A Former Executive’s Advice To Beginning Screenwriters – Kelly Edwards

Film Courage: How does a screenwriter with no connections break into Hollywood?

Kelly Edwards, Staff Writer, Author, Producer: You’ve got to get some connections, so yeah it’s hard. You can’t do this on your own. There’s no formula for that. Hollywood is a company town and it’s a very, very small town. I think in the book [The Executive Chair: A Writer’s Guide to TV Series Development] I even say it’s like Mayberry, which I think might be an older reference, I don’t know? Everybody knows everybody and we’re all maybe two degrees of separation. I feel like there’s not anybody in this town that I can’t get to within two phone calls or emails. I think that’s when you’ve been here long enough that you just know more people and because people like to work with people they know, they want to work with people who’ve been vouched for, somebody’s a recommendation, some sort of someone who’s connected to someone else because they want to make sure that you can deliver. There’s that whole factor that let us just set the table with that right there. When you’re trying to get into Hollywood, you’ve got to use the people that you do know and you can meet people everywhere, so there’s a ton of festivals. A lot of people go to festivals or panels or whatever gatherings they can and one connection will lead to many other connections. I think the great thing about a lot of the festivals these days is that people are there because they want to help, they want to connect…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).

See it on Amazon here

SEE THE BOOK ON AMAZON – The Executive Chair: A Writer’s Guide to TV Series Development by Kelly Edwards 




As HBO and WarnerMedia’s SVP of Talent Development for seven years, Kelly Edwards oversaw all of the emerging artists programs for HBO, HBOMax, and Turner, both domestic and abroad. Edwards’s career spans both television and film, having served as a key corporate diversity executive at Comcast/NBCUniversal and a creative executive for both film director Garry Marshall and producer Laura Ziskin. After moving to television, she spent six years as a senior executive at Fox, where she developed Living Single, Clueless, and The Wild Thornberrys. As SVP of Comedy Development at UPN, she developed Girlfriends, The Parkers, and Malcolm in the Middle. Edwards also produced the movie of the week A Christmas Detour for Hallmark, and the one-hour drama series Sex, Love, and Secrets. She holds a BA in Theater from Vassar and an MFA in Screenwriting from Emerson. Edwards has served on the Annenberg Inclusion Board, the UNCF Leadership Council, the ATAS Diversity committee, as a Trustee for NALIP, and is a 2019 Sundance Episodic Lab fellow. Kelly’s book The Executive Chair: A Writer’s Guide to TV Series Development is now available (via Michael Wiese Productions). 










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