Here are my favorite screenwriting resources.
I recommend only what I believe to be the best products and services that I have used personally.
Also, I update this page when I find new, excellent resources.
Note: The book recommendation links below are affiliate links. That means that at no cost to you, if you click a link and make a purchase, I get a small commission. I do not receive any commission for the other recommendations.
- Celtx: the best free screenwriting software.
- Highland: the best inexpensive screenwriting software.
- WriterDuet: the best collaborative screenwriting software.
- Fade In: the best fully-featured screenwriting software.
If you want to know why I don’t recommend Final Draft, here’s my full take on screenwriting software.
- Writing Movies for Fun and Profit, by Thomas Lennon and Ben Garant
- Save the Cat! The Last Book On Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need, by Blake Snyder
- Save the Cat! Goes to the Movies: The Screenwriter’s Guide To Every Story Ever Told, by Blake Snyder
- Save the Cat!® Strikes Back: More Trouble For Screenwriters to Get Into … And Out Of, by Blake Snyder
- Screenplay: The Foundations Of Screenwriting, by Syd Field
- Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting, by Robert McKee
- Crafty Screenwriting: Writing Movies That Get Made, by Alex Epstein
- The Art of Dramatic Writing, by Lajos Egri
- The Complete Writer’s Guide to Heroes and Heroines, by Tami D. Cowden
- Wild Mind: Living The Writer’s Life, by Natalie Goldberg
- Writing Down the Bones: Freeing The Writer Within, by Natalie Goldberg
- On Writing: A Memior Of The Craft, by Stephen King
- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions On Writing And Life, by Anne Lamott
- The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure For Writers, by Christopher Vogler
- The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron
- The War of Art: Break Through Your Blocks And Win Your Inner Creative Battles, by Steven Pressfield
- The Creative Habit: Learn It And Use It For Life, by Twyla Tharp
What Hollywood is Really Like Books
- Adventures in the Screen Trade: A Personal View Of Hollywood And Screenwriting, by William Goldman
- Which Lie Did I Tell?: More Adventures In The Screen Trade, by William Goldman
- Breakfast with Sharks, by Michael Lent
- Hello, He Lied–And Other Tales From The Hollywood Trenches, by Lynda Obst
- The Writer Got Screwed (But Didn’t Have To), by Brooke Wharton
- What I Wish I Knew Before I Moved to Hollywood, by T. R. Locke
- Small Screen, Big Picture, by Chad Gervich
- How To Manage Your Agent, by Chad Gervich
Breaking Into Hollywood Books
- 500 Ways to Beat the Hollywood Script Reader, by Jennifer Lerch
- Mind Your Business: A Hollywood Literary Agent’s Guide To Your Writing Career, by Michele Wallerstein
- How to Make it in Hollywood, by Linda Buzzell
- Hollywood 101: the Film Industry, by Frederick Levy
- The Hollywood Assistant’s Handbook: 86 Rules For Aspiring Power Players, by Hillary Stamm
Consulting And Script Analysis
Erik Bork. Emmy-winning writer of Band of Brothers and From The Earth To The Moon. Erik is a constructive and supportive teacher. He works one-on-one and gives script notes.
Coverage Ink. I haven’t met Jim Cirile in person, but some of my clients have shared coverage that he did during our consultations and I thought it was excellent and very in-depth.
Lee Jessup. I have known Lee for many years and she is caring, thoughtful and a supportive coach to writers. She doesn’t provide coverage, but works as a career coach and helps with accountability and writing too.
John Crye. I worked with John when he was an executive at Summit and New Market. He is extremely knowledgeable about independent film world.
Jen Grisanti. If you want to become a TV writer and want to get professional notes on your script, I recommend Jen Grisanti.
Looking for feedback on your screenplay? Check out Script Coverage: Is It Worth It?
Hollywood Pitching Events
American Film Market Pitch Conference. The American Film Market is the largest film market in the world and more than $800 million in deals are sealed at the AFM each year. I have hosted the Pitch Conference for the past three years, so I’m biased, but I have seen more deals happen at this event than any other conference. More than 700+ script writers and producers attend the Pitch Conference each year.
Austin Film Festival. The best festival for getting access to and learning from the top film script writers and TV writers working today.
The Great American PitchFest. A chance to practice your pitch in person and learn from some great instructors.
Stage 32 Online Pitchfest With Happy Writers. An opportunity to pitch your projects to assistants and executives without leaving the comfort of your home. A great way to hone your pitching skills so you can become a professional script writer.
To succeed at a Hollywood pitching event, I recommend my online course, How To Be A Professional Writer. It’s the equivalent of working with me for ten or more sessions (a value of approximately $4000) and includes my book, How To Pitch At A Pitchfest.