Wednesday, April 10, 2013

More On Query Letter Writing Plus Get The 2013 Hollywood Screenwriting Directory

(Here's an interesting article on query letter writing. the principles hold for both query letters for film scripts and query letters for novels. Take the time to click on the bottom and read the full article.)

Hot off the presses for spring 2013 is a brand-new edition of 'The Hollywood Screenwriting Directory', featuring more than 2,500 listings (up from last edition’s 1,500). You’ll also find updates on more than 40% of the contacts, including verified information, like phone numbers, and street and email addresses. But as I often say, you only have one shot to make a first impression, so make sure your query letter is in tip-top shape before you send it! Below is an excerpt from the Hollywood Screenwriting Directory on ‘How to Write a Query Letter’ to help you. 

A query is a one-page, single-spaced letter that quickly tells who you are, what the work is, and why the work is appropriate for the market in question. Just as queries are used as the first means of contact for pitching magazine articles and novels, they work just the same for scripts. 

A well-written query is broken down into three parts. 

Part I: Your reason for contacting/script details 

Before even looking at the few sentences describing your story, a producer wants to see two other things: 

1. What is it? State the title, genre, and whether it’s a full-length script or a shorter one. 

2. Why are you contacting this market/person in particular? There are thousands of individuals who receive scripts. Why have you chosen this person to review the material? Is it because you met them in person and they requested to see your work? Have they represented writers similar to you? Did you read that they were actively looking for zombie comedies? Spelling out your reason upfront shows that you’ve done your research, and that you’re a professional. 

Part II: The Elevator Pitch 

If you wrote the first paragraph correctly, you’ve got their attention, so pitch away. Explain what your story is in about 3-6 sentences. The point here is to intrigue and pique only. Don’t get into nitty-gritty details of any kind. Hesitate using a whole lot of character names or backstory. Don’t say how it ends or who dies during the climax or that the hero’s father betrays him in Act II. Introduce us to the main character and his situation, then get to the key part of the pitch: the conflict. 

click below for more information

Learn the essentials to writing a stand-out query letter »

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