WGA Agents List — Writers Guild Of America List of Agents

Screenwriters sometimes ask me what I think about approaching the WGA West Literary Agents as a possible way to obtain representation.

Theoretically, it’s a good idea, as it is a list of the agents who are franchised by the Writers Guild of America as being legitimate agencies for writers.

As long as the agency meets their initial qualifications, which includes being licensed by the state, and then also abides by the agreement in the way that they work with the writers, then they can essentially remain on the WGA list indefinitely, whether they are effective and any good at getting writers more work or not. And most importantly, they can represent writers who are members of the guild.

So again, theoretically, the WGA Literary Agents list is a good place to look to find representation — but only as a starting point.  The fact is, there are also some serious drawbacks to using it as your main source of information when approaching agents.

Here are some of the caveats that I’ve personally come across in my research with regards to using the WGA Agency List for trying to find representation.

  1. The published WGA list is only updated periodically rather than on a monthly basis.
  2. Their list does not accurately reflect the reality of what agencies represent writers. What this means is that there are quite a few agencies who are franchised by the WGA who don’t actually rep writers right now.  They may have at some time in the past or planned to and didn’t or just never got to it.  We’ve learned this when we have called them for research purposes.
  3. You don’t get individual names of agents from the WGA, you only get the agency info. So you still need to find out who to actually send to. At Smart Girls, we can certainly help you with that. We research to track the individuals at the company who actually represent writers. We also divide them by who specializes in television writers versus film writers.

Both of these things are very, very important to get right. If you send only to the agency, you will not look professional. If you send to the wrong person, it also looks like you haven’t done your homework. Although it is hard to be perfect on these names all the time, the idea is to get is as close to perfect as possible.

In summary, the WGA agency list is a fine reference point but should not be considered your entire strategy. You need to do additional homework. If you happen to want to find out if an agent is a WGA-signatory, then you can check the list. If they aren’t there, then you can call the WGA, but even better is to call them anyway if you’re thinking about signing because at any point, that given agent may or may not be in good standing.

To quote to the WGA: “Each agency has its own submission policy. The WGAW recommends that a writer send a query letter, rather than submitting an unsolicited script. This letter should be concise, outlining relevant credentials and briefly describing the nature of the work.  [This is exactly what we do at Smart Girls with a Query Letter Mailing to Literary Agents and Producers.]

So they DO recommend that you write a query letter, not send the script. They also describe what the query letter should contain, which is outlining relevant credentials and briefly describing the nature of the work.

That’s what we do for you at Smart Girls. We write a letter that meets the WGAw endorsed procedure for query letters. Then we find the agencies who may be most suitable for your material and address them to the individual person there.

In the end, you can do it yourself and the WGA Literary Agents list is a good enough starting point.  And it’s way better than doing nothing.  If you would like assistance with creating a top-notch query letter system — not only to screenwriter agencies but also producers and even literary managers — then contact us asap by calling or email us at smartgirls (at) smartg.com.

This article has 34 comments

  1. Hi I wrote my first script and I think it’s really good. I’m looking for a agent or any other way for it to be made into a movie any idea

  2. I have two books written and published and ready to go to screenplay and film. They are two books in a trilogy/saga. I say saga because the forth book will be a prequel to the first three.
    The books, The Tipton Chronicles, The Tipton Chronicles-The Return and The Tipton Chronicles-Dragon Lore are similar in flavor to what one would get if one were to combine Star Trek and Star Wars into one story written by a woman, so it has a woman’s flare for humor and romance, while leaving nothing wanting in regards to action, intrigue, mystery and danger.

    I am incredibly ready to have this project go to screenplay and motion picture. I desperately need an agent who will believe in my work. I’ve written a couple of query letters but I’m not sure they’re truly the best that can be done. Any help is better than none.

    • Hi Heather, sorry I just noticed this comment that I hadn’t responded to. We do offer a query letter service, where we can write a great query letter for you. It can be tough to write them. Also, when you have a trilogy or saga, you definitely have to be careful about how you present it in a query letter. If you’re interested in help with your query letter, please call us at the office to discuss it. Our number is 818907-6511.


  3. Hi Fellow Entertainers (Story Tellers)..I’m a Multi Disabled Aussie Story Teller,i walk funny but my talent is Awesome,my mind & Skills are not Disabled, I have 5scripts nearly ready to go,just looking for a Agent ..Anywere so I can get my ‘Works’ looked at by a good Producer/Director..my Genre is Climate Change..Human Trafficking Movies..these subjects impact on us all on this Planet,please any hints on my Request..will be Gratefully Accepted..yours in Entertainment..Allan

  4. Hello, I am screenplay writer currently searching for representation for three of my greatest screenplays, MY FIRST BANK ROBBERY, DOCTOR CLARK AND THE ZOMBIE CITY and MAGIC FALL PANIC DREAM.
    I have written seven feature screenplays with one short screenplay that was recently optioned out.
    Contact me via my e-mail: mjoeledrick@yahoo.com. Thanks.

