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Top 10 Screenwriting Agencies and Agents for Talented Writers

by Harry Nott

Like any of the creative industries, screenwriting is one of the most difficult careers to break into. Many screenwriters around the world have what it takes to write for film and TV, and yet only a small percentage of them will make it their living, let alone ascend to the dizzy heights to which most aspire.

Whilst screenwriting experience, craft, sample materials and story concepts are all vital parts of the screenwriter’s toolkit, the business side to the industry is where a lot of a writer’s fate is decided. Navigating the film and television industry is an immense challenge, one that can be the undoing of talented writers.

It’s an obstacle that everyone attempting to build or maintain a reputation must face, from Oscar winners to first time writers. Knowing which projects to take, which spec scripts to write, which contracts to sign, finding ways to get your work into the hands of the people most likely to bring it to life, and generally tending to the vital non-creative side of a career in screenwriting is pivotal. 

This is where an agent comes in.

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What is an Agent?

An agent is a surrogate that acts on your behalf in elements of your career that require special attention or training. 

When it comes to screenwriters (as well as actors, directors, musicians, athletes, and lots of other professionals within the entertainment and sports industries) we are talking in particular about a ‘talent agent’.

A talent agent works for the ‘talent’ by using their sphere of influence and their skills as negotiators and advocates to develop, protect, advance or otherwise support their career and their interests. 

For a screenwriter, signing with a reputable screenwriting agent or agency can offer a whole range of benefits. In particular, screenwriters can expect access to industry insiders, opportunities to pitch to major studios, production companies and streamers, specific, informed guidance on their projects and vital help with negotiating contracts as they seek to sell their screenplays and/or story concepts. 

Why Do You Need a Screenwriting Agent?

A lot of an agent’s purpose seems obvious on the surface. And, in truth, a lot of it is. However, it’s worth stating in detail what in particular is so valuable about a screenwriting agent. Here are a few important factors:

1. Someone to Discuss Your Work With

The life of a screenwriter can be a lonely one. With the exception of being staffed in a writers room or being lucky enough to have a rock solid writing partnership, most screenwriters work alone. Even the act of writing, the focus and discipline that it requires, demands solitude. An agent is someone you can speak freely with about your ideas or even about the finer details of a screenplay-in-progress; an industry-informed ally who will at least be a sounding board for you as you create.

2. A Guide Through the Industry

The film and television industry is opaque, to say the least. It’s a giant mess, relying on artists to successfully navigate the subjectivity of art and produce work that can reliably be expected to generate a profit. The who, where, when, how and why of the industry is a labyrinth that will frequently have you scratching your head, unable to reconcile past experiences or expectations with present realities. Agents know this. It’s their world. They’re in the trenches, day in, day out. Having them by your side could prove vital as you try and carve out your own path.

Related Celtx Article: 10 Essential Tips for Landing a Job in Screenwriting

3. Handling the Talking

We shouldn’t rule out the possibility that screenwriters are capable of doing their own networking (and in all seriousness, many are). But that said, there’s a lot about networking that can be a struggle for creatives. The constant pressure to walk the line between being humble and approachable whilst still finding the room to express your talent to people can be very tricky. No writer wants to come off as obnoxious, and yet it can sometimes feel like the alternative is not being heard of at all. Having an agent to blow your trumpet for you and get your name out to the right people frees you up to focus on your craft.

4. Hold You Accountable

We’ve all been through the dreaded writer’s block. But apathy, distraction, anxiety, laziness or any number of other reasons not to write have also afflicted most at some point. The lifestyle of a screenwriter can be quite erratic as a consequence, sitting at a desk all day only for inspiration to strike at 2.30 am. With the lack of structure that often accompanies a career in screenwriting, having an agent checking in on progress, expecting drafts and keeping you in line can be a real asset. Output volume is an underrated skill for writers and having an agent hovering can force you to focus up and get writing. 

What to Look for When Searching for an Agent or Agency?

There are many, many different options when pursuing representation as a screenwriter. And whilst you will certainly be under scrutiny yourself as you submit your work, that isn’t to say that you shouldn’t be discerning. It can be hard, but you need the confidence not to simply take the first offer you get. So, as you begin to think about where to start your search, here are a few things to bear in mind:

1. Reputation

The agent that represents you needs to have a good reputation. They need a good reputation in two senses: firstly, they need to be known as someone that people like to work with. Agents can be firm, and combative even when it comes to a negotiation, but your agent’s personality is important as it will inevitably reflect back on you. Secondly, ideally, they should be well-known in the industry to open up as many avenues as possible for you to explore as a writer. The better their reputation, the wider your reach.

2. Specialization

Outwardly, agencies can all seem quite similar. But within the industry, each agency, even each agent, can be known for specializing in different types of writers or for offering a different kind of experience to their clients.

Do you prefer to have a lot of your agent’s attention or are you looking to be part of a wide roster with chances to connect with other writers or creatives?

