BALLS OF STEEL™: Get Your Community On

Enter the land of Scriptchat, where unicorns frolic, writing deals are made, and tequila pours from fountains. Okay, maybe there aren’t any unicorns...
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After last week’s Tweet to Success post, I assume you immediately clicked on Twitter and set up an account. You didn’t? Tsk, tsk. Time to bring out the big guns.

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Enter the land of Scriptchat, where unicorns frolic, writing deals are made, and tequila pours from fountains. Okay, maybe there aren’t any unicorns.

Scriptchat is a Twitter screenwriting chat I co-founded with Zac Sanford, Jamie Livingston, Kim Garland and Mina Zaher. Simply put, it’s the most generous screenwriting community available. We founders call ourselves the “treefort,” and yes, we have a secret handshake.

Our goal is to create a community where new and seasoned screenwriters can learn and grow in our craft, with only one rule:

Bring your tequila and leave your ego behind.

Our tagline brings the feel of a party, hoping to avoid the chest-pumping, know-it-all attitudes. After all, Scriptchat isn’t a competition; it’s a community. No matter what your experience, everyone has something to learn.

Before you start questioning if there’s an economic gain for us, let me assure you, there is none. Not one penny. This is an entirely free community. We host the weekly chat simply for the love of it, and to help other writers network and learn. Our website has incredible resource links, ranging from advice on craft to the business of screenwriting as well chat transcripts. The only payment ever asked is to pay it forward.

But we don’t only deliver education; we also bring special guests to the party.

Some of our chat guests include screenwriters Bob DeRosa (Killers), Geoff LaTulippe (Going the Distance), Josh Heald (Hot Tub Time Machine), Peter Hanson (Tales from the Script), and Alvaro Rodriguez (Machete) as well as TV writers Jane Espenson (Buffy, Caprica) and Karen Walton (Gingersnaps, Flashpoint IV). The guest list expands beyond writers to agents and gurus. We work tirelessly to bring screenwriters free access to industry professionals.

Dana Brunetti, president of Trigger Street, even surprised us by popping into a chat from 30,000 feet in the air. He spent an hour of the flight sharing his experiences as we all debated what the new Amazon Studios launch would mean to writers. You can’t buy this kind of access to expertise anywhere. I should mention Amazon Studios even chimed in on that one.

We immediately knew we were onto something when at our virgin chat in October of 2009, John August sent us a tweet of support. By the way, if you’re reading this, Mr. August, we’d love to have you on as a guest, just sayin’. Ping me: @jeannevb.

Hey, I have a balls-of-steel reputation to uphold. I had to ask.

But the true sweet spot is the writers who participate. We support each other with an intensity and selflessness unmatched in Hollywood. The chats are fueled by passion and a hunger to learn, though some insist it's tequila. Well, maybe José helps a little. Mark my words, one of us will be on that Oscar stage someday, and the tweets will be heard round the world.

Scriptchat is where fearless writers come to play, form writing partnerships, and even fall in love. Two of our writers met at a chat and were engaged the following year. Be prepared for anything to happen.

I could spend 10,000 more words gushing about our baby, but I’d rather see you there on Sunday nights to find out for yourself. Instructions for participating in the chat are on our website.

Get your fearless self on Twitter and set up an account. First stop, follow @scriptchatand @scriptmagand get your community on!

Scriptchat takes place every Sunday at both a European time slot of 8pm GMT, and a U.S.A. slot of 8pm EST (5pm PST). For more Twitter information, check out my social media website SMwriters.com.