I love your site and I was hoping to get your opinion on something.
I've been debating entering the CBS Writer's Mentoring Program.
I think my specs and my pilots are pretty solid but the problem is I'm white. More specifically, a straight white middle-class twenty-something male.
And it seems that every program for TV writers is looking for diversity. Basically the opposite of me.
So should I even bother applying to CBS, WB, Nickelodeon or the NBC program? Or should I save my time and money?
I'd welcome anyone with more direct experience with these programs to weigh in, but my assumption is that any program that states in its objectives that it's looking for"diverse" applicants, you can probably count on white males being given the lowest priority. If entry is free, I'd say you've got nothing to lose - but if there's a submission charge, your money is probably better spent elsewhere.
I've been lucky enough to have some agents and agencies respond to my queries with a request to read my work. Now I'm wondering how long this usually takes? I know it can take a while depending on the agent/agency, how much stuff they get, etc. (Someone told me that at a big agency, it's a good sign if they don't say no right away . . .)
Anyway, I want to be polite and give them the space they need. What's fair? At what point, if ever, should I send a follow-up?
I'd say give them at least a month. Opinions vary on what's the best way to approach them after that, or if you even should. Most of the time if you don't get a reply, you can safely assume they passed on you.
When I've gotten reads, the responses have usually come within three or four weeks. Usually it's either, "This doesn't suit our needs at this time" or "This isn't for me, but please send me your next screenplay."
If I don't hear back, I usually don't push it. I just make note of it in my files so I know not to submit to that agent again.
Does anyone else have an opinion on these two questions?