So, you want to get your writing out there …
I get emails and messages from Bangers on the regular about getting their writing out there. I thought I’d round up the most common questions about this topic so it’s all in one place for you.
So if you’re feeling stumped but want to get your writing out there, make sure you check out the top 10 below for tips. Ready? Let’s go …
1) How do I know my draft is ‘ready’ to send out?
This can depend, but never send out a first draft for starters. Then do at least one developmental edit (looking at concept, characters and structure), followed by a line/proof edit. Some writers like to do several readings of their work, such as readthroughs with actors or sensitivity readings as well.
You can pay for such services or you can do peer review, or a combo of both. Also, have the guts to FINISH before you send it out. Too many writers tinker endlessly with their drafts.
2) When can I follow up on a submission?
You should wait a minimum of 8-12 weeks. I know that seems ages, but it’s not when you’re an agent, publisher or producer and have a huge backlog of submissions! More about this HERE.
By the way … if you hear NOTHING (aka get ‘ghosted’)? That’s an answer.
Also, if you get no response consistently, you need to look at your approach and/or whom you’re targeting.
3) Is entering writing competitions a good idea?
Sure, but ‘Buyer beware’ – some contests are better than others. Get recommendations from your writer followers and friends.
It also pays to have a submissions strategy in mind and to know what you want out of the process. CLICK HERE for a list of things you might want to consider when entering competitions.
4) What is a query email?
A query email is a very short email containing your logline and some concise information about you. Its purpose is to ask if people will read your script or manuscript.
Many queries will go unanswered. Sometimes agents, producers or publishers will reply and say ‘No’. Every now and again someone will reply though and say YES though … even if their website says ‘No unsolicited material‘.
5) How do I find people to submit my writing to?
First things first, you need to do your research. Discover WHAT industry pros actually do, WHO the ‘big hitters’ are and WHO is looking (and who is not!). Try and network online and/or at real life events but DON’T just be ‘me-me-me’ and ‘read my script!’. CLICK HERE for a guide on reaching out to Industry Pros authentically.
You should also be querying. The most important thing to do when sending out a query email is to send it to the right person! Never info@ addresses! Again, research whom you’re sending it to. Also make sure you don’t send it at a time people are away (ie. Christmas or summer). MORE HERE.
6) How many completed projects should a writer have before approaching an agent?
This is a bit of a ‘piece of strong’ question because individual agents will have their own preferences … But let’s say at least one novel and an idea for one more if you’re an author. If you’re a screenwriter, then let’s say 2 features or TV pilots and a bunch of one pagers.
7) Is it best to approach film producers or film companies?
Either’s fine, plus it’s always good to ‘think big’! That said, researching and targeting newer producers if you’re a new writer. You’re more likely to find people to work with.
8) I need a producer for my short film. How do I find one?
Get networking and querying! Research & identify those producers whose work you love and would be a good fit for you. Adjust your expectations, become realistic and you’re more likely to get what you want. MORE HERE.
9) I want an agent to represent me. How do I go about this?
Make sure you research agents first. Twitter is a good place to start, using hashtags like #askagent, #pidmad and #mswl. Also Writers’ & Artists Yearbook and LitRejections.com are good places to start. One word of warning: when checking out free directories, be aware they are updated infrequently & agents may have retired or moved on!
10) What should you expect from a ‘general’ meeting with a producer or agent?
Usually it’s a meet n’ greet to see if you’re a weirdo! They want to scope you out, see if you’re a good fit. So don’t be weird and be interested in them and what they’ve done before. For more on meetings, CLICK HERE.
Do you have any other tips to share?
If you have any further tips in getting your writing out there, drop them in the comments for the Bangers. Don’t forget to give the B2W Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) a bookmark too.