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Writer’s Group: Your Script Family

By Michael Schilf · June 18, 2010


There’s nothing better than a deadline to get a writer to kick some screenplay butt, and if you’re like most script scribes (A-list writers working on assignments for major studio pictures not included), it’s hard to stay on track for self-imposed deadlines. Three months become six months, which turn into a year, and you’re still not finished with the stinking first draft! Not to mention, once you do finish, you must embark on the arduous task of getting feedback.

So, what’s the solution? Create a writer’s group. Six members is ideal, both men and women. If you meet once a month, you’ll present new material twice a year: that’s two features! Not too shabby. You’ll also read ten original spec scripts a year, providing critical feedback each time.

This is no hollow exercise, because you can often learn more about screenwriting by helping others solve their script problems, and those lessons taught will be parlayed into better writing of your own.

If you’re straight out of film school, putting together a group is easy. If not, use craigslist, social networking, or any platform really to make it happen. Virtual groups are okay (which may be the only option for the geographically isolated writer), but the best option is to find writers in the same local area, so you can literally sit down together and workshop.