Screenwriters


Overview

Screenwriters

Introduction

Screenwriters write scripts for entertainment, education, training and sales, films and television programs. Screenwriters may choose themes themselves, or they may write on a theme assigned by a producer or director, sometimes adapting plays, novels, or other works into screenplays. Screenwriting is an art, a craft, and a business. It is a career that requires imagination and creativity, the ability to tell a story using both dialogue and pictures, and the ability to negotiate with producers and studio executives.

Quick Facts


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Median Salary

$154,328

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Employment Prospects

Fair

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Minimum Education Level

High School Diploma


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Experience

Previous writing experience recommended


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Skills

Computer


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Personality Traits

Creative

Earnings

Wages for screenwriters are nearly impossible to track. Some screenwriters make hundreds of thousands of dollars from their scripts, while others write and film their own scripts without any payment at all, relying on backers and loans. Screenwriter Joe Eszterhas made entertainment news in the early 1990s when he received $3 million for each of his treatments for Basic Instinct, Ja...

Work Environment

Screenwriters who choose to freelance have the freedom to write when and where they choose. They must be persistent and patient; only one in 20 to 30 purchased or optioned screenplays is produced.

Screenwriters who work on the staff of a large company, for a television series, or under contract to a motion picture company may share writing duties with others.

Screenwriters who do ...

Outlook

Overall employment for writers is forecast to decline 2 percent through 2029, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, with employment in media and communications in general growing 3 percent.

There is intense competition in the television and motion picture industries. As the movie industry grows, cable television expands, and digital technology allows for more programming via streami...

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