By Nancy Basile
One of the most common questions I get by email is, "How do I send in my script for The Simpsons?" Many a budding TV writer has written me with this hopeful question, but I have the unenviable task of dashing their hopes a bit. Unfortunately, the answer is: You don't.
There are many reasons why you shouldn't send your own script into an established TV show, including The Simpsons.
When the creator of any artistic property, like a TV show, is sued for stealing something that has a copyright, usually it is because the plaintiff sent their ideas into someone at some point in time, and now claims that his or her ideas were used. Then the plaintiff demands their fair share of the profit.
To avoid this pitfall, networks, production companies, and people like Matt Groening, refuse to accept any material from just anyone sending it in on their own. They will only accept scripts from agencies, entertainment attorneys or managers who represent writers as their clients.
As much as you and your parents believe you've written an Emmy award-worthy episode, you might be wrong. TV writers generally spend years honing their skills. They attend college or university first, earning a degree in writing of some kind, then usually go on to a higher degree. Or, alternatively, after earning their undergraduate degree, they move to Los Angeles or New York, submitting spec scripts to agencies, trying to sign with their own agent or manager, who would then submit their spec scripts to producers and networks, hoping to land a job for their client.
My point is, years and years of effort go into becoming a TV writer. There just simply isn't a fairy tale story of someone getting hired based on one script they typed up in their basement bedroom. Sorry!
A TV writer must be a member of the Writers Guild of America. How do you become a member? See reason #2.
What can I do with my script?
There are a few outlets for your creative opus. If all you're looking for is glory and praise, you can certainly share it online as fan fiction.
How do I write to The Simpsons or Matt Groening?
If you want to write to The Simpsons or Matt Groening as a fan, looking to sing the show's praises, complain about an episode, or get a headshot in return, here are some addresses to help you.
c/o Twentieth Television
Matt Groening's Office
PO Box 900
Beverly Hills, CA 90213
2211 Corinth #210
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(Include a self-addressed stamped envelope if you would like an autographed photo or other information.)
Bongo Comics Group
1999 Avenue of the Stars
Los Angeles CA 90067
Phone: (310) 788-1367
Fax: (310) 788-1200
9420 Reseda Boulevard #572
Northridge, CA 91324 USA
10635 Santa Monica Boulevard #130
Los Angeles, CA 90025 USA
25154 Malibu RD#2
Malibu, CA 90265
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