Finding a writer/assessor/editor

I’ve got a great idea – how do I find a writer to turn it into a script?
If you are hiring a writer to produce a script for you they can justifiably expect to be paid for that work. The Find a Writer section on this website lists writers available to do work. However, often the best thing you can do is simply write the script yourself, it is often the case that no one can give vision to your idea better than you.

How do I find someone to collaborate on a script with?
Are you looking for a collaborator (a writing partner) or for someone to write the script for you? Collaborations most typically arise out of people meeting and striking up some connection. They will then work co-operatively. You could contact writers to see if they are interested in collaboration but the best way to find a collaborator is to meet other writers and the best way to do that is to take part in industry groups, events and functions. The Guild has a Collaboration Agreement which covers writers working together in this way.

I need someone professional to give me general feedback on my script.
Check out the Find a Writer section on this website – Script Assessors. It lists script assessors who will be able to provide feedback for a fee. It’s a good idea to ask assessors for references from other writers so you can judge whether their feedback has been professional and useful.

I need to find a script editor.
Do you want a script editor or are you looking for an assessment of your script? A script editor is more typically heavily involved with the script and tends to be hired by a producer while an assessor will give you one-off coverage of your work and would be typically hired by a producer seeking a second opinion or a writer wanting an independent check of their script.

If you are looking for an editor check out the Find a Writer section – Script Editors.

What is the difference between a script editor, script consultant and script assessor?
Not everyone agrees on these various definitions and there are some differences between television and film, but generally speaking these are what the various roles encompass.

Script Editor
In film – works in tandem with the writer in a broad sense – advising, analysing, discussing.
In television – ensures consistency of style/story etc over a series, may take an active role in rewriting scripts where necessary.

Script Consultant
Literally ‘consults’ on the script – may be a specialist in the genre or subject matter of the work, provides more overarching advice on the style, tone rather than specific rewrites. May work on an ongoing basis with the producer/writer.

Script Assessor
Reads the script and provides an ‘assessment’ – makes observations about what is working and what is not, may give notes towards improvements, may provide a one-on-one meeting to discuss the script.

How can I tell if a script expert is good?
First you need to ensure what type of ‘expert’ you require. Is it a script editor, consultant or assessor? Often the best way to find the right person for you is word of mouth – talk to other writers and see if they can recommend anyone.

All script experts have different skills. Beginner writers will also have different needs from more experienced writers.

Some helpful questions to ask of them might be:

  • What is their experience?
  • Are they experienced in this type of work?
  • Are they likely to have an understanding of your script? Is this a genre/type of story they are likely to understand?

You might also consider

  • Do they have any special skills or knowledge which they could bring to this work?
  • Have they undergone any formal training?
  • Can they provide you a copy of their writing CV?
  • Can they provide written references from other writers/companies/organisations?

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Code by Michael Bao