Are you a very genre-focused writer, or do you write anything and everything? Are you interested in a multidimensional career spanning film, tv, web series, radio plays, video games and more, or are you just churning out pilot after pilot? Answering these kinds of questions for yourself can help you narrow that list of agents to find the best suit for you.

Related Celtx Article: How to Find a Netflix Agent: Finding Representation Guide

3. Communication

As with any relationship, communication is key. You need to feel able to speak to your agent about anything that might relate to your professional life, and you need to find an agent who is a good communicator and frequently available to touch base.

Fortunately, it’s pretty hard to survive as an agent without being good at communicating, but that isn’t to say that there isn’t a spectrum. If they take two weeks to reply to every email, then you’re at risk of missing opportunities in the fast-paced world of entertainment.

4. Contract Terms

Money is ultimately what so much of the film and tv industry comes down to, and choosing your agent is no different. An agent can be a true value add, particularly early on in your career as a screenwriter. But if every job you get sees a large percentage of your money siphoned away to your agent, you won’t be thanking them.

So as you start your search, keep an eye on the kind of percentages that they take as your talent broker. And study the contract when you get it to make sure you feel totally comfortable with what you’re signing up for!

Top 10 Agencies For Screenwriters

With all of the above said, you’re now primed and ready to take a look at some of the top agencies for screenwriters. Across this list you will see a variety of companies, each with their own unique spin on what they do.

Agencies come in all different shapes and sizes, so it’s important for you to have the full picture. Some you will almost certainly have heard of before, but there will also be some hidden gems that deserve exploration, even if they aren’t as well known.

So here is the list of the top screenwriting agencies:

1. Creative Artists Agency (CAA)

As one of the largest and most influential talent agencies in Hollywood, this is one you’ve probably heard of already. CAA is a giant, a staple of Hollywood since 1975. Its client list includes many of the most famous writers alive, including the man himself, Aaron Sorkin. CAA also, as of 2022, own ICM, the two merging into a mega-agency, packed to the rafters with all manner of A-listers.

Though perhaps not known for breaking talent, if you can attract their attention CAA would surely make any screenwriter’s list.

Check out their website here!

2. ICM Partners (ICMP)

The aforementioned ICM, now ICM Partners after their subsumption by CAA, are another massive Hollywood agency, boasting some of the most famous writers alive, including Jerry Seinfeld, Shonda Rhimes and Woody Allen. ICMP’s prospects are by no means dented by falling under the control of CAA, the latter making it clear that the partnership will benefit everyone involved, including their clients. Again, a tough one to make contact with, but once you’re in, you’re in.

Check out their website here! (As they are partners with CAA, you’ll notice its the same website)

3. United Talent Agency (UTA)

UTA is a multi-faceted talent and literary agency, and another of the larger options on this list, representing an array of different clients, including writers, directors, actors, and musicians. The agency’s literary division maintain a reputation as one of the industry’s most innovative, boasting a strong history within the book-to-film and book-to-series markets, as well as operating across a diverse media landscape.

With expertise in forward-thinking practices such as trend forecasting and IP negotiation, UTA have become one of the most cutting edge agencies available to screenwriters. What’s more, there’s no doubting their pedigree, with a glittering array of screenwriting greats, including Wes Anderson, Greta Gerwig, Judd Apatow and Linda Woolverton.

Check out their website here!

4. William Morris Endeavor (WME)

WME is a top talent agency with a diverse array of clients spanning the entertainment and sports industries. In particular, and in some ways contrasting with CAA and ICMP, the agency has a strong reputation for representing writers and showrunners, with an excellent literary division.

Agents at WME have helped shape the careers of many of Hollywood’s most successful writers, including Nic Pizzolatto, Michael Green, and Laeta Kalogridis. WME, or rather The William Morris Agency as it was before the merger with Endeavor in 2009, also has the distinction of being one of the oldest agencies, with past clients including figures like Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe.

Check out their website here!

5. The Curtis Brown Group

Recently acquired by the agency above (UTA), The Curtis Brown Group’s reputation still spreads far and wide. As an umbrella company even before their acquisition, The Curtis Brown Group was made up of a conglomeration of different agencies, including Curtis Brown, Tavistock Wood, Markham Froggatt and Irwin, and Meryl Hoffman Management, all of which had established their own very positive reputations within the industry.

With such an array of interconnected organisations, its no surprise that The Curtis Brown Group has a vast sphere of influence. In particular, the organisation is known for its operations beyond Hollywood, representing many great writers, directors, actors and more in the UK and mainland Europe, something that was formalised back in 2008 when aforementioned giants ICM inked a deal with Curtis Brown to handle all of their UK and rest-of-world clients. With a strong literary past that includes authors like C.S. Lewis and Ayn Rand, many contemporary screenwriters find themselves on the Curtis Brown Group roster, including Hossein Amini, Tony Roche and Susan Soon He Stanton.

Check out their website here!

