I got this question recently:

“When the Hollywood Creative Directory section for a producer/agent says ‘no unsolicited material,’ does that include query letters?”

Yes, it includes query letters. These companies official policy is that they do not want to see any unsolicited story ideas, not even a query letter. There are some companies that say and mean “no unsolicited submissions.” You’re wasting your time submitting to them. All you’re going to get back is a letter saying they didn’t read your submission and aren’t allowed to take unsolicited submissions.

Now with that said, I personally don’t think you need to worry about this because most companies, even if they say “no unsolicited submissions” still might read your script if your letter hits the right person at the right time. I know this from first hand experience. I’ve gotten many companies who’s official policy is “no unsolicited submissions” to read my scripts by submitting a query letter to them and having them request the full script. You really don’t know until you’ve submitted if they’re serious about their “no unsolicited material” policy or not, and even then you really don’t know because even if you get a form letter back saying “no unsolicited submissions” you never know about the next query letter. Who knows, maybe your next query letter will hit the right person at the right time. So the answer is yes, many companies say and mean “no unsolicited submissions,” but I would just submit anyway and see what happens. The worst they can do is throw your letter in the trash unread. Rejection is part of the game. With enough submissions and assuming your query letter is top notch, you will eventually get through to a few companies. Just keep submitting.

10 thoughts on “Submitting to companies that don’t take unsolicited material”
  1. This post is extremely useful. However, I bought your book and you say not to submit to companies that say they don’t accep unsolicited material. “I am not a lawyer, but I do know there are laws against sending out unsolicited bulk email and bulk faxes. […] It may be illegal, never do anything illegal…” (pag. 61-62)

    Which is your point of view nowadays, the book or the blog?
    Many thanks

    1. Without having the book in front of me, I’m not 100% sure I remember the passage. I think my main point in the book that I was trying to make was that you can run into legal trouble if you send bulk faxes out to people who are on the “do not fax list.” I think there is a fine of like $500 per fax. I’ve never had a problem with it, I’ve sent a lot of faxes and no one has every complained much less tried to collect a fine but I think people should be aware that any form of unsolicited faxes or emails can be considered spam and might be illegal. I’m not a lawyer though. I just don’t want someone to come back to me and blame me for something they did that is illegal. So you should make sure you’re following all state and local laws before trying any of the things I suggest in my book or on this blog, for that matter.

      But in general, I think even if a company says “no unsolicited material” it doesn’t really mean that they won’t read unsolicited material. It just means that’s their policy and they probably won’t. But trust me, they still might.

  2. What about a true story ? an interesting crime thriller , a few movies have already been made about this guy I have put the events on a cd and sent it to police agencys KC FBI said to try them (KCPD mad I didnt contact when it happened and probably dont beleive its true ) although they have responed to some of the calls and noticed it would be a great script for a movie also tryed sending it to Phoenix pictures with no answere they made a movie about him in 07

    1. I’m not sure I follow exactly what your question is. If you have a compelling story I think you’ll find some interest from production companies. If I wrote a story based on true events, assuming you have the legal right to sell your script, I wouldn’t worry too much about submitting to companies who already made a similar film, in fact I’d probably steer clear of them and submit to other companies. In general, though, I’m not sure writing a script based on true events that have already been covered in a film or television MOW is a great idea as people might feel the material has already been covered.

      1. thanks for your answere the true events I speak of are new events that happened to me personally in KC ,98 to present ( hes trying to kill me ! 7 attemps ),most only known to me and him and the facts lead me to beleive its related to or is a 69-70 San Fran killer best to leave it as true timeline events (13 pages )-or fabricate some to make a 100 page script they ask for ?

  3. […] When submitting to companies in The Hollywood Creative Directory you’re going to get a certain percentage of companies sending back your query letter unread saying they do not read unsolicited material. Don’t worry too much about this, it’s normal. Rejection is a big part of this process so get used to it. I wrote this post which might shed some additional light on companies that don’t take unsolicited material: Submitting to companies that don’t take unsolicited material. […]

  4. Hi, I just called a production co. & I am a concept creator. I was told they would not except anything I sent to them until I get an agent. What type of agent do I look for ? I already have my work sub with WGA Thank you.

  5. I am trying to see what a lawyers letter looks like in relation to soliciting an actor or actress from an agent.
    Would you know where any examples are?

    Thanks a mil
    Billy : Writer/Director

    1. I don’t know of any examples, although I’m not sure why you’d want one. If you get a lawyer to submit for you, you should be able to get them to write a letter (or polish yours) for you. I would guess it’s as simple as changing the query letter I describe on this site and just making it so that it comes from the lawyer you’ve hired to make the submission.

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