  5. My name is Nic and I’m a high school student going into tenth grade who has written two movie scripts and a T.V. show script. My next step is to get a writing agent. I know the chances for me will be harder because of my age and the fact that my work is not noticed yet but what should I do to get an agent? Can anyone help me find a list of agents or a website to help me with this problem. It would be much obliged.

  6. hi every body iam a scriptwritter from egypt
    i have 10 scribts and 2 novels
    i done 2 of them here in egypt
    but i search for an agent or producer out of egypt
    any hepl plz ???????

    • Hello. It sounds like you have been working very hard on your writing so congratulations on that.

      We do not track agents or producers in Egypt. If you ever want to market to Hollywood, with an Email Query, we can help you with that.

      I wish you the best.


  7. Hello, I’m a new screenwriter in need of representation for my action-adventure script Unsung: Part I. I have everything I need to get started, but I’m not sure where to start marketing. Any suggestions?

  8. Hello, I’m a writer in need of representation. I had an agent at one point, but she did next to nothing for over a year then abruptly resigned. I have gone on to self publish a series of children’s books, direct and produce a public access kid’s show, and write/produce/direct two indie films. I have won awards for my tv show as well as a script competition which was performed before a live audience. I have sent querry letters as per the WGA to agencies worldwide for the past few years and gotten no where. I need help getting my foot in the door via representation. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Derek, I like that script title!

      If you’re looking for an agent. It can be very challenging, especially if you’re a new writer to get a literary agent.

      However, you may want consider trying to get a literary manager or mailing out to producers.

      We have services that we can help you do that you may want to check them out.

      Please let us know if we can be of service.

  9. I wrote a screenplay and I am interested in your services to write a query letter.please let me know what is involved..
    Look forward to your response
    Thank you
    Chris Cotzias

    • Chris, thank you for your interest in our services. Here is the link to our query letter mailing service, which describes the process.

      There’s also a video there on how works. Please let me know if you have any questions.

      Of course we would be happy to help you with a query letter mailing. For that, we select producers specifically for your script, as well as writer a strong query letter for your screenplay.

      Please call me to discuss this further, 818/907-6511.

      I look forward to speaking with you.

      Thank you,


  10. I am interested in learning more about your query letter submission services. Please let me know the pertinent details, including costs, etc.

    Thank you,

    Ira Herman

  11. Hi

    Can you please update the submited comments because when i look to these ones like Reba Ann Karp was posted 3 years back, please we need present comments

  12. I am a young writer almost out of high school. I know the odds of me actually getting produced are worse than the lottery, but do you know of any festivals in which I can get my name out there? somewhere that I can show people my work and possibly get help producing some time in the future?

    • Hi David,

      You’re more likely going to get something out of entering contests. One of the most prestigious is the Nicholl Fellowship. Also recently Final Draft software started sponsoring one called “Big Break Screenwriting Contest.”

      Try to enter some of those as a starting point. Just be sure to always read the guidelines for submission on any of these.

      Good luck to you, young man!


  13. I have been referred to Georges Borchondt, literary agent for T.C.Boyle by Mr. Boyle. I need his agent’s email address. This is regarding the rights to turn a short story of Mr. Boyle’s
    into a one-act play.

    • Sorry, Ruth, I don’t have an email address for him. Perhaps ask Mr. Boyle for it and if he is serious, he will give it to you. Best of luck to you.

  14. Hi i am so pleased I found your blog, I really found you by mistake, while I was searching Yahoo for something else, At Any Rate I am here now and would just like to say thank you for a wonderful blog posting and a all round intriguing blog (I also love the theme/design), I do not have time to read it all at the right now but I have bookmarked it and also added your RSS feeds.

  15. My experience is beyond a typical screenwriter. I am a Rondo Award Winning Independent Filmmaker outside the Hollywood Studio System. Since Film School, I wrote ten screenplays and one book. A French Website has recognized my work as a “Cult Horror Classic” among their listings.

    My Entertainment Attorney, Al Staehely, Jr. (www.music-lawyer.com) negotiates distribution deals and acquires music rights for motion pictures. I need the music rights to a series of James Brown hits for my Frankenstein Horror Comedy Spoof. Al Staehely Jr. is not a Literary or Talent Agent. I remain SAG since July 1976. I require an Agency for my Intellectual Properties.

    I almost made the mistake of sending my completed scripts to Writers Literary Screenplay Agency. I submitted only queries via their Submission Form. I learned of their unscrupulous track record via Beware.com.

