So many screenwriters and websites tout a “Top Ten” list of the “best websites for screenwriters“, and I, like many others, jump on the web browser and type away, making sure MY email address gets on their mailing lists. I’ll read several newsletters and/or “press releases” and realize these sites aren’t helping me in my writing OR my career. They are avenues to promote self, or FOS (friends of self) in an effort to make them seem important to everyone else. The information they provide is generally self-serving, repetitious, superfluous, and redundant. When all is said and done, I’ve subscribed to forty or fifty different screenwriting or entertainment-related sites, and realized one newsletter was quoting another, who cut and pasted from a third and article written “exclusively” for the first. I call it screenwriting incestunepotism: the art of creating one’s own reputation by promoting themselves on a cousin site with the intent to create that reputation.
Of course, I’d appear a lot smarter (and it would be a lot easier) to list all of the standard websites like Ink Tip, John August’ blog, websites of every name “guru”, or major contest venue, etc. Who doesn’t already get SCRIPT e-magazine, or subscribe to I.S.A or Screenwriter’s Network? If you’re not aware of these sites, you’re not doing your homework.
My list concentrates more on the “less popular” or often overlooked areas of help in your screenwriting. They either deal with the craft of writing, in general, or are helpful in the networking and marketing side of your career. I’ve created my Top Ten list NOT for the purpose of self-promotion, but because I believe that these sites can REALLY HELP! Some of them will be brand new to you, and some you might not find as beneficial as others.
In no particular order, they are:
1) Grammar Girl – weekly and daily newsletter that deals with grammar, spelling and the craft of writing. http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/
2) Daily Writing Tips – You are not alone in your mistakes! http://www.dailywritingtips.com/
3) Final Draft, Inc. – makes sense, as the make the best and most respected screenwriting software in the business today. They also provide a slew of wonderful seminars, writing products and materials. http://www.finaldraft.com/index.php
4) The Writers Store – a must-have for any writer. Great newsletter, seminar information, and every writing “tool” needed. http://www.writersstore.com/
5) The Story Department – helpful screenwriting gems from talented Aussie writer, Karel Seger. http://thestorydepartment.com/ (they have a sister site, “Logline It!” as well)
6) Dave Trottier – everything you wanted to know about formatting a screenplay…asked and answered. http://www.keepwriting.com/
7) Trackingb.com – the #1 interactive online Hollywood tracking board; the industry’s online network. http://www.trackingb.com/
8) It’s On the Grid – the site that tracks every movie in development, and every spec script sold. http://www.itsonthegrid.com/
9) MovieBytes – all things contest-related. Do NOT enter a screenwriting contest without checking out http://www.moviebytes.com/.
10)Withoutabox – a precious gem for the screenwriter who enters contests and film festivals. Few people know about it, or even use it. Excellent resource! https://www.withoutabox.com/