Writing Is Life

A letter from Phil Gladwin, founder of Screenwriting Goldmine

The Goldmine Manifesto 2018

Dear Scriptwriter,

You’re here because you want to write scripts and sell them, and I understand that.

In a moment I’ll describe our new plans to help you do exactly that. 

But before I do that, I want to give you just a little context.

These days the base level of writing from the average Goldminer is better than it ever has been.

I suspect that's because in 2018 there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of great resources out there, all training people in the craft of screenwriting.

That's just terrific. It means more people can come into their potential as writers.

We’re seeing that at the Screenwriting Goldmine Awards.

Every year the judges comment how the entries are getting better. And this year there was a deluge of comments from the judges saying how this year’s entries were the best yet.

In fact, this year four of our judges were so excited by the standard they had requested meetings with a finalist before the final results were out. That’s never happened before.

The thing is, this much higher level of craft in new writers has shown up a consistency in another area. One place where new writers still do have one heck of a problem.

There's a lot of heat around about equal opportunities for specific groups of writers, and that's entirely a good thing.

But, leaving alone any specific discrimination, it's true that almost all writers – even really good writers - experience a massive struggle to get hired to write TV drama. 

Writers who have careers of more than a handful of episodes, or who keep working at any volume for more than a couple of years, are incredibly rare.

It’s not enough just to be able to write good scripts. There is more to it, and it’s this that I want to explain.

Most of the time a good writer’s problems stem from not understanding the industry.

  • Some writers think making ten short films will begin their career
  • Some writers think writing film scripts will begin their career

The truth is, short films tend to help directors along more than writers, and, unless you're also the kind of person who has a lucky way with buying lottery tickets, writing feature scripts on spec is a very poor career choice.

Then we come to two more basic, and colossal, misunderstandings:

  • Too many people think that sitting in their bedroom writing, and then sending scripts out cold, is the way to get hired
  • Too many writers think that an agent will get them all their work

These two ideas couldn't be more wrong.

The sheer waste of energy, hope, and heart these ideas involve every year, for thousands of writers, is shattering.

So what can we do about that at Screenwriting Goldmine?

Here, now in 2018?

Well, I think we can fix it for you.

Click here to continue