Just got this question from a reader:
I just finished reading your article on how to write a query letter and I have a question for you. I’ve written a short story that I would like to submit to a talent agency in the hopes of getting it made into a movie but I have no idea how to write the query letter for it. How do I go about telling them what I want to do with my story?
Thanks for the question!
While many movies come from adapted material, most of that material originates from published work or soon-to-be published work. I’m not sure about the status of your short story, but if you have a literary agent or manager (say, in New York, for example) you might have them use their connections to find the right folks out here in LA.
If you are just starting out, and your work is not published, and you are not with a literary agent who represents your fiction and prose writing, it will be difficult to get it in the right hands as far as selling the movie rights.
Literary agencies in Hollywood are looking for screenplays and screenwriters who are actively writing screenplays. They want a finished product they can SELL. Which leads me to my next question:
Do you want to be a screenwriter or novelist?
Sure, it’s not an “either/or” question necessarily. BUT, if you want to be a screenwriter, you’ll have to write screenplays. There’s no way around it.
If you want to write fiction, prose, novels, etc., why not look for a print or reputable online publication that will display your work? While the freelance market isn’t great, there’s still some people out there paying for writing. If you haven’t already, take a look at The Writer’s Market which has pretty much everything you can imagine for prose writers. I don’t get a kickback from recommending it, but darnit, I should.
Does that make sense? Hope so!
Best of luck with your work.
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