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Letters to the Editor

Selling a Screenplay


A producer has asked me to quote a price for selling the rights to my 20-page screenplay. I'd be grateful if you could give me a ballpark figure I can use.

—A. A. Amenta

Glenn Bossik, Editor-in-Chief:
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) publishes a list of rates known as the
Schedule of Minimums. This can serve as a guide for pricing your screenplay. Determining your rate of pay will depend on whether your script will be produced as part of a film or TV program.

In addition, the WGA has created a category known as new media, which covers stories that are used in video games and on DVD, as well as the Internet. To provide information about the new media category, the WGA has created the New Media Caucus, an organization providing a directory that lists writers seeking work. Non-WGA members can join and are eligible for a directory listing. They can also attend educational seminars.

Literary Magazines


Are there literary magazines that publish screenplays?

—Ben Cooper

Glenn Bossik, Editor-in-Chief:

Director Francis Ford Coppola publishes Zoetrope: All Story, a quarterly magazine that features one-act plays and short stories. The magazine sponsors online screenwriting courses that are offered through and include lectures, writing exercises, and critiques. There’s a basic course and an advanced course. Both are taught over a period of 10 weeks. Coppola also holds an annual screenwriting contest through his film studio, American Zoetrope. In this year’s contest, the winner and finalists will have the chance to have their screenplays considered for an option and development.

Script Coverage


I need help with script revisions. I want to make sure my screenplay is ready for submission to agents. But I’m not sure if script coverage is worth the price or whether it would really make a difference. I also don’t know what type of reader would write useful coverage.

—Janice Briant
    Boston, MA

Glenn Bossik, Editor-in-Chief:
Script coverage should be thought of as a writing tool. Like any tool, it requires an investment. If your screenplay is produced as a result of advice garnered from top-notch coverage, you will have received a positive return on your investment.

When evaluating readers, look for someone who pledges to write the coverage him- or herself. That way, you can get personal attention. After all, it’s your money, and you should be given the name of the reader in advance. It’s also a good idea to ask for sample coverage. This will help you evaluate the skills of the reader, enabling you to see if you will receive clear, detailed advice for revisions. In addition, ask the prospective reader if you’ll be able to ask follow-up questions about the coverage. Sometimes, advice requires clarification.

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