How to become a Screenwriter- A Complete Educational Guide


There is a young lady who has moved to a new city for the first time in a while. It is the first time that she is in a city of males where she has to reach out to people and make her work done. 

What are the qualities of a character that come to your mind? 

Probably an independent person. Slightly scared and vulnerable individuals too. But at the same time having the power to make their own decisions and be accountable for them. This is exactly what a screenwriter takes inspiration from.

Advaita Kala, the screenwriter of Kahani did base the character of Vidya Balan based on the experiences that she had when she moved to a new city for a job. 

This is how screenwriters write scripts and screenplays. If you are interested in screenwriting read further to know how to become a screenwriter– the education, skills, job preparation, and salary insights. 

Who is a Screenwriter? 

An author of screenplays who creates material for visual media is called a Screenwriter. They compose screenplays for television, advertisements, video games, feature films, short films, and other media. A script’s dialogue, characters, and plot are all created by them. They are someone who works in the writing industry and adapts stories for various media. 

Learn more: Career As A Film Critic

How to become a Screenwriter? [Step by Step]

Step 1: Stream Selection 

In your 11th grade, it is advisable that you choose subjects like English literature or Mass communication if your school offers them. However, there is no mandatory subject that you should have to take admission in the undergraduate programs required to become a Screenwriter. 

Step 2: Certificate Courses and Project Courses 

If you’re unsure about a job as a screenwriter, you may test it out by registering for a range of time and money-saving online courses. There is no prerequisite for them, thus you can enroll in a few of them by Udemy or Coursera after getting your 10th grade.

Certificate Course Duration 
Screenwriting Workshop 7 hours of video content (self-paced) 
Beginning Screenwriting made easy- Screenwriting course 2.5 hours of video content (self-paced) 
Scriptwriting: Write a pilot episode for a TV or web series 1-3 Months 
Creative Writing: The Craft of Plot 1-4 Weeks 
Learn Screenwriting with movies you know 1-hour content (self-paced) 

Step 3: Educational Qualifications 

How to become a Screenwriter after the 12th?

A) Undergraduate and Diploma courses to become a Screenwriter in India

Some of the undergraduate courses that help you in becoming a screenwriter in India are: 

Undergraduate Degree Duration 
Bachelors in Journalism and Mass Communication 3 Years
B.A. in Literature 3 Years 
Bachelor in Fine Arts 4 Years 
B.A. In Film Studies 4 Years 

There are also some diploma courses that you might give a try: 

Diploma Course Institute offering the course Duration 
Diploma in Screen Writing Whistling Woods 1 Year 
Diploma in film screenwriting Actor prepares 3 Months 
Advanced Diploma in Screenwriting  Whistling Woods 2 Years 
Program in Screenwriting ZIMA6 Months 
Screenwriting certificate program Mindscreen Film Insititute 6 Months 
Screenplay and direction Institute of creative excellence 3.5 months 

Also read: How to become a Creative Writer

B) Top Colleges for screenwriting courses

  • Lady Shri Ram, New Delhi 
  • Christ University, Bangalore 
  • Symbiosis Centre of Media and Communication, Pune 
  • St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai  
  • Manipal Institute of Communications 
  • Jamia Milia Islamia, Delhi 
  • Amity school of communication 
  • Indraprastha College for Women, Delhi 
  • Whistling Woods International, Mumbai 

What to Study Abroad to become a Screenwriter

A) Undergraduate/Diploma Courses 

The undergraduate course that you can check out abroad include: 

Undergraduate Degrees Estimated Duration 
B.S. in Communication 48 Months 
B.A. (Hons) in Journalism 36 Months 
Bachelors in Arts in Communication Studies 48 Months 
Digital Communication and Multimedia Journalism B.A.48 Months 
BA Hons in Book and Media Studies48 Months 
Bachelor of Science in Comparative Media Studies48 Months 
Bachelors of Arts in Fine Arts48 Months 
Bachelor of Arts in Film and Media Studies48 Months 

The name of these programs and the duration would differ depending on the country you apply to. You can also apply to certain diploma/certificate programs that you can choose to go for if you don’t want to invest so much time and effort. 

