How to Leverage Your Latest Work To Get a Writing Agent or Manager

Posted on: Jun 06, 2024

Photo Credit: Viktoriia Hnatiuk // Shutterstock

By Brendan Fitzgibbons

Kurt Vonnegut said, “Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.” And to get a writing agent. (Ok, yes. I added that last part.)

First of all, congratulations on writing your own material. As I mentioned in a previous post, the number-one key to breaking into writing and comedy is to well…write. And it’s especially vital to write original pilots, features, books, social videos, etc., because this is truly the only way to distinguish yourself in a crowded field of writers.

Let’s take a deeper look at how you can leverage your latest and greatest work to get a writing agent or manager.


A great way to begin is by going on a fact-finding mission by compiling a list of agents and managers that you’re really excited about. A great tool for your search is IMDbPro, but if you want to be more cost efficient, you can research your ideal rep by asking friends who have agents or managers if they like their rep and, most importantly, whether or not their rep is doing well for them.

So many people, including myself at times, get obsessed with the idea of getting a manager or agent. But you don’t just want any manager or any agent, you want a rep that will be great for you. Another way to gather research is by going on some of your favorite writers’ websites and clicking their contact page. It’s here that you will most likely find the name of their rep and their contact information.

Now that you have some all-star reps for your list, you can treat it like a living document and continue updating it as your search goes on. Don’t worry, we’ll return to this list in a second, and remember to not be list thirsty.

Pilots and Features

Penning an original pilot or feature is still the foundational calling card of every thriving writer, but now that you’ve finished it, you’re probably asking yourself, “What’s next?” Well, first, go outside and touch grass, because remember, you’re a human and it’s how we distinguish ourselves from the robots.

A fantastic way to generate industry buzz around your completed half-hour script or feature script is to enter it into screenwriting contests. One of the best resources and hubs for screenwriting contests is Coverfly. This screenwriting database also allows you to post your bio, background information and original work, and gives folks in the industry the opportunity to contact you directly through the site. I’ve personally had nothing but fantastic experiences with Coverfly—they care deeply about writers and want you to succeed. Other great screenwriting websites include The Black List and The Script Lab.

Another excellent way to get attention around your work is to shoot a small proof of concept or short version of your pilot or feature. That way, you’ll have something tactile to show reps or managers.

Books and Podcasts

When it comes to the entertainment industry, the word on the street is still “help me.” Just kidding, it’s still “IP,” which stands for intellectual property. Executives, managers and agents love anything that is IP related, so that’s why there’s never been a better time to write a book or start a podcast.

The industry looks at these formats so favorably because they are already established ideas, ideally with a following, so the risks of adapting a series or film about them are low. Many of the major agencies and management companies have specific podcast and book divisions. So again, research here is your best friend. Find a company that has dedicated resources for these mediums and make sure the genres and styles they support are in line with what you just created.

Short Form Content

Another traditional route to getting attention from the industry is making a web series or short film. These mediums work extremely well at showcasing your writing, and agents and managers can see your skills quickly and in real-time. Similar to the pilot/feature route, once you’re done with your short film/web series, definitely consider entering it into as many festivals as you can. Industry tends to flock to festivals, especially the big-ticket ones like SXSW and Sundance.

A somewhat underrated way to get attention from agents and managers is to create an original fantastic/hilarious/fun social video. In the last decade, so many people have been discovered by making social videos, and it’s arguably the best way to stay top of mind. The best part is, you don’t have to wait for notes or permission to make your next viral sensation.


Now that you have your epic rep list and your singular piece of written work, here comes the fun part—actually getting a rep. Ideally, your work was so good that it garnered attention from agents and managers and they approached.

But never fear, if you haven’t had bites, there are a few other approaches. Many industry insiders disagree with the idea of cold emailing to reps, but I am always of the mind, “What’s the worst that’s going to happen?” They simply won’t write back. But then again, neither did your 8th-grade crush Nicole, and you’re fine.

I have personally gotten almost all of my reps by cold reaching out. However, I wouldn’t recommend putting a ton of energy into it. A more natural and, quite frankly, probably easier way is by talking to your friends about their reps—you’d be surprised how many would recommend you to them. Try networking and attending screenings, parties and industry gatherings.

Nothing, I mean nothing, is a substitute for writing, so keep up the incredible work. I truly believe that when you put in the time and couple that with the right amount of intention and precision, the perfect rep will find you. Or you can always reach back out to Nicole and see what she’s up to.

Brendan Fitzgibbons is a comedy writer and actor living in Pasadena. He’s written for Comedy Central, The Onion, NBC, HuffPost, and Bravo. As an actor, he’s appeared on Comedy Central, MTV, Full Frontal w/Samantha Bee. His podcast, “Spiritual As**e,” was named a ‘Top Indie Podcast’ by Stitcher.

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