Write to TV: Out of Your Head and onto the Screen

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Learn to craft smart, original scripts and teleplays for a variety of television formats, including comedy, animation, drama, movies of the week, pilots, reality television, TV news magazine, and children's programming. Using the tools the author provides: checklists, sample outlines and treatments for each format, sample script pages, war stories from writers and executives, and a sample query letter to introduce finished script pages to agents, you'll avoid common pitfalls and come across as an industry veteran. Benefit from the experience of pros: 45 luminaries contribute their experience and wisdom, including Jay Leno, Mike Wallace, Norman Lear, Paul Haggis, writers for "Grey's Anaatomy," "Desperate Housewives," and more!

With twenty-five years of industry experience as a television writer and producer, Martie Cook teaches you not only how to hone your craft but also how to break into the industry. Guiding you through the often confusing television hierarchy, Write to TV offers practical advice on important issues such as how to get an agent, how to write a query letter, how to network, even how to "do lunch". By learning how to craft smart scripts for a variety of television formats and how to get your foot in the door and keep it there, this invaluable book will help you get that big idea out of your head, onto the page, and then to the top of the heap.

Learn how to craft smart scripts for a variety of television formats and break into the business through:
• Examples: In addition to examples of common pitfalls, book includes sample outlines for various formats.
• Industry wisdom: Benefit from the advice of an experienced writer. But you don't have to take her word for it—the book is filled with advice, stories, and examples from people currently working in the TV industry.
• Practical advice: Business section offers practical advice on important issues like getting an agent, how to write a query letter, and how to network your way into a job.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Write to TV

"Martie Cook imparts a tremendous amount of knowledge in a way that is both easy to understand and entertaining. It is like having a mentor in book form.” - Christopher Crowe, writer, The Last of the Mohicans

"I think this is about the best book on writing for television out there. I hope it sells like crazy because television will be better for it." -Peter Dunne, Emmy and Peabody Award-Winning Television Producer (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, JAG), Writer (Melrose Place, Dallas, Knots Landing), and Book Author (Emotional Structure - Quill Driver Books)

"In her new book Write To TV, Martie Cook gives the fledgling writer an insider's view of the TV industry and breaking into the writing game. Using her wit, candor and years of hard-won experience, Martie reports back from the TV trenches and breaks down everything it takes to make it as a writer. We learn the secrets of a winning spec, how to find an agent and what to expect when you do finally land that first big job. It's all here. She even covers what your script cover should look like. And it's all in a fun, personal, practical guide. Where was this book when I was starting out?"
—Manny Basanese, Writer/Producer The Steve Harvey Show and The Wayans Brothers

”Write to TV is a must read for anyone even thinking of becoming a TV Writer.” -Walter Klenhard, writer/director, numerous movies of the week.

"Martie has done a terrific job in laying out a practical, nuts-and-bolts approach to TV writing. She got it exactly right. Any aspiring writer should read this book before diving into the cold, show business waters. As an added bonus it can also be used as a flotation device."
—Marc Warren, Executive Producer, Full House, Even Stevens and That's So Raven

"Martie Cook has put together a wonderful resource for anyone interested in writing for television. It's thorough, filled with great anecdotes and helpful tips and covers the whole spectrum of TV writing. I am always looking for up-to-date resources for my students - finally, there is one book that has it all! Teaching writing is no easy task, but Martie Cook has figured out a way to guide readers through the process and still make it fun. The information gathered here is invaluable to anyone looking to enter the industry - it's even helpful for those of us who have been in the industry for years!"
—Pam Wheaton Shorr, Lecturer, Department of Film and Television, Boston University

”Finally, a practical approach to the business of TV Writing, seamlessly mixed with the art of writing. A critical tool for anyone who wants to succeed as a television writer.” - Alan Barnette, Executive Producer, Faith of My Fathers

"Write to TV takes you inside the minds of writers, producers and network suits in this brutally honest book. A 'must read' for anyone who has the dream of making it in Hollywood. I wish I had read this book 20 years ago!"
—Glenn Meehan, VP of Development, 44 BLUE PRODUCTIONS

"'Write to TV' is chock-full of invaluable tips and personal stories, plus practical advice from the best in the TV writing business."
—Anne Zeiser, Director of National Strategic Marketing, WGBH/PBS

"At last, someone who has 'been there & done that' has written a serious and informed guide about the world of television writing. Martie Cook's Write to TV is a nuts and bolts guide that is absorbing, lively and concise. Offering everything from behind the scenes basics, to writing for different television formats, to how to get an agent, this truly great book accomplishes the triple task of being informative, entertaining and well-written."
— Jean Stawarz, Associate Professor of Screenwriting at Emerson College, writer, Pow Wow Highway
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780240808765
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 12/15/2006
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 807,765
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Martie Cook has over twenty-five years of experience as a television writer and producer and is a professor at Emerson College. She has written for such hit shows as “Charles in Charge”, “Full House”, “Joe’s Life”, and “One West Waikiki”. Her screenplay, Zachary’s Truth was a finalist in the Massachusetts Screenwriting Contest, and in the prestigious Chesterfield Writer’s Program, before being optioned by Universal Studios. Martie has served as writer/producer on “Real Life”, “Better Homes and Gardens”, “NBC Nightly News”, “The Today Show”, “Entertainment Tonight”, “America’s Most Wanted”, and the Emmy-award winning children’s show, “Zoom”.

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