Do you have a question that you’d like to have answered by a longtime Hollywood literary agent next Friday? Send it in!

Question: (Anonymous)

Why is my contest-winning script about an interesting but relatively obscure figure involved in the French Revolution not considered a “Hollywood spec screenplay”?

Answer: (Michele Wallerstein)

The people who judge contests are not usually in the business of making films in Hollywood. The judges are often friends of the people who are putting on the contest or semi-pros. The movers and shakers in Hollywood don’t have the time and they certainly don’t have the interest in reading the scripts of unknown writers. Sorry to say but script contests have nothing to do with selling screenplays.

An “obscure figure” of no historical importance seems unlikely to excite a buyer. It is even more difficult to sell a period piece set in the French Revolution. There is no innate interest in these things in general so the screenplay must be very, very good and very, very compelling insofar as the hero and story are concerned.

Michele Wallerstein is a Screenplay & Novel & Career Consultant and author of MIND YOUR BUSINESS: A Hollywood Literary Agent’s Guide To Your Writing Career.

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