Ask the Screenplay Doctor: Submitting Your Screenplay Etiquette

Pointers for good etiquette for submitting your script.


When I began writing this Ask the Screenplay Doctor monthly column about four years ago, the editors had noted that this is not a column where writers can post their loglines synopses of projects, or submit queries – or even their screenplays. I know how challenging it is to get your query, synopsis, and scripts read and considered, but you are wasting your effort by sending them to someone who doesn’t want them. If you want to post those, feel free to do that through the Screenplays Available/Wanted page on

Of course, if you need advice about screenwriting, the business of screenwriting, then by all means, email me your question — but leave out the logine, treatment, or script.  So, with this reminder, here is some advice on this topic.

Top Five Pointers for Submitting your Project

  1. Confirm that the company you are querying is indeed accepting unsolicited material. (Unsolicited is defined as work that is not submitted by an agent, manager, or entertainment attorney.)
  2. Follow the company’s submission rules. For example: If a company requests only a one-page synopsis, send them only a one-page synopsis.  Nothing more.
  3. Only submit your logline, synopsis and/or script to companies who have requested it. When you submit work to a company that is not seeking unsolicited material, your work will be rejected. You are wasting your time and you are wasting the time of the person to whom you have submitted your unrequested work.
  4. Research the companies, film executives, and agents to confirm the spelling of their names and their titles. Film industry folks don’t appreciate seeing their names misspelled.  Executives’ titles frequently change — the industry person who is there today may not be there tomorrow.  The Hollywood Creative Directory and IMDBPro are two suggested sources (among others) to find extensive contact information for film executives, production companies and studios.
  5. Never submit a logline, query letter, synopsis, and/or script that has not been proofread. For screenplays, it is critical that you follow industry standard format.

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