Top 10 Most Influential Screenwriting Blogs

Screenwriting Blogs Top 10 Best

There are so many screenwriting blogs – but whose blogs are worth your time? To whom should you be paying attention? If you’re a working or aspiring film or TV writer, you should be paying attention to the following ten screenwriting blogs.

These screenwriting blogs are not only the most popular and influential, they provide helpful information and useful perspective on the art, science, and business of screenwriting.

How did I come up with this list? I used a combination of factors, primarily what I could find out from looking at their blogs, evaluating their posts and how often they are shared, and my highly subjective opinion.

That’s not as scientific as I’d like to be, and if you think I’ve forgotten someone I should include, please let me know in the comments. That said, these are the screenwriting blogs I think screenwriters should be following.

In no particular order…. drumroll, please….

Screenwriting Blogs: Top Ten Most Influential

Erik Bork

Screenwriter Erik BorkErik Bork is an Emmy and Golden Globe award winner, best known for his work on the HBO miniseries Band Of Brothers and From The Earth To The Moon. In my opinion, Bork has great insight into concept development and story structure, especially with regard to TV.

Here’s an excerpt from his blog:

What Makes A Good Series Idea

“In my work pitching series ideas and writing pilots (and on good days, selling them to networks such as NBC and Fox), I’ve learned a few things about what they’re looking for, and what makes an idea sellable – as well as what a successful pilot script tends to include.

Most of it I’ve learned the hard way, from having people not want to move forward with one of my projects at some point in the process – be it the network, studio, producers, or even my own agents at CAA.

Here is the number one lesson I’ve learned from that process:

Don’t think of a series as one long story, but as 100+ little ones.


Jeanne Veillete Bowerman

Screenwriter Jeanne Veillette BowermanJeanne Veillette Bowerman is the Editor and Online Community Manager of Script Magazine and a webinar instructor for The Writers Store. She is Co-Founder and moderator of the weekly Twitter screenwriters’ chat, #Scriptchat, and co-wrote the narrative adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Slavery by Another Name.

Here’s an excerpt from her blog:

Balls of Steel: Get Real With Your Writing Goals

“My (karate) master always tells me there’s no finish line when we train. It’s about the journey. Did you train as hard as you could? Did you learn? Did you breathe in the lessons provided? Are you always open to learning more?

Writing is no different. It’s not the script option that will make or break you, but it’s the journey of getting there that makes you the writer you are in the end. Strive to learn something new each time you write, either about the craft or the business.”


Scott Myers

Screenwriter Scott MyersScott Myers wrote the movies K-9, Alaska, and Trojan War. He won the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program Outstanding Instructor Award in 2005 and currently teaches screenwriting at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Myers also runs the official blog of The Black List and his site is a treasure trove of interviews, tips and screenwriting inspiration.

Here’s an excerpt from his blog:

1, 2, 7, 14

“Here is a simple formula about three things — Read Scripts. Watch Movies. Write Pages. — you need to do to expand and deepen your understanding of the screenwriting craft.

4 numbers for you to remember:

1, 2, 7, 14.

1: Read 1 screenplay per week.

Pick out your favorite movies. Or do a genre study of several scripts in a row in one genre. Try scripts in genres you don’t particularly like to experience different tone and atmosphere. But every week, read at least 1 full-length movie screenplay.

2: Watch 2 movies per week.

Go to a theater and watch 1 movie for sheer entertainment value. Rub shoulders with a real crowd to remind you of your target audience. Then cue up Netflix or pop in a DVD, and watch 1 movie to study it. Note its major plot points. Better yet, do a scene-by-scene breakdown. Maybe 1 new movie, 1 classic movie. But every week, watch at least 2 feature-length movies.

7: Write 7 pages per week.

That’s one page per day. It may take you ten minutes, it may take you an hour, but however long it takes, you knock out a page per day so that every week, you produce 7 script pages.

14: Work 14 hours per week prepping a story.

This is how you will learn the fine art of stacking projects. While you are writing one story, you are prepping another. Research. Brainstorming. Character development. Plotting. Wake up early. Take an extended lunch break. Grab a few hours after dinner. Stay up late. Whatever it takes, carve out 2 hours per day for story prep. Create a master file Word doc. Or use a spiral notebook. Put everything you come up with into that file. You’d be amazed how much content you will generate in a month. Most professional screenwriters juggle multiple projects at the same time. Here’s how you can start learning that skill-set: Writing one project, prepping another. Two hours per day so that every week, you devote 14 hours to prep.

