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Can you Submit a Screenplay to Netflix? How New Screenwriters Can Submit to Netflix and Amazon Studios

Getting your screenplay made into an original Netflix movie or series seems like an impossible feat reserved only for experienced Hollywood insiders. With millions of aspiring screenwriters competing to have their creative visions produced, you may wonder if there’s any realistic chance of selling your screenplay directly to a streaming mogul like Netflix.

The answer is yes – with the right strategic approach, unknown emerging screenwriters actually can submit work directly to Netflix and potentially attract buyers even without representation or industry connections.

While extremely difficult, it is possible to submit your screenplay to Netflix directly if you follow targeted film industry guidelines that meet their high production standards.

This article reveals an insider step-by-step process any writer can implement to professionally package their work for direct unsolicited submission to Netflix and significantly increase their odds of selling the next big streaming exclusive.

Craft An Original Screenplay That Matches Netflix Content

The first step is writing a compelling screenplay that has the original high-concept premise needed to appeal specifically to Netflix content buyers. Understand that Netflix seeks diverse genres of movies and episodes series across all categories from drama, sci-fi, romance, comedy, thriller, horror, and more aimed to entertain mass global streaming audiences.

You will need to strategize what kind of movie or episode concept Netflix looks for by studying descriptions of their previously purchased original pitches and productions found on sites like Deadline and industry pitch forums.

Identify what makes those compelling and determine overlapping elements across different genres – often fresh high-concept stories told through unique perspectives not seen before.

With a solid understanding of premises and traits Netflix responds to, develop your own creative concept that you believe could be expanded into an original movie or episode series for their diverse subscribers.

Ensure your screenplay concept has an enticing hook in the logline, identifiable protagonist(s) with creative character arcs, and engaging plot that builds audience investment to compel Netflix buyers.

Whatever your genre, focus on developing memorable stories with universal appeal that align with Netflix’s content mission to entertain the masses globally. Display your unique creative voice while meeting Netflix quality expectations.

Research Netflix Screenplay Submission Guidelines

Once your concept is fully envisioned into an outline or draft screenplay, the next crucial step is researching Netflix’s exact guidelines for submitting unsolicited scripts.

On their website under Jobs > Creative Access > Viewing and Treatment Guidelines, Netflix provides detailed directions on properly submitting creative works including:

  • Accepted script lengths & formats
  • Required attachments like loglines, synopses
  • Specifically mailing your physical submission or emailing a PDF to designated buyer emails These guidelines are essential to strictly follow so that your script is actually reviewed by Netflix Creative Executives rather than instantly rejected for not meeting protocol. This displays your commitment to professionalism that will set your work apart.

Write Industry-Standard Screenplays

With your concept fleshed out and submission guidelines in hand, development your full script that not only has a compelling essence – but professionally presents like an industry-standard screenplay to represent your legitimacy as a writer to be taken seriously.

Study film script formatting standards used widely across Hollywood like establishing scenes headings, handling description blocks, proper dialogue mechanics, and appropriate element spacing on pages.

Master script writing software like FinalDraft to flawlessly craft your screenplay format. This makes your work readable for buyers used to these film standards.

Though story resonates loudest – a properly formatted script that looks like what Netflix is used to reading will subconsciously make them more receptive that you respect the craft like a true industry screenwriter presenting a serious project for consideration into development pipelines.

Include a Logline and Synopsis

A script on its own is not enough for unsolicited Netflix submissions. To boost chances of grabbing reader interest, the work needs supplemental selling elements like:

A Logline: This is a quick 2 sentence “elevator pitch” style hook that sells why people would be compelled to watch the concept as a Netflix film/show. The logline creatively summarizes:

  • The central protagonist(s)
  • Their key conflict(s)
  • What is uniquely interesting about the story

This logline is vital to spark initial buyer interest before script readings – so make those 1-2 sentences really shine.

A Synopsis: This is a 1-page summary expanding key details on the full arc of your screenplay’s premise from hooking the beginning and compelling journey for the protagonists to climatic endings. Hit plot points that display interesting character choices and consequences that emotionally resonate. Give readers a vivid picture of exactly what story your script tells.

Having the core elements above supplementing a professionally written screenplay checks the requirement boxes that Netflix needs to review fresh creative ideas for production pipelines.

