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How To Build Your Writing Community Through Screenwriting Labs

By February 23, 2023April 6th, 2023No Comments

How To Build Your Writing Community Through Screenwriting Labs_FeaturedBuilding a writing community is deeply important for your screenwriting career. Your community will include accountability partners who help keep you motivated, peers who help keep you informed of upcoming opportunities, teachers and mentors who help you hone your craft, readers who can provide trusted feedback on scripts, reps who help guide your career and introduce you to industry professionals, and colleagues who can help connect you with jobs. This is where screenwriting labs can come into play.

Writing is a skill and an art form that requires a great amount of mental energy and emotional intelligence; sometimes, lonely hours and rejection — commiseration is critical for maintaining mental and emotional health.

Let’s talk about how to build your writing community, especially if you’ve been selected for a screenwriting lab.

Read More: What Exactly Is a Screenwriting Lab?

Keep In Touch

Exchange information, including email addresses and social media handles. Be genuine with the work and career path you are drawn to and interested in. Congratulate peoples’ wins online.

I recommend taking this even further and setting up a Facebook group, Slack channel, or Discord page for your community. These are the places where you can ask the group questions, get a feel for their experiences with different agencies or competitions, or share relevant trade announcements.

How To Build Your Writing Community Through Screenwriting Labs_Social Media

Share Opportunities

If you discover a great opportunity, don’t keep it to yourself — pass the information along. Maybe television fellowships have announced upcoming entry dates — share that post with your network so you can stay motivated together. Or maybe you’ve placed or participated in a program or competition that you found valuable; let your network know about it and encourage them to join or ask questions about it. 

It can feel like you’re competing with others, but the truth is that high tides lift all ships. A network of talented writers will improve your writing — and you might even find yourself in a program or writers’ room with a friend who went through the entry process with you.

Read More: Screenwriting Labs vs. Competitions: Is There a Difference?

Create a Writers’ Group

A writers’ group is a great way to stay motivated and receive helpful feedback. There are many different ways to run a writers’ group. I’ve seen big programs where just a few writers are featured each week, and the rest of the group watches the table read from the audience. I’ve also seen small groups where each member is granted a certain amount of time for reading and feedback each week. 

When it comes to filmmaking, it’s important to remember that you should choose a structure that works for you and that feedback is best received in a constructive and helpful manner.

How To Build Your Writing Community Through Screenwriting Labs_Writers Group

Provide Career Updates

This is admittedly one community-strengthening task that I struggle with the most. Still, the more you practice it, the easier it becomes — and once you receive a career update from someone else, it’s clear how genuine and unassuming it actually is. 

Keep in touch with your mentors, teachers, and connections by congratulating them on their accomplishments and updating them on your own. Authentically let them know how you are growing as a writer and what your needs are. If you’ve completed a great screenwriting lab, send a quick email to your screenwriting mentor and let them know what you learned. Ask a friend from your lab who is now in a great writers’ room to keep you in mind during staffing season this season. 

You’ve got to let people know what you want and what you can provide, so they know to recommend you when job opportunities come up. If your messages are genuine, quick, and positive, they won’t be seen as nagging or desperate (which is often just fear). Just make sure you’re not only reaching out to people when you need something. You’ve got to be part of the community you want to build.

Read More: Inspiring Takeaways From the 2022 Wescreenplay Feature Screenwriting Lab

Recommend Your Friends

As you hope your name gets mentioned when a position opens, recommend your friends when you hear about staffing or assistant jobs. If you were a Writers Assistant in season one of a TV series and you’ve been promoted to Staff Writer, let the showrunner know about your writing friend looking for their first break. If you’re under contract and can’t take a feature writing position, but your buddy is a great writer, introduce them to the producers and strongly recommend them.

That kind of generosity creates momentum for yourself and others — and it helps decision-makers know that you’re someone they can come to when they’re looking to fill a position. 


Screenwriting labs are mindfully crafted to strengthen writers’ scripts and hone their professional expectations. Perhaps more significantly, screenwriting labs present writers with opportunities to network with each other and connect with industry members in meaningful ways. Over the course of a few days, screenwriting lab participants will walk away with a new network of peers and industry pros — but maintaining those connections takes effort, just like any other relationship.

Read More: Who Are Screenwriting Labs For?

This is especially true during a time of physical distancing. Set up Google alerts on the movers and shakers in your community, so you know when they have successes, you can celebrate. Support them on social media — not just their big career moments but also their personal interests. Offer to give feedback on their latest drafts and help connect them to opportunities that will lift them up. Be the person you want to support you in your endeavors.

If you’re feeling inspired, check out details about the WeScreenplay Feature, TV, Shorts, or Diverse Voices Screenwriting Labs right here and keep an eye on the approaching deadlines! Happy writing!

If you want to jump in even further, check out The Ultimate Guide to Screenwriting Labs!

Shannon CorbeilShannon Corbeil is a writer, actor, and filmmaker in Los Angeles with recent appearances on SEAL Team and The Rookie. An Air Force veteran, her articles have been published in Business Insider; We Are The Mighty, and She was also a 2023 DGE TV Writing Program Finalist. You can read more about her on her website or come play on Instagram and Twitter!