How could someone become a writer for The Young and the Restless, or another TV
To help you position yourself as a writer for a TV show, we asked founders and business leaders this question for their best ideas. From creating and canvassing your own ideas to applying for assistant positions, there are several recommendations that may help you start a career writing for TV shows.
Here are five ideas for becoming a writer for TV shows:
- Create and Canvass Your Own Idea
- Practise Writing First
- Write a Spec Script
- Participate in Screenplay Competitions
- Apply for Assistant Positions
Create and Canvass Your Own Idea
If you want to become a TV writer, the best way to do it is to generate your own ideas and get your own script turned into a show. After that, send it to everyone you can think of who has a pipeline into the television space. Create an idea, hammer out an outline, write a strong first episode, formulate how you want the characters to evolve – and then shop it. You will need to write a query letter or story deck or some other presentation to entice production companies. Look at other examples on the Web, take some of those ideas and create your own unique deck. Give people something they can remember. Be persistent and send it to everyone you can think of. Persistence is the only way.
Alan Ahdoot, Adamson Ahdoot Law
Practise Writing First
You can’t get a writing job without having written. It doesn’t matter what kind of writing it is. Go create a garden variety blog and start posting daily musings on it. Go cover a renaissance festival for a local news outlet as a freelancer. Cook up your own storyline for your favorite TV show and think of it as a “What if I was writing an episode for Series X?” project. Try to create a unique idea. Try to add your own special sauce to whatever it is you’re writing about. Create a portfolio and keep improving it. Submit it to whoever you can. Creativity and persistence are all you need.
Joel Jackson, Lifeforce
Write a Spec Script
A common way to break into writing for television is to create a “spec script” or an original script for an existing television show. There are many benefits to writing in this format. Since the show is already well-known and popular, you merely have to sell readers on your storytelling ability rather than hooking the audience on a show premise plus a plot. Also, these scripts show that you can adopt the conventions and voice of an existing program. Since most opportunities for entry-level TV screenwriters involve being part of a writer’s room for a greenlit show rather than developing an original concept, showing that you can adapt to a vision is important.
Carly Hill, Virtual Holiday Party
Participate in Screenplay Competitions
Unless you already have direct connections with a TV show’s producer, the best way to get your spec script seen is to submit to high-quality screenplay competitions. Producers’ assistants are constantly monitoring high-level competitions to look for new talent, and even getting an honorable mention can get your screenplay into the hands of a real difference maker. Be careful to check guidelines while submitting, though–some contests prevent simultaneous submissions during their evaluations.
John Jacob, Hoist
Apply for Assistant Positions
To become a TV writer, it’s essential to meet the right people who can help start you off on your career path. While this can be done by consistently networking in screenwriting classes or contests, the best way to really put yourself out there is to try to join an actual television crew. Not only taking a job in TV production will help you get your foot in the door of the writer’s room to pitch your ideas or screenplay, but it also allows you to learn a lot about the entertainment industry in the process. From there, you can start rising through the ranks, but make sure to still fit in writing in your busy schedule!
Maja Kowalska, Zety
Terkel creates community-driven content featuring expert insights. Sign up at terkel.io to answer questions and get published.