1, 2, 7, 14.”


Steven Pressfield

Screenwriter Steven PressfieldSteven Pressfield is a screenwriter who is also known as an author of fiction (Gates Of Fire, Legend of Bagger Vance, The Last Amazon, The Profession) and, most especially, as an author of books about writing (The War Of Art, Turning Pro, The Authentic Swing).

Due to his success in multiple mediums and brutally honest, generous, motivating POV in his books about writing, Pressfield is one of the most respected experts about writing and the creative process.

Here’s an excerpt from his blog:

Your Personal Culture

“The strongest institutional culture I can think of is that of the U.S. Marine Corps. The Marines have two boot camps—one at Parris Island, SC and another at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, CA. For a hundred years these places have been stamping out identical Marines. I can testify from personal experience that no matter how hard you try to resist that culture, in the end you will drink the Kool-Aid. You will buy in to the culture, and that buy-in will be ineradicable.

But the most amazing proof of the power of Marine culture comes from the experience of the 1st Marine Division at the Chosin Reservoir in Korea, winter 1950. Surrounded and outnumbered 8-1 by 67,000 soldiers of the Chinese 9th Army at temperatures that hit thirty-below, these Marines fought their way out over a period of seventeen days in one of war’s all-time ordeals of suffering and endurance. But here’s the incredible part:

Many of these Marines were reservists who, at that time, had never been through boot camp. In other words, USMC culture was so strong that its members imbibed it even without being formally exposed to it. That’s an institutional culture.

But there’s such a thing as individual culture as well. A personal culture unique to one individual. Personal culture is what you and I have to have, and if we don’t have it, we have to acquire it. As artists and entrepreneurs we must design, construct, and perpetuate an interior culture that is as vivid, unique, and self-empowering as that of the corporations and institutions we work with and compete against.

Who is an example of someone with an “individual culture?”

Stevie Nicks has a culture. Bruce Springsteen has one. So does Louis C.K. Chris Christie has a culture. Nelson Mandela’s personal culture was so strong it could change a nation and even the world.

In my experience the evolution of a personal culture takes place in two stages. First, we have to find it. We’ve got one already, never fear. It was there from the minute we were born. Our personal culture is constituted of our point of view, our style, our sense of humor, our unique gifts and drives. Our personal culture is our voice. It’s our artist’s sensibility. It’s our Authentic Swing.

When we embark on our hero’s journey, we are seeking our individual culture, whether we realize it or not. The climax of that journey is our discovery of that voice, those gifts, that unique point of view.

Phase two is the construction and reinforcement of that individual culture. Sometimes it just happens without us even thinking about it. Why do you and I need a personal culture? Because a culture supports us and empowers us. When we’re down, it holds us up….”


John August

Screenwriter John AugustJohn August is a top screenwriter known for Go, Big Fish, Charlie’s Angels, Titan A.E., Charlie and Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride, Frankenweenie, and The Nines (which he wrote and directed). He is also a playwright (Big Fish, the broadway musical), TV writer (Chosen), and technology developer (FDX Reader, Bronson Watermarker, Highland, Fountain markup syntax for screenwriting, and Less IMDb).

Not only does August blog, a centerpiece of his blog is the weekly ScriptNotes podcast he does with his friend, top screenwriter Craig Mazin (Identify Thief, Hangover II and IIIScary Movie 3 and 4).

Here’s an excerpt from his blog:

Podcast 112 Let Me Give You Some Advice

“…If you want to write country songs you should probably move to Nashville. And if you want to write Hollywood movies, you should probably move to Hollywood. It’s as basic as that. [Also,] don’t be afraid of getting a job and figuring it out and then leaving that job to go to another job that is in a different area that you’re interested in. And that’s completely cool and acceptable for people in their early 20s to do. They get a job as a PA at a casting agency and they do that for six months, if they can survive six months doing that. Then they work on a set. Then they work for a producer or they do the agency mailroom. That’s fine. And it’s good to hop around those things…”


Also, my favorite John August quote:

“Only write the movie you would pay to see on opening night.”