Diploma Courses Institute offering the course Duration 
Screenwriting Class New York Film Academy, USA On-campus: 1-12 weeks Online: 4 week-15 weeks 
Diploma in Screen and Media  New York Film Academy, Australia 1 Year
College Graduate Certificate in Scriptwriting Algonquin College, Canada 1 Year 
An Introduction to a screenwriting course Fututrelearn, UK 2 weeks 
A Masterclass in Screenwriting Story Academy, Sweden 1 Year 

B) Top Colleges 

  • University of Waterloo, Canada 
  • the University of Toronto 
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Teesside University
  • Stanford University 
  • Texas A & M University
  • Arizona State University
  • New York University
  • Ryerson University
  • RMIT University
  • the University of Southern California

Step 4: Job Preparation required to become a Screenwriter 

To become a serious screenwriter, there are things that you need to do before you get your first job. Some of the tips include the following: 

  • Start by knowing the basics of filmmaking: 

A screenplay functions as a kind of blueprint or production guide for movies. Writing a script that can be filmed requires an understanding of the fundamentals of filmmaking, including transitions, camera angles, voice-overs, and scene-setting. Knowing how movies are made will help you anticipate when and how your work will be used. This can assist you in writing in a screenplay-appropriate style.

  • Create a portfolio: 

The ability to produce speculative scripts is one of the best things about screenwriting. These are scripts that you did not commission or get paid to write. You don’t have to make them into movies; they are your own stories that you may add to your portfolio. To finish a script and include it in your portfolio, can require a lot of effort and perseverance. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile because your portfolio can attest to your screenwriting skills and aid in your employment search.

  • Try moving to a film city: 

Even though it’s not required, relocation is advised if you wish to work in the mainstream film industry. Since screenwriters collaborate closely with producers, directors, and other writers, it would be preferable if everyone lives nearby. You have a better chance of finding employment in a city that makes movies.

Want to boost your chances of getting admission abroad? Sign up for the Clever Harvey JuniorMBA Advertising Course and add a real industry project to your student portfolio.

Skills required to become a Screenwriter

  • Excellent Written communication 
  • Passion for writing 
  • Flexibility 
  • Persistency 
  • Consistency 
  • Knowledge of general filmmaking 
  • Visualization 
  • Creativity 
  • Observation 
  • Networking 

Salary of a Screenwriter 

Salary in India of a Screenwriter 

A lot of the payment depends on what kind of script you are working for. Is it for a film? TV? Commercial? Short story? Etc. Additionally, the kind of production house backing the film also matters. However, on average you can expect to earn around 40,478 per month in India. 

Salary Abroad for a Screenwriter 

The number of variables affecting the payment remains the same for screenwriters abroad. However, a general overview of the salary is provided in the table below: 

Country USA UK Canada Spain Germany Australia 
Entry-level salary per year $66,375£31,595 $54,384€43,44144.124 €.$103,998

Read more: Career as a Choreographer

Top Recruiters in India 

Screenwriters usually freelance their work. However, there are certain agencies that you can check out if you want to start fresh: 

  • What a Story 
  • Camera and Shorts media 
  • Get best writers 
  • Orange Publishers 
  • Shadow Puppet 

Top Recruiters Abroad 

  • Craiglist 
  • Hubstaff 
  • Entertainment Careers Production 
  • InkTip 
  • Jooble 
  • LinkedIn 
  • Stage 32 
  • Upwork 

Scriptwriting is fun when you like being in dreamland with characters. Basic knowledge of how humans react is important for you to write dialogues and create a scene. Thus, other than good English proficiency see to it that you understand basic human psychology. 

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FAQs bout how to become a Screenwriter

Is screenwriting a lucrative profession in India?

Starting pay for TV and streaming are in the vicinity of 50,000 to a lakh per month, and after you have a few popular series behind your name, they can increase to multiple lakhs.

What requirements must you meet to become a screenwriter?

You will require English language proficiency, outstanding written communication abilities, perseverance, and willpower.

Who is the best screenplay writer in India?

Some of the Celebrated Script Writers from Indian Cinema include Satyajit Ray, Jaideep Sahni, Anjum Rajabali, Vishal Bhardwaj, and VK Vijayendra Prasad. 

How do I submit a screenplay to Bollywood?

You must first understand the language of movies, which is screenplay writing. It has a structure and writing style that can be learned. You can submit your script for a web series, movie, or short film to numerous online competitions after writing it. Don’t forget to join SWA India and attend their workshops.

Is writing a script simple?

There are many things to think about when writing a script, which might be intimidating. However, before you even consider what should be in the paper, what exactly is script writing? In comparison to writing for any other format, scriptwriting is a very different animal.

Does Netflix accept script submissions? 

Only submissions sent through an authorized literary agent, a producer, an attorney, a manager, or an entertainment professional with whom they already have a working relationship are accepted by Netflix. Sadly, they won’t accept any ideas that are provided in any other way because they are deemed to be “unsolicited submissions.”

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