Literary Agent Or Literary Manager For Screenwriters?

For most screenwriters, by the time they have completed one or more screenplays, they are already thinking about getting a writing agent or manager for their script.  However, oftentimes, you may not be clear which you need or whether you need them.

Let’s go over the basics of what they do and which you might need.  Let’s use the term “literary representation” to refer to either of them.

The basic benefits of having literary representation with an agent or manager is that they may do any or all of the following:

1.  Get you meetings with producers to pitch your script.

2.  Get producers to read your script.

3.  Help package your screenplay with other talent in their agency.

4.  Try to get you hired to do assignment writing, such as re-writing a screenplay or writing one from scratch.

Whether it’s an agency representing your screenplay or a literary manager, it doesn’t matter.

The biggest challenge is finding someone who believes in your script and you as a screenwriter enough to put real effort into helping you get established as a writer.

As for what sets the agent and manager apart, one aspect of it has to do with how they are licensed by the state — an agent is an official sales rep and a manager is not.  But the real difference affecting you as a screenwriter is that the manager, ideally, gives you more attention than an agent can.

Literary managers work with you more closely on getting your scripts out and setting up meetings.  They also work with you more on the long-term view of your screenwriting career.

In particular, when you are starting out, you may have more luck finding a small literary manager than an agent to represent your script.  There are far more small lit managers who are willing to read scripts than agents.  An additional benefit is that they can also easily help produce your script if they choose too.

If you are new to the business side of screenwriting and wishing to approach literary agencies, you might consider going the route of pursuing a literary manager instead.  Although you can’t beat the power of the Top Hollywood Agencies, as an unproduced writer, you’re unlikely to be accepted by them.  Some of the tops are:

United Talent Agency (UTA)

William Morris Endeavor (WME)

Creative Artists Agency (CAA)

International Creative Management (ICM)

Gersh Agency

Go on and take action and get in the game.  Just start by considering a small management company.

Smart Girls Productions can help you with their long-time service of query letter mailings if you want to jump in right away.  Most importantly… keep taking action and don’t let your concerns stop you.

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment

Planning for Success in Screenwriting: Goals (Part 1 of 2)

Lots of Screenwriters say they’ve done everything they know to do and are still not achieving the goals they want, still not getting their scripts read. This two-part article series is meant to help you set your goals and then break them down so you have actions to take on a daily basis. Whether your

Read More »

5 Screenwriter Success Tips For Networking Events

Most screenwriters know that networking and getting to know producers, agents and managers – or have them know you and read your work – is critical to a successful screenwriting career. You’ve heard how you should attend networking events, and you know you need to take the plunge yourself.  So you pay your money to

Read More »

What Every Screenwriter Should Know About Branding

Thousands of screenplays and ideas get submitted to Hollywood every month so it becomes a big challenge to get your screenplay read and to have it seem different from so many others. Screenwriters often think their script is completely unique, but usually it’s not as different as you might think.

Read More »

The Truth About Networking

You’ve probably heard that you need to schmooze in Hollywood. Sometimes hearing this makes screenwriters shudder because they would rather be alone writing than be fake, manipulative, and a put-on when schmoozing. But this is the wrong understanding of schmoozing. The fact is that schmoozing can very simply be…

Read More »
Scroll to Top