Ken Levine

TV Writer Ken LevineKen Levine is an Emmy-award winning writer known for TV shows such as: M*A*S*H, Cheers, Frasier, The Simpsons, Wings, Everybody Loves Raymond, Becker, and Dharma & Greg. His blog was named one of the best 25 blogs of 2011 by Time Magazine. Levine has also been the radio/TV play-by-play voice of the Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres, and has hosted Dodger Talk on the Dodger Radio Network.

Here’s an excerpt from his blog:

What We Can Learn From Dr. STRANGELOVE

“Things are funnier if you play them straight.

What do I mean by that?

Nobody in this film knew they were in a comedy. The subject matter was somewhat dramatic – the possible destruction of the entire planet, and yet you laughed at how absurd they acted. But they didn’t know they were acting absurd. They were dead serious in everything they said and did.

When Peter Sellers as the president of the United States breaks up a tussle between a Russian ambassador and American general and says, “You can’t fight in here. This is the War Room!” there’s no trace of irony in his delivery. Were there, the joke wouldn’t have been funny.

Too often feature comedies and sitcoms these days are very self-conscious. Characters are trying to be funny or are aware they’re being funny. Lines are delivered with irony; with a wink to the audience that they know they’re spoofing pop culture or the form or themselves. “Yeah, I know I’m in a stupid sitcom and you know I’m in a stupid sitcom, but let’s just goof on it and share the laugh together.”

My personal preference is for comedy that’s underplayed rather than overplayed. I’m smart enough. You don’t have to put someone in a chicken suit for me to know I’m watching a comedy. Actors don’t have to be loud or frantic or mocking an entertainment genre for me to laugh.

Ground your comedy in reality. Create interesting characters. Give them strong attitudes. Not just make them glib or hip. Put them in real crisis situations and see how they react. The point is for you the audience to find their behavior funny, not them.”


The Bitter Script Reader

Bitter Script ReaderThe Bitter Script Reader provides a window into what happens when you submit your script – it’s read by him (or someone like him). The Bitter Script Reader has read for Oscar-winning production companies and one of the “Big Five” agencies, so he’s seeing the material submitted by top screenwriters, directors, and producers, and from that perspective has his finger on the creative pulse of Hollywood.

Here’s an exceprt from his blog:

Walk Before You Run

“Look at the people writing and directing the big blockbusters. Odds are they cut their teeth on smaller-scale projects before working their way up to tentpoles.

  • Before he was huge in movies and TV, J.J. Abrams first script sales were the smaller movies Taking Care of Business, Regarding Henry, and Dying Young.
  • Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci spent years in TV making a name for themselves before they started selling big movies.
  •  The Dark Knight Rises‘ co-writer Jonathan Nolan had a huge boost by having a brother in the business, and his first work was the short story that became Memento.
  • The other TDRK co-writer, David S. Goyer, got his first writing credit on a 1990 Van Damme movie, Death Warrant.
  • Prometheus’s Damon Lindelof’s early credits include MTV’s Undressed and CBS’s Nash Bridges.

And those are just the works that sold! They still had to develop their craft and break into the business before that. What do you think the odds are that the first scripts they wrote are the ones that opened the doors for them?

You have to walk before you can run. George Lucas didn’t jump right to doing Star Wars. He did many short films, the low-budget THX-1138, and American Graffiti first. Also, if you’ve ever seen the early drafts of Star Wars, you’d know that it bore little resemblance to anything that ended up on screen and that George spent years rewriting it and refining his ideas before it was in any state to be shot.

If you have an idea that’s that unique and that marketable, experience can only make it better. Develop your craft on more managable ideas first. Not only will it be easier for you to break in on something that isn’t in the tentpole catagory, but you’ll grow as a writer so that when you do finally work on that golden idea, it’ll be better as a result of what you’ve learned.”


Terry Rossio

Screenwriter Terry RossioTerry Rossio is an Oscar-nominated studio screenwriter who, with his writing partner Ted Elliott, wrote the DreamWorks animated feature Shrek, Aladdin, Godzilla, The Mask Of Zorro, Antz, Pirates Of The Carribean: Curse Of The Black Pearl, Pirates Of The Carribean: Dead Man’s Chest, and Pirates Of The Carribean: At World’s End – and many more.

Rossio’s blog has been around for a long time. My advice is to go to his blog, scroll to the bottom, click on 3 (Columns), then tab-click on all 53 of the columns, and read them all. They’re that good.