    A Current Press Release is scheduled for distribution to over 40,000 journalists via NEOTROPE on 30 Dec. 2010. Headline reads: MERGING AFRO-AMERICAN INDIE TOPS HOLLYWOOD STUDIO SYSTEM WITH KING KONG SPOOF. I am the First Minority Filmmaker to use Animation Stop Motion Models, Mechanical and Visual Effects. My Director’s Team includes Unit Production Manager Peggy Griffith, who prepared the Pelim Budget and all Production Requirements for a Frankenstein Horror Spoof, SCREAM AFROSTEIN SCREAM.

    My forte are Horror Spoofs. I just completed a Parody to THE HULK entitled THE FANTASTIC PINK BROAD, a totally fresh storyline. The only similar is the size of my Female Hulk. It is about an Imaginative Naval Flight Surgeon, who has the perfect program to create Indestructible Fleet Marine Men, until his plan backfires into Giant Pink Broads. If you think you can get behind me to hire your services to write and submit queries, I would love to hear from you via my Email Address. Writing and Directing is my expertise. Peggy’s husband Howard Griffith is the former Line Producer of WALKER,TEXAS RANGER, and Bob Minor, former Stunt Coordinator of GLORY, thinks my Midget Comedy has great potential, since he just finished a Midget Comedy, DEATH AT A FUNERAL, whereby Martin Lawrence played his son. I do not merely want you to sell only a script. I come as a complete package of Hollywood professionals. The 6th Annual 2007 Rondo Award Nomination and Honorable Mention for my DVD distribution of LOST ON ADVENTURE ISLAND has potential to attract Executive Producers to fund of the same genre with this a next 35mm Production budgeted by Production Manager Peggy Griffith at $13.9 Million for Theatrical Release. It should be obvious the reason this caliber of crafts people are committed to my Director’s Team.

  16. Great blog! Love the content you’ve on right here. Please continue the good work and I will be certain to visit quite frequently. Thanks much!

  17. Dear Smartgirls,

    I am looking for direction and I am, frankly, on a fishing expedition. If you can help me, I would appreciate it, if not forgive the intrusion.

    My novel was one of the four finalists in The Writers Network 16th annual competition (only novel, others scripts). I received notification April 1, 2010. At the time I was told the awards check would be sent 60 to 90 days from receipt of the last W-9 tax form.

    I have not receive my award check today (Dec. 3, 1010). Efforts to reach the program director Sarah Kelly has been very difficult; only rarely does she respond and with an excuse for not sending the $1,000, that frankly leaves me wondering.

    Do you know if this is routine?

    The Writers Network competition is co-sponsored by WGA Signatory Literary Agencies in Los Angeles and New York. Can you direct me to someone, or department, in the agency that I can query? I can let it go, for it was still an honor to be chosen among the many. But somehow for future winners it seems unfair as the Writers Network in now in the midst of their 17th annual competition and if this is how it works, they should be made aware.

    Thank you and I apologize for taking your time on a matter that is outside your network. I just feel I have to start somewhere.

    Reba Ann karp

    • Hi Reba,

      No problem. I’m happy to reply. Sorry I didn’t get to your comment faster. This is a new blog, and I have to work out a couple more kinks to get back faster. Now for the answer:

      First, congrats on doing so well!

      Secondly, can I tell you that I really hate when companies that are supposed to be legitimate are so unresponsive and fail to deliver? Also, as you may have noticed, in the film industry, people tend to pussyfoot because they don’t want someone else to get upset. But too bad. Here’s my take:

      Many years ago, Fade In Magazine and The Writers Network had a pretty good reputation. But over the last 10 years, their reputation has been going downhill because of their promises against the lack of what they deliver — and I am only going by the feedback I’ve gotten from my writers who have participated in their events and other industry execs whom I’ve asked about their take.

      I would NOT give up on getting the $1000 that you were promised by Sarah Kelly and the Writer’s Network. When someone messes with my money, as a matter of integrity — and the money!, I follow it through till the end. I don’t get attached to the outcome. But for the purpose of protecting others in the future and as a matter of principle (if it’s worth it to me), if they don’t deliver, after I’ve attempted to work with them, I take additional steps if they still don’t respond.

      It’s ridiculous that you haven’t been given your $1000 award 8 months later. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and insist that you get your money. I would find whatever contact info you can for their company, whether email, phone call, or address. And I would write a simple letter insisting that they pay you or that you will make a complaint with the BBB. That simple. And if they don’t pay you, then make the complaint and ask for assistance from them.

      I hate to deal with this kind of thing, but even moreso, I believe in “helping” people keep their very clear and undisputable promises. Otherwise, if they don’t keep their commitments, and I don’t do anything about it, then I am complicit in letting them get away with it, and then I have more Karma on my hands to deal with it.

      You deserve your *** $1000 from Sarah Kelly and the Writers Network. Not going for it is just letting another person kick one more screenwriter to the curb and using them for their own gain.

      Go for it, Reba. And please come back here and let us know when it gets resolved. I also believe in completing the story when it gets handled.


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