These are the questions I hear most frequently, and which I answer on this website as well as in my book, Screen Writers Q & A:
Q: How do I get an agent?
Q: What do I say in a query letter?
Q: Who do I send it to?
Q: What kind of software should I be using?
Q: How do I write flashbacks and dream sequences?
Q: Can I include camera directions in my script?
Q: Do I, or do I not, number my scenes?
Hi. My name is Esther Luttrell. It's my pleasure to host this very private, and completely free, screenwriting workshop just for
Most of the queries I receive from aspiring screenwriters ask questions like how to get their screenplay to the right people in Hollywood. 99.9% of those making the inquiry honestly believe their work is ready for the marketplace. They're a little surprised when I ask them to send me one page so that I can see if they really are prepared to make the Big Pitch. From just one page, a studio reader makes a decision whether or not to read more. You could have the most brilliant story in the world, but if they can spot on the first page that you don't know the craft of screenwriting, your terrific story gets pitched all right, but not in the way you had in mind.
Not too long after I left MGM, I struck out across the country to conduct screenwriting workshops and to share with others what I was fortunate enough to have learned on-the-job, from some very tough taskmasters; insider information that few professionals bother telling you - things that could mean the difference between years of frustration and just a little of frustration. You will get frustrated, that's a certainty, but sometimes the journey is as rewarding as reaching the destination.
I wrote a textbook, Tools of the ScreenWriting Trade, and in it I showed the reader, step-by-step, how to craft a nearly perfect script, along with detailed explanations of why it has to be done the way it's done. But then the industry began to change drastically and before I knew it, the textbook became almost obsolete. It's changing even as my fingers go tippy-tap across this computer keyboard. For that reason, I'll update this site regularly, so you will know exactly what's going on in the Hollywood marketplace.
In checking out the Class Schedule you'll probably find what you're looking for. If not, you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't send me scenes, for heaven sakes, but do feel free to ask questions.
If you seriously pursue screenwriting as a profession, you will be entering one of the most competitive fields in the world. The only way to succeed is to be more educated on the business of being a screenwriter than all of your competitors.
I can't guarantee you a sale - no one can make such a claim - but I can guarantee that if you pay attention to what I'm telling you - and if you are a truly gifted writer - your work will be read by those in a position to buy it. Getting read might not sound like such a big deal, but most new writers don't even get that far.
I'm an email away and there's no charge to answer your questions.
I wish you well. More than well. I wish you the very best in the whole darn world.
Did you know that an overwhelming majority of screenplays are rejected without even being read?
How will you overcome the odds?
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This website is dedicated to those bright, wonderful screenwriting students who came to our workshops on their journey to Somewhere. Sometimes the sigh of uncertainty needs no more than a pat of encouragement to become the roar of confidence. Esther Luttrell
CMuch of the screenwriting material is updated from my textbook "Tools of the ScreenWriting Trade"
Esther's teachings are 100% accurate. I'm the one who encouraged her to write a book. Every screenwriter should know what she has to say." -Paul Mason, former Vice President Production - Viacom
"What Esther teaches is important for you to now if you ever intend to make it as a screenwriter." -Paul Rabwin, award-winning producer, "The X Files"
"She even critiques your script. I believe I learned as much from that as I did in her workshop." Dick Canady, screenwriter A Soldier's Story, directed by Norman Jewison.
"Studying with her is like bootcamp in constructing a screenplay for the real world of readers, agents and development executives." Steven Siebert, screenwriter Village of the Damned, VP Development Preger Entertainment