Here’s an excerpt from his blog:

23 Steps To A Feature Film Sale

“I’m a big believer in writers making the sale. Screenwriters need to get into the game, if for no other reason that they can afford to quit their day jobs and concentrate on their art. Screenwriters should give some thought to commercial considerations before they sit down to write. In the end, we do want to sell. And if you’re going to feel that way after your script is done, you’d might as well admit it to yourself before you start.”


Jen Grisanti

Story Writer Jen GrisantiJen Grisanti was Vice President of Current Programs at CBS/Paramount where she covered numerous shows including Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place, Medium, Numbers, NCIS, 4400, and Girlfriends. In addition to blogging about screenwriting, she teaches and has authored two books, Storyline: Finding The Gold In Your Life Story, and Change Your Story, Change Your Life.

Here’s an excerpt from her blog:

Being Story

“Being story means taking action to shape the story of your own life. It means making that story the foundation that your work comes from. It means choosing to live the life you want.

The inventor Buckminister Fuller said,

If you want to change how a person thinks, give up. You cannot change how another person thinks. Give them a tool the use of which will gradually lead them to think differently.

What is more important than the story that you are living? If you spent as much time developing your own personal character arc as you do polishing your spec script, how would your life change?”


Doug Richardson

Screenwriter Doug RichardsonDoug Richardson (Die Harder, Bad Boys, Money Train, Welcome To Mooseport, Hostage) is a well-regarded studio screenwriter. His blog chronicles the screenwriting process in a way that’s both entertaining and educational – it’s a rare glimpse into the creative process and lifestyle of a top screenwriter. His movies have grossed more than $800M and he just published his third novel, Blood Money.

Here’s an excerpt from his blog:

The Enemies List

“The assignment started like this. A meeting at the studio with a vice president of development. I was pitched a character scenario. After a week of noodling, I met with the VP’s boss, Mr. Reserved, the studio’s president of production.

As we traded ideas, he confided in me that the movie concept was based on the bitter divorce of a notorious woman he’d met socially. And though she was known for being something other than a filmmaker, she’d be serving as a producer on the project. Let’s call this newbie producer Hotsy Moxie.

“Not to worry,” said Mr. Reserve. “She’s totally in the background on this. You won’t have to meet with her. In fact, I highly recommend you don’t.” “But she’s a producer,” I argued. “There’s gonna be a point where she wants to be treated like one. And that means meeting with the writer.”

“I’m the president of the studio,” said Mr. Reserved. “This is my project. Let me handle the producer side of things….”


. . . . . . . .

You can’t follow every screenwriting blog, you can’t read everything. But in my opinion, you should read everything by these ten people.

Anyone I’ve forgotten? Let me know in the comments – thanks!


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  1. If my script gets attentions in Turkey and if I can sell it as TV series (it’s normal screenplay now but has capacity for being filmed as tv seris) Is Hollywood interested in to make a Film from the TV Series filmed script? Because my script is written in Hollywood norms but i need money. Does it help me as TV series’s writer in Hollywood or they don’t want a script which are filmed as Tv series in a foreign Country?

    • Off the top of my head, my instinct is no, but the question you should be asking yourself is this: what is a foreign, unproduced screenplay that has been adapted to be an American TV series? You want to find a precedent to prove that what you want to happen has actually happened before.

  2. My new novel, “Upper West Side Story,” is about parenting amidst racial strife, a moving story of urban parenting–and childhood. I have a feeling that this could be turned into a great screenplay and would like to reach someone who will either 1. write and market the screenplay or treatment, or 2.can sell the film rights to the book itself. Can you help with this?

    Susan Pashman

  3. apparently hour after hour day after day, stories something like fiction, reality suddenly pop-up in my restless mind, and this time around is a big factor that magic is not a fake or illusion or a mare dream, now a reality.

  4. Hi, I don’t know if I can get some help. I am about to finish a book and I want to get a professional editor and publisher.

    Thank you

  5. Hello Stephanie,
    I’m getting lots of ideas and much inspiration from your positive attitude & very informative website. I’ll keep checking back for more, and I wanted to say thank you!

