How to Get an Agent

Chad replied to yesterday’s post:

I read every entry of your blog last night starting from the very beginning in April. You’re hilarious!

Wow, even I haven’t read every post.  (You can tell by the poor speling and grammar,)

I’m a fellow (aspiring) writer and had a quick question for you- how do I go about getting a literary agent to send out my scripts? Do I just send it to them and let them know it’s coming? I figured you’d be the most knowledgeable on the subject. Thanks!

Well, if I really knew the answer to that question, I probably wouldn’t still be a PA.  And more to the point, I wouldn’t tell you the answer.  Less competition that way.

The truth is, very few agents take scripts from people they don’t know, or who weren’t referred to them by someone they know.  So, how do you get referred by someone who knows an agent?

First, you have to meet that person.  To do that, you have to live in Los Angeles (or New york) and work in the industry.  Then, convince them to read your script.  If they respond well to it, then that might be the right time to ask for a referral.

Now, this seems simple, but there are a million variations on this process.  John August has a whole series of articles from writers about how they got their first agent.  (Check near the bottom of the linked page.)  Every writer’s story is different.

On a final note, I should ammend my list above.  The first step should be, “Write a good script.”

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8 Responses

  1. Your best bet is to get your script to a producer. Producers are more apt to read your script and they can refer you to an agent. And if they really like it and want to option it or buy it, they will refer you to an agent to expedite things.

    A lot of smaller (yet reputable) production companies except queries from writers. Also, management companies are always on the lookout for new scripts/writers/talent.

  2. Thanks for the tip, Monte Carlo!

    And as for you, Mr. Anonymous PA:
    You’re a JERK! Just kidding. Thanks for your help. I feel that I will inevitably become a PA and have to work my way up the ranks.

    Or I could write a porn.

    We’ll see which road I choose to follow.

    Can’t wait to keep reading your future posts!

  3. I get between 5-10 query letters at work each day from prospective writers, so here is a small, small piece of advice. If you are going to send in unsolicited query letter, please be sure that your letter is grammatically flawless. We do not and will not respond to someone who doesn’t know the difference between “your and you’re”. Honestly, if you can’t write a letter correctly, chances are you can’t write a screenplay either.

    Just my two cents…

  4. easier said than done…

    @ uninvoked: writers’ conferences aren’t really for screenwriters, they’re for BOOK writers. So if you’re looking for a literary agent for a BOOK you’re writing, then you could go to a conference.

    Otherwise, don’t bother if you’re searching for a film literary agent.

  5. I’m not familiar with script agents, but are Writer’s conferences not an option? You could meet the agent directly there. It’s spendy, but worth it if you get someone to say yes.

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