This is a highly subjective and selective list of resources I have found useful or inspirational.
Between these sites and the sites they link to, if a script or screenplay is available in the public domain for education purposes, you will most likely find it.
There are always new podcasts coming out and 2020 has seen this form grow, and new additions to this list.
The Screenwriters Life with Meg Lefauve and Lorien McKenna
I’m a very late arrival to this podcast, but it’s so fantastic. I’ve heard both these writers on a number of different panels, but this is such an accessible and warm and open podcast with such practical insights. All the stars for this.
The Q&A Podcast with Jeff Goldsmith
Originally an offshoot of the now-defunct Screenwriter magazine, the Q&A was for a long time the source of best interviews, particularly with mainstream feature writers. Treading a line between fanzine and craft focus, there are some amazing interviews in this extensive archive. It veered into Marvel and blockbuster fandom for a while, but there is still enough diversity and great interviews to warrant the time.
Australian Screenwriters Podcast
Duncan Richards has been quietly running the ASW Podcast for several years and it is exceptional. There are an astounding collection of Australian screenwriters interviewed. Of note, the number of examples of the development process, different career paths, writers habits and rituals. Listening to these gave me the information and inspiration to study (and I’ve since been able to thank those writers in person).
John August and Craig Mazin have been running this podcast for years. I was a late-comer to it after a friend referred me to the ‘imposter syndrome/fear of writing’ episode (99 – Psychotherapy for Screenwriters, which now requires premium access of $1.99/month). The podcasts can also be downloaded as an app for Android and iPhone.
Austin Film Festival On Story
This long-running podcast covers a wide range of genres and topics. Based out of the Austin Film Festival (which is known as the ‘writers festival’) it includes independent film, emerging writers along with more established storytellers and retrospectives. A good use of time!
With a real attention to craft and process, Stu Willis and Chas Fisher’s Draft Zero podcast combines fantastic guests with deep dives into the how of screenwriting. There’s also a great ‘beginners guide’ series that covers the ‘where to begin’ for writers.
The Writer’s Panel
With a greater focus on television writing, this regular podcast also delivers regular in-depth discussions with predominantly US writers and showrunners.
Hilliard Guess’ Screenwriters’ Rant Room
A diverse and wide-ranging screenwriting podcast that covers TV, features, craft, deep-dives into specific writers and directors.
The best form of procrastination other than cat videos is Twitter and Facebook still. However, there are some good resources and sources of industry news in these channels, Twitter in particular.
I’m in the process of updating my Twitter list of screenwriters – a great number pop up when there’s a project being promoted and then end up with ghost accounts. But, a greater number have an active Twitter presence and, at best, it can feel like a genuine conversation. This is true of many UK and US showrunners.
While there are literally thousands of screenwriting groups and communities on Facebook, the only few I will shout out are:
inkcanada. Open to Canadians and people who are nice to Canadians, it is a true community with moderation, respect, valuable curated content and healthy professional discussions. It’s often my source of breaking screenwriting news on FB.
Zero Draft Thirty. Another Scott Myers initiative, based around writing sprints and getting to a draft in 30 days, ZD30 also provides a global community of serious (professional and aspiring) writers who are supportive and share well. There are often announcements of new scripts for educational download in this group across both feature and television formats.
Into The Script (formerly Bang2Writers). This is a UK-based community originally based around Lucy V Hay’s Bang 2 Write website. The community has been handed over to another facilitator.
Adelaide Screenwriters Club. This is a group for Adelaide-based screenwriters of all levels of experience. We hold monthly social meetups and provide support in the form of knowledge share and notes sessions.
Facebook can be a wild ride. For a list of the communities to avoid, email me.
reddit, Discord and Slack
There are a growing number of additional writing groups in these channels, mostly focussed on accountability or as spin-offs from conferences (as was the Austin Film Festival Discord).
The long-running Screenwriting reddit also has a discord group. Details on reddit.
Blogs and Sites
Scott Myers and Go Into the Story
One of the first screenwriting teachers I followed on Twitter was Scott Myers. His magic 1, 2, 7, 14 formula is a great productivity guide for creative industries.
BBC Writers Room
In addition to news and articles, the BBC Writers Room site hosts screenplays and scripts for many UK productions.
A spin-off of the Austin Film Festival, On Story is a collection of articles, podcasts, video content and other materials all on the art of story, predominantly on film.
Published by Writer’s Digest and a content partner of Final Draft, Script Magazine has a combination of articles, podcasts, and other resources across the spectrum of performance writing.
Bang 2 Write
Provided you can avoid the multiple email signups (by signing up), Bang2Write provides very useful craft-based articles on screenwriting and prose. This community on Facebook is also a wealth of great tips, UK opportunities.
A place for scripts to be registered and read, the Blacklist also is now the home of Scott Myers Go Into The Story.
The Australian Writer’s Guild provides industry support for all forms of performance writing in Australia. Like all writers’ guilds, there are multiple tiers of membership for those entering the industry and those working. In addition to a number of writing competitions, industrial and contract support, the AWG has committees in each state responsible for connecting and delivering events to members. I am a volunteer on the AWG South Australian committee.
Obviously, there are a ton of amazing resources out there. If there’s something that you find amazing and helpful, please let me know in the comments or get in touch.