As the UK’s busiest script consultant I help out new scriptwriters all the time – mainly through my script report and script coverage service – but also just with general advice. I get asked a lot about agents and how to get one – the answer is simple.
How to get a scriptwriting agent
To get a scriptwriting agent just spend five to ten years writing, learning and studying the craft of screenwriting, and more widely the craft of storytelling and drama/comedy. Once that ten years is up you need to have written around ten feature length scripts (that aren’t quite good enough) then at around the 10/11 year mark you might crack it, with a decent script – good enough, maybe to get you an agent.
That’s the secret to getting an agent – a hell of a lot of work (over years, maybe even, decades).
Script consultant UK
When you do approach the agent, with your maybe good enough script, you should also have a mature understanding of the industry – and that most scriptwriters starting out, need to write for soaps and serial dramas for a good few years, to build up credits, and a professional reputation – nothing original gets made until you’ve done the rounds on existing shows – that’s just how it works, but you’ll know that by then.
That’s the secret to getting a scriptwriting agent
Of course, 10/11 years isn’t exact, some really good scriptwriters, might only have to put in five or so years learning their trade, some maybe less naturally talented might need 20 years – indeed, most professional scriptwriters are in their 40s or 50s before they even get their big break.
The process can sometimes be speeded up by using script consultant’s like me, to get qualified, industry hardened feedback – I got my first agent at 24 and was on the core writing team of Emmerdale soon after (where I was BAFTA shortlisted and Royal Television Society nominated) – but I’m an exception – I had my first short film produced by Channel Four and broadcast on the channel before I was 19. I’d been writing scripts since my teens.
List of UK scriptwriting agents
There’s a popular blogpost of mine here: Scriptwriting agents UK–complete list with links and submission advice | Script writer for hire and UK script consultant (matcoop.co.uk) – which list UK agents, but before you send anything to anyone – you need someone like me to assess and report on the script.
You won’t get a second chance with an agent if you send them a substandard script – so get a report first, and make sure the report is done by someone who knows that they’re doing. I’m here to help, and won’t bite – get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org
My charges are below:
- Short film script report £50
- TV drama up to one hour script report £80
- Feature film script report £120
Matthew Cooper has been a script writer for hire and UK script consultant for over 20 years. He’s written for most of the UK soaps, including writing award-winning episodes of Emmerdale, EastEnders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs and has been BAFTA shortlisted and Royal Television Society nominated as a script writer.
His directorial debut, the rubber reality horror thriller ‘Markham’ was released in 2020, his second feature film as director ‘At The Mountains Of Madness’ hit the screen in 2021. You can find out more about Matthew’s work as a director here.