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How to meet other TV writers if you don't live in LA


TV writers networking

In the entertainment industry, it's all about who you know. And this couldn't be more true for climbing your TV writing path. When I first moved to LA, I started looking for PA jobs by sending my resume around town. But once I found that first job, I never applied to another job again. And it wasn't because I had an easy ride. There were many many months or unemployment and backtracking between gigs. But it became very clear that once people knew you, you were referred around town. And, unless a production is in a bind, you're likely getting that next job off of word of mouth. Not because they like your resume. In fact, at this point, I don't even have a resume. My last one is so old it still lists my work study catering jobs I had in high school. (I should probably re-do those at some point. But I digress...)


The point is, breaking into TV writing means developing relationships with others in the business as much as it means developing your own scripts. In fact, on the whole, I have seen plenty of writers with almost no material and absolutely no good material make it very far. But I have never seen anyone who does not have a network, even if they have amazing material, make it anywhere.


But this is problematic for anyone outside of LA, the center of the TV writing universe. Me and my colleagues and friends who I started with have slowly risen up together. And that means we have tendrils of network built into our relationships. So, how do you start to meet people and build your own group of writers who are on the same track if you're far from the action?


In this article, I'll tell you about some helpful resources, but I'll also explain why, at the end of the day, you'll still need to be in LA to make your push...


The TV Writer Treasure Trove that is Reddit


There is an entire world of information and resources on Screenwriting Reddit (reddit.com/r/screenwriting). It contains huge amounts of current info on trends, workshops, competitions, industry trade secrets, all that stuff. But for the purposes of this article, it also fosters a lot of communication between its users. Sure, a lot of that comes in the form of Reddit-style mockery and debate. But there are certainly relationships formed here as well. Even if you don't connect with your next TV writing partner, it can be a great place to tap into the screenwriting community and see what's going on.


Social Media


I started a TikTok account a few years ago to gain a bit of a following and hopefully sell my book, Breaking Into TV Writing. And it worked. But it also introduced me to an entire community on TikTok of creators, producers, writers, and filmmakers, who were looking to communicate and connect. I had been very anti social media before signing up for TikTok. I still am very anti social media. But there are no doubt good things to be found on there as well. And one of those is community. I've seen people start supportive writing groups and and I've seen people find answers and find their path, all by connecting and getting to know others within a certain microniche community.


In order to be a TV Writer, you still do need to be in LA


So, those are a few things you can do to network while you're outside of LA. However, if you want to be a TV writer, you need to keep LA as your goal, even if it's your long-term goal. People in the industry, at least when you're first starting out, are just not going to take you seriously if you don't live here and don't plan on living here.


Still, this move is not easy. So, while you're figuring things out, start building your circle any way you can.

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Hello!

I'm Anton, a TV writer and author of Breaking Into TV Writing, a book about the business of TV writing and how to get your foot in the door.

 

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