National Screenwriters Day Date in the current year: January 5, 2024

National Screenwriters Day All your favorite movies and TV shows are the result of a team effort, and screenwriters are an important part of a movie or television show team. Their contribution is crucial, but screenwriters often get less credit than directors or showrunners. National Screenwriters Day, celebrated annually on January 5, was created to rectify this.

A screenwriter (short for screenplay writer) is just what it says on the tin: a person who writes screenplays for films, television programs, video games, and other forms of media. The art and craft of screenwriting is almost as old as the film industry itself; one of the first screenwriters was American journalist Roy McCardell, who was hired by the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company to write film scripts in 1900.

Screenwriters are freelancers who typically start their career by writing speculative screenplays, also known as spec scripts. A spec script is a script that focuses more on the story than on technical details and is written with the intention of being sold to a producer, production company, or studio.

Since screenwriters aren’t paid for writing spec scripts and can’t be sure that their scripts will be purchased, most amateur screenwriters who haven’t established themselves in the professional world yet have a day job to support themselves and write in their spare time. It often takes them years of trial and error, rejection and failure to break into the film industry, and some never do.

Professional screenwriters are usually represented by an agent. They can pitch their projects to producers/studios or compete for open assignments from studios. Many screenwriters combine writing scripts with working as script doctors, i.e. writers who improve scripts written by other people or tweak them to meet the studio’s requirements. Television shows usually hire a team of writers, called a writers’ room, who work together under the showrunner’s supervision.

National Screenwriters Day was launched in 2016 by, an educational resource for screenwriters from all over the world. The main goal of the holiday is to acknowledge the talent of the people behind the scripts that become movies and television episodes that we enjoy.

How to observe National Screenwriters Day? You can learn more about the screenwriters behind your favorite movies and shows, and give them a shout-out on social media with the hashtag #NationalScreenwritersDay. If you know a screenwriter personally, reach out to them to let them know you appreciate their creativity and talent.

If you’ve been trying to write a script but have had a few bumps on the road, celebrate National Screenwriters Day by signing up for a screenwriting course. Maybe you won’t become a professional screenwriter after all, but it will be a fun experience regardless! A screenwriting course will give you an insight into the film and television industry, as well as help you gain skills that you might find use for in other spheres. And if you have a finished spec script, it’s time to try selling it to kickstart your career!

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National Screenwriters Day, professional holidays, observances in the United States, film and television industry, screenwriting