What If Someone gave a Screenwriting Conference and Everybody Came?
By Bob Saenz

I had the pleasure of speaking and networking at the Phoenix Screenwriter’s Association’s conference in April. It couldn’t have been more fun or put together more professionally. This is an example of how you do something like this. Well organized, well thought out.

They brought in a few speakers, including me, and offered a wide variety of topics, from Psychology for Writers, to understanding rewrites, to screenwriter mistakes, to all kinds of screenwriting business information.

Here’s what I liked the most. The quality of person that came. Both my talks were full of people, some of whom sat on the floor or stood, which is personally satisfying. It was also the intelligence of the questions that impressed me. People obviously serious about the profession. Not a group of pie in the sky writers who expected instant gratification, but people who have decided that writing for the screen is something they need to work at. So, the questions and discussions reflected that seriousness.

I speak at these kinds of conferences all over the country. This one is at the top of my list of great experiences. The networking after was a delight to experience. The instructors and the attendees in a casual social setting getting to know each other on personal levels. Great frank discussions on writing, on the state of the industry, on various topics of interest. Young and, like me, old, all meeting on our common ground.

I heard premises for films, some quite good which is unusual at these things, I heard stories of where ideas come from, where the writers were in their screenwriting journey, and I talked about how it was possible for all of them to succeed.

And it is possible. The search for new good content is unending and all you need of one producer or rep to believe in what you do or in a script of yours. Just one. It takes a lot of hard effort and time learning the craft, marketing yourself and your work, networking, and enduring what will seem like endless rejection. This is all part of succeeding.

Many thank of Carlo and his crew of workers who made the conference the success it was. My only complaint? I wish it had lasted longer. I’d look into that if I was you, Carlo.
Many thanks to the people I got to meet and who have reached out since. I appreciate each and every one of you. And I’d come back in a second if asked. That’s the measure of a good event.

Now, keep writing.

Bob Saenz is a screenwriter, author, and actor, his dozen plus produced works include “Help for the Holidays”, “Rescuing Madison”, “Sweet Surrender”, On the 12 th Day of Christmas”, “Sound of Christmas”, “The Right Girl”, “Christmas in Love”, the comedy, “Church People”, the theatrical black comedy thriller “Extracurricular Activities”, and the Christmas Movie “The Christmas Yule Blog” and “The Farmer and the Belle” both new in 2020. He does rewrites, adaptations, and script polishes for hire on film and TV projects for Producers and Production Companies.


He’s the author of the popular screenwriting book “That’s Not the Way It Works: a no-nonsense guide to the craft and business of screenwriting.” He speaks and teaches screenwriting at writers’ conferences and film festivals across the country. His acting roles include a recurring character on the TV show “Nash Bridges”, Hallmark Hall of Fame’s “Valley of Light”, Francis Ford Coppola’s “Jack”, David Fincher’s “Zodiac”, Finn Taylor’s “Unleashed”, “Disrupted”, and “The Village Barbershop”, among dozens of others.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This