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Screenwriting Expo - Is Your Script Ready Yet?

By Serita Stevens

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It’s said that everyone in Los Angeles is either a want to be actor or an aspiring writer.  From past experience I can tell you one of the best places you can be is the annual international Creative Screenwriting Expo (CSE)--  Nov 12-16th at the airport hotels.  

Creative Screenwriting Expo Panel

CSE is one of the largest gatherings of both professional and aspiring writers, producers, directors, agents and other industry personnel.  This is their sixth year of the event which has more speakers than ever and an even greater selection of producers for the Golden Pitch Session.  

With over 150 classes to choose from and many sought after industry teachers the focus is not only on the craft but on the business of writing.  Some of the greats who will be in attendance are J ohn Truby, Karl Iglesias, Ken Rotcop, Linda Cowgill, Heather Hale,  Pilar Alessandra, Ellen Sandler, Michael Hauge and Billie Merritt.  Every one of the speakers is professional and accomplished in their area of expertise as networking, pitching, writing from your emotions and romantic comedy.   Tips I gained from past CSE helped my writing immensely.  

Creative Screenwriting Expo: Ellen Sandler

In addition, well known writers as William Goldman (Butch Cassidy, The Princess Bride); Nancy Meyers (the highest grossing female writer-director) for Private Benjamin, Marhall Herskovitz (Legends of the Fall, Blood Diamond, Traffic) and Richard Price, a master of dialogue (The Wire, Color of Money) will be interviewed as Guests of Honor.    

Those who want to write for TV will find a whole track just for them with special speakers as the executive producers of Lost and Heroes being featured on Nov. 15th – TV day.  

In addition to lectures and workshops, there is the open writing competition which is unique to CSE.  It offers writers to flex their muscles by creating a two-three page scene on site in 90 minutes or fewer.  Participants win not only cash prizes but lots of recognition and some have even obtained representation from the contest.  

The exhibit hall will not only have books but taped lectures, deals on Dov Simmon’s course, Script broker pitching help, Frame Forge – that neat way of having your scenes come to life and many other bargains for sale.  

Bill Donovan, publisher of Creative Screenwriting magazine  calls this an immersion course, which it truly is.  Almost any question you have can be answered here.  There is also the networking, which is invaluable.  Last time, I ended up having drinks with a producer who optioned one of my scripts.  

Of course there are classes, too, for directors and producers just starting out and many actors have attended to rub shoulders with the industry.  After all, if you want to act, you need to get in front of the people who hire actors – the producers.  

The fee for the full four days is a mere $144.95 for the basic price, then you pay additional for some of the extra workshops and for the chance to pitch your story to execs from various companies at Bruckheimer, Reese Witherspoon, managers, agents.  CSE expects to have over 130 producers here.  Many people come from long distances just for the opportunity to pitch. (Pitches cost $25 each but you get a full 15 minutes with each exec, which if you have done your homework, is more than enough time to sell them on an idea.)  Last year, several people went home with near deals.  

Creative Screenwriting Expo: Golden Pitch

Last year there were almost 5,000 people in attendance many from outside the California area.   Have you finished your script yet?   Will you be one of them?  

For additional information visit www.screenwritingexpo.com

Published on Dec 31, 1969

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