sent it? With FD it’s all connected.
    I just sent a screenplay off and made many of the mistakes you talk about here in that I did not name my pdf. with my name when I sent it. I was very concerned about this, but didn’t see where or how to change or fix this. So, how do I fix that in the future?
    Not all contests ask for a one page pitch either, so how do you get one to them?

    1. Hi, I’m afraid I’m not familiar with Movie Magic software. I would recommend asking their helpline or forum, or consulting other forums with screenwriters who use this software. As for one pagers, if comps don’t allow for them (ie. there is nowhere to upload them), then don’t send them, but if you’re submitting via mail and it doesn’t NOT say don’t send them, then send one! Lastly, re: not naming your file, there’s nothing you can do if you have sent already I’m afraid. Just remember to do it from now on would be my advice. Good luck!

    2. Hi Jo: I use Movie Magic and have for many years. When you convert MM to PDF, review what was converted. If you see your cover page on screen, then you can rest assured that the cover will be e-mailed along with the document. I hope this helps.


        1. Thanks! I’m seeing it now, but don’t think I did it initially. So who knows where it ended up. I can only hope the contest I sent it to did a better job than I keeping them straight.

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