So, You’ve Joined the Stage 32 Writers' Room, Now What?

So, You’ve Joined the Stage 32 Writers' Room, Now What?

So, You’ve Joined the Stage 32 Writers' Room, Now What?

Noel Thompson
Noel Thompson
a year ago

Congratulations on taking an important step to becoming a professional screenwriter by joining the Stage 32 Writers' Room! And if you haven't joined yet, be sure to check it out here!

In all career paths there is the need for continual education, and screenwriting is no different. Whatever natural talent we have must be strengthened through education and networking, because after all, we could have written the greatest scripts in the world, but if no one sees them, it’s as if they don’t exist. Here are my tips to best utilize your Writers' Room Membership.

So Youve Joined the Stage 32 Writers Room Now What

Jazz Up Your Profile

First, add a photo to your profile page. “But I’m a writer...I don’t have a good photo...how about a photo of my cat…?” Yes, some of us are self-conscious about posting a photo, but put your ego aside now - better sooner than later for a lot of reasons - and post a photo of YOU! Why? Because if you’re going to be networking a photo is more memorable, and it’s just professional.

While you’re on that profile page - go ahead and write a bio. I struggled with this too, thinking “What should I include? What shouldn’t I include?” Imagine you send off your script to a producer and they say, “This is terrific, who is this writer?” They then go to your Stage 32 profile. Here’s your chance to tell who YOU are.

You can include what makes you so special, or your unique perspective, or things that you love and would love to write about. Above all make sure it’s written well - it’s another writing sample - that means check for typos, and maybe even ask a friend to proofread for you. Let your bio give the essence of who you are as a person, not just a writer. Write in the voice of your scripts. Aaron Sorkin’s would be clipped and witty, while Martin Scorsese’s, I would imagine, would swirl into tangents of his passion for film. That’s them. What’s your voice? Who are you?

Pitches & Script Coverage

After adding that beautiful photo of yourself and a well-written bio, you’re going to want to buy pitches and script coverage - YES, do that! Because only by having our work reviewed can we get better. Keep an open mind on all feedback.

PLUS, check out all the free webinars you now have access to because of your Writers' Room membership (located in the Writers' Room vault)! While you’re there, check out the past recordings of Pitch Sessions and online events. Now comes the tough, but exhilarating part. Get ready to Zoom!

So Youve Joined the Stage 32 Writers Room Now What

Engage with The Community

It's time for networking! I hear you groaning already, but Stage 32’s Writers' Room is super inviting, so jump on a zoom with your camera ON, and be ready with the elevator pitch about yourself. We want to meet you! The Writers' Room landing page has the latest big weekly events, but there’s also a TON of events that are only seen in the “posts” section of the VIP Writers' Room lounge.

Some zoom events you can attend include:

Accountability/Writers' Sprints - Trouble finding the time to write? Enter the zoom, get your prompt, and participate with fellow writers to… just WRITE! (Chats are optional as well.) You’ll feel the camaraderie right away. Not ready to pitch to an executive, but want to practice in a nurturing, ego-less environment?

Great! Thursday nights at 5:30 PST is Pitch Practice with Brooklynn Fields and a guest co-host. Filling in as a co-host several times myself, I can tell you, it’s invaluable.

Here you can listen to other members working to fine tune their pitching skills, while getting supportive and useful feedback that can be used immediately. The best part is, you don’t have to pitch - you can get all the feedback just listening to other brave souls, until it’s your turn. You’re going to want to pitch though, and chat with fellow writers. It’s that euphoric!

In addition, there are Coverage Report zooms semi-monthly, where a writer will submit their script to be read by others to receive written and verbal notes. It’s great if you can read and give notes, but you can attend just to listen to feedback. Sometimes it’s easier to hear “the note” when it’s not on your own script.

Pilot Club breaks down successful tv series pilots to see what made them great both by watching the episode and reading the script. These zoom events can be found on the VIP lounge “posts” section. You can also use the search bar to search for “Coverage Report” or “Pilot Club”, “writer’s sprint” to see past posts. Shoot an email over to the original poster to find out the next meeting time. There are always new zooms added!

So Youve Joined the Stage 32 Writers Room Now What

Now you have a photo, a bio, you watch a free webinar a day and pitch once a week, you attend the pitch practice, coverage report, and an accountability room - what now? You can offer to host a zoom - maybe you want to break down Act 1 of your script, the troubles, and triumphs, or you may want to outline features, or trade work with other writers and give and receive notes. I guarantee if you attend these zooms for one month, you’ll find at least one person who is at your level or doing something similar. Don’t want to host a zoom? No problem!

The easiest way to network is to find like-minded people doing what you love to do and offer to help them - listen to their pitch, read their written pitch, check for typos! Send them a network request with a sentence explaining why you’re contacting them. Ask to READ their work! This is very important! If you only ask others to help you without offering to help them, you’ll find dead air. Support is a two-way street. As the adage goes - no one wants to read your script, but someone ALWAYS wants notes on their script - so swap a logline, a scene, a sequence and give your notes. These notes do not need to be “coverage” level - just explain what you liked, what was confusing, and what you as the reader felt after you read it.

Giving is networking. I’ll say that again: Giving is networking. If you only want others to help you, you’re in the wrong business. This is a collaborative field, so sharing is key. Remember the advice when flying - put on your mask before helping someone else? Yeah, well we’re down on the ground, maybe in our basement, so, help another with their script before you ask for help on yours. We’re people, with dreams, trying to walk the path to success. Stage 32 has helped me immensely and I hope you will reach out and offer to help others - the good you do will come back to you!

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About the Author

Noel Thompson

Noel Thompson

Screenwriter

Screenwriter/Archaeologist/Mom/Adventurer/Sailor I joined Stage 32 not only to help myself improve, but also to help others. I offer to read scripts, loglines, and pitches. Since joining, I have met the most incredible and creative people who have helped me develop as a screenwriter. I’ve writ...

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