6. Paradigm Talent Agency

Paradigm has an excellent reputation in Hollywood for being an excellent agency for tending to the careers of their clients particularly diligently. With a strong history in the literary side of the business, including having their own publishing division, Paradigm is home to a mix of many of the most interesting writers in the industry.

For any screenwriter at the start of their career, Paradigm is also known for launching careers, offering a more boutique approach for individuals coming up in the industry. Founded in 1992, Paradigm has grown to become one of the most respected talent agencies in the entertainment industry. 

Check out their website here!

7. The Gersh Agency

Gersh has the honour of being the fourth largest talent agency in the United States. With its origins dating back to the ‘40s, with Phil Gersh and his glittery roster that included Humphrey Bogart and David Niven, the Gersh Agency is very highly respected.

These days it has a particular knack for showrunners and television writers, but continues to build on the legacy of its founder, maintaining its status as one of the biggest agencies in Hollywood. Amongst their excellent crop of writers you will find Tony Kushner, Neil LaBute, Dave Chapelle and Steven Rogers. 

Check out their website here!

8. Verve Talent and Literary Agency

One of the youngest companies on this list, Verve is a boutique agency founded by three ex-WME agents in 2010. The agency has a reputation for an innovative, forward-thinking approach to talent representation, with a focused but impressive list of clients, many of which fall into the writer-director category.

Working to find its place amongst the giant companies that surrounded them, Verve have focused on creating a tailored experience with their writer-director clients that appeals when placed alongside the more impersonal touch that some of Verve’s competitors fall into. With clients like Michael Arndt, John Patton Ford and Brin Taylor, Verve is an exciting, current option for a writer looking for a more personalised home. 

Check out their website here!

9. Agency For The Performing Arts (APA)

In spite of its somewhat on-the-nose name, the Agency For The Performing Arts is one of the most highly regarded agencies in Hollywood, with a diverse array of operations and a 50+ year history behind them. One of the larger options for screenwriters, APA is directly engaged on a whole mix of fronts, with one of the most active non-fiction TV departments and even a Concert Touring division.

That said, none of their other work comes at the cost of their reputation in the narrative film and TV world, and their client list includes sought after screenwriters such as Derek Kolstad, Jeffery Reddick and even the legendary John Carpenter.

Check out their website here!

10. United Agents (UA)

Easily confused with the aforementioned United Talent Agents, United Agents is a UK based agency more than deserving of a spot on this list. With so much writing talent coming out of the UK and dominating the English language market all around the world, United Agents have an incredible list of clients that rival any screenwriting agency from anywhere around the world, including the behemoths in Hollywood.

Especially notable is the fact that UA was only founded in 2007, indicating a meteoric rise to the heights of the agency world. Among the array of top writing talent at UA you will find Rickie Gervais, Richard Curtis, Steven Knight and Anthony Horowitz, names that need no introduction. Though easily one of the largest agencies in the UK, UA is still able to offer a tailored approach to its clients, and represents a compelling option for any British screenwriters or any writers working or living in the UK. 

Check out their website here!

10 Individual Agents To Look Out For:

Agencies as a whole (and the reputation that accompanies them) are very important, but it’s also good to have a few names in your head as you begin searching for the specific individual who could represent you. As such, here is a list of a few specific agents that have a track record with screenwriters:

Jason Richman

Partner and Talent Agent @ UTA

Gregory McKnight

Partner and Talent Agent @ UTA


Jason Richman
Partner and Talent AgentUTA
Gregory McKnightTalent AgentUTA
Dan AloniPartner and Talent Agent WME
Paul HaasTalent Agent WME
Nick MarstonTalent Agent Curtis Brown Group
Tiffany AgbekoTalent Agent Curtis Brown Group
Sean BarclayTalent Agent The Gersh Agency
Georgina CarriganTalent Agent UA
Nick MohebbiMP Literary Talent AgentVerve
Lindsay HowardCo-Head and Talent agentAPA

The Bottom Line

Hopefully, by now you have a good sense of the lay of the land when it comes to searching for a talent agent as a screenwriter. The entertainment industry is one of the most famously gatekept of all industries, and, for better or worse, agents can operate as those gatekeepers.

They often dictate which artists get the visibility they need, and they are the ever-present go-betweens for everyone in film and tv, from the top A-listers to those just starting out. That’s why it is vital that you have a sense of where to look when trying to advance your career as a writer. It may not happen overnight, but if you are smart about your approaches and willing to try and try and try again, getting representation can be the key to launching your career or otherwise developing it.

With this list, you will at least know where to start when beginning your agency journey. 


  • Harry Nott

    Harry is the Coordinator of script coverage service ScriptUp. He has previously worked as a Reader with the London-based production company Midsummer Films and led screenwriting workshops for new writers at the University of Kent, where he also won an award in the Best Writing category from the National Student Television Association. Harry holds master’s degrees in both Screenwriting and Film. Originally from West Yorkshire, Harry lives and works in South London.

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