  6. Hi, was wondering how to get a life story written? Or even to sell it? My life story is unusual and would like it to be written, any thoughts? Where to begin. Thanks

    • This post can get your started. I recommend getting as much written down as you can (it can be messy), but if you work with a ghostwriter or editor in the future, it’s helpful to have the details in writing.

  7. what do you think about training a newbie to think upon 80’s television series to have being brought back to the 2000’s with updated additions?

  8. It’s great… thank you very much
    I think it’s helpful me to write my own animation stories.
    once again thank you very much

  9. Hello my name is Cory I was trying to find a perfect way of having a tv show with my bestfriend about vines. Which are very popular in this generation. How do I promote this to succeed?

  10. Hello Stephanie…. my name is George Taylor, Jr. I am the founder, studio chairman, and chief artistic officer of Sunshine Garden Entertainment. I have been writing for over 12 years since college. My strong suit is writing dramas, romantic, comedies, and musicals. My question is how to find the right studio to pitch my ideas to and where to find the right literary agent. I have one script that is already ready to go and another script I am currently developing.

  11. Great top ten bloggers. I follow most of them and some have You Tube accounts too. Didn’t know Pressfield had a blog. Awesome. Love The War of Art.

    Two other blogs that I’m starting to like, and are somewhat up and coming and seem to be exciting in their early stages are: – very funny and informative. Speaks in a Hulk type of dialogue. Knows his stuff a lot. Love his piece about 4 act structures. – friend of a friend. Funny, does some reviews, also talks about drinking, which seem to go hand in hand with writing.

  12. i am presently in court in Los Angeles over a studio that stole one of my show ideas, during my investigation of this company i found they were doing things illegal and taking money from victims and not even presenting there ideas, i reported this to the federal trade commission even thou they charged them in the past and fined them , they seem not to want to do anything, since i am in the process of taking down the frauds of Hollywood it seems my other shows are not getting any more attention, do you think it is something i said or did, just wondering if there is a lot of corruption going on in this industry and is there someone who will take my complaint seriously.

    • I’m so sorry to hear about this issue, Greg. There are unscrupulous people in Hollywood, as there are in most all industries where significants amounts of money can be made. There are many entertainment attorneys who specialize in copyright infringement and I recommend finding an attorney to represent you.

    • This would happen in any industry, and understandably. The outcome of your case hasn’t emerged yet… of course people will be wary of you… your charges have not yet been proven.

  13. I have two reality show ideas that I think would be great. I am not a writer but I do know how both shows should be done. Is there a way to pitch these two ideas to A&E or Bravo? An no its not another house wives

    • Typically, you have to have an experienced reality TV producer attached to your project to have the opportunity to pitch. You can also check out Real Screen Summit and Natpe which offer pitch opportunities.

  14. Looking to launch a discussion program utilizing the outdoors eg.. Fishing as my stage. Unlike Charlie Moore “The Mad Fishermen” my program will focus on a broad range of topics – reeling in all ages, sexual preferences, outdoor appreciation, fun and education. It can be considered the ying of his yang.

    Johnny D’s Get’m Hooked

  15. Thanks for this list!

    Some additional resources-

    Julie gray

    Unknown screenwriter

    Mystery man – although he is no more but great archives

    Even Billy mernit’s thoughts on romantic comedies are illuminating.

  16. Stephanie, I’m humbled to be in such company. You certainly did a great job of culling not only the best blogs, but the most prolific. In particular, this list would have zero credibility without Scott Myers. I’m also very glad to see John August, Ken Levine and Doug Richardson recognized, though that should not be taken as a slight to anyone else on this list.

    I’d only add a few other resources worth checking out:

    Amanda Pendolino’s The Aspiring TV Writer and Screenwriter Blog – Amanda isn’t as prolific as she used to be, but the archives are full of incredibly valuable stuff.

    Brian Duffield’s Your Screenwriter Hasn’t Been Himself Lately. Screenwriter Duffield answers aspirings’ questions in a succinct informative way. The Q&As are pretty easy to pick out when you look at the archives.

    • I agree that Amanda’s blog has some great resources and helpful information. I’ve never read Brian Duffield, so I’ll be checking out the archives soon. Thanks so much!

  17. While not (yet) in the company of these fantastic writers/bloggers, I run a new-ish free writer’s website & podcast called Scripts & Scribes that we feel is a great resource for aspiring authors, screenwriters and comic book writers. ( ) This is a terrific list though!

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