Register Your Screenplay with the WGA

To protect your creative work when routing to major studios, it is also advisable to have your screenplay registered with the Writer’s Guild Of America (WGA).

The WGA provides records that legally establish you as the writer should disputes ever emerge over rights/credits for projects and also protects work if unexpectedly used without consent after circulating for consideration.

Though adding complexity, officially registering with the WGA adds immense credibility as those records can be provided alongside any submissions to validate your screenplay’s origins should it advance further at Netflix for actual development. The small upfront investment could pay major dividends protecting work being pitched to major studios like Netflix.

Follow the WGA scripts registration process by submitting your screenplay, registration payment, and signed content ownership confirmations. This process takes several weeks but having the registered WGA records for your screenplay scripts ready before circulations gives immense credibility.

Pitch Your Screenplay Through Referrals

Realistically, most direct unsolicited submissions to Netflix likely go unread given their immense volume of incoming ideas from widespread screenwriters seeking similar buyer attention. Gaining credibility through any viable connections goes a long way increasing chances of serious script consideration from the start.

Network relentlessly at film/TV industry events, contests workshops or seminars to gain referrals to literary agents/producers/development companies that already have working Netflix relationships in place from selling past projects. Pitch to them ardently to add your script to their submission slate circulated directly to Netflix buyers they liaise often with.

Getting your work positioned from proven industry sources gives it instant legitimacy versus blindly relying on cold submissions. Ultimately, getting your script routed through channels involving existing successful business relationships Netflix Creative Execs have is ideal to leverage their familiarity/trust to get your project seriously read.

Jumping these hurdles through referrals then allows your compelling concept, professional script and selling supplemental synopsis/logline the best opportunity to really shine at the highest level.


Selling an original screenplay directly to a notoriously exclusive streaming service like Netflix to launch a new film/series involves tremendous competition and fortuitous timing on what their content pipelines deem viable.

But this inside guide on identifying what Netflix programming thrives on then professionally packaging and directly submitting scripts through industry channels reveals that it IS possible for unknown screenwriters to get their big break launching the next original Netflix sensation.

Summarizing, the formula involves:

  1. Developing binge-worthy creative concepts matching popular Netflix programming
  2. Researching and following exact guidelines for script submissions
  3. Writing compelling stories within industry screenplay format standards
  4. Enhancing scripts with powerful loglines and summaries
  5. Protecting work through WGA registration
  6. Leveraging any connections for buyer referrals

This strategic approach checks every submission requirement box needed for Netflix to seriously consider nonsolicited work while positioning truly unique, viable concepts to pass initial hurdles into valuable development conversations. Removing any reasons for instant script rejection is vital for emerging creatives.

Even in a highly competitive landscape, there remains big opportunities for undiscovered screenwriters to breakthrough by taking the craft seriously and pitching well-developed film/episodic ideas proving viability to align with Netflix programming standards. While daunting, dedicating yourself to mastering commercial storytelling format and executing strategic pitch processes gives any motivated writer their best shot at selling a breakout original concept directly to Netflix to transform entertainment globally.

The door is open – will your screenplay be next to walk through?

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Netflix accept screenplays?

Yes, Netflix does accept unsolicited screenplay submissions. While most major studios do not accept unsolicited screenplays, Netflix has an online process that allows any screenwriter to submit their work for consideration. You must closely follow their formatting and submission guidelines.

How much will Netflix pay for my script?

If Netflix options a screenplay, the writer will typically receive an initial payment between $10,000 to $40,000. Additional compensation is negotiable and writings can retain certain rights. Payment ultimately depends on the production budget Netflix would invest and perceived profit potential.

How do I submit a show idea to Netflix?

You can submit show ideas directly through Netflix’s online submission site at Netflix.com/viewing and following exact television guidelines. Ensure you submit a pitch, outline and 1-2 sample episodic screenplays to showcase the concept and writing abilities.

Where can I submit a screenplay?

The major outlets accepting direct submissions are Netflix, Amazon Studios, and the Black List hosting site which shares scripts for industry review. Each has precise formatting guidelines. Contests and fellowships are secondary outlets.

Does HBO accept unsolicited scripts?

No. HBO currently does not accept unsolicited screenplay submissions. They only take script pitches through licensed literary agents and management companies. Obtaining representation is required before submitting to HBO.

What studios accept unsolicited scripts?

Besides Netflix and Amazon, some smaller budget film studios and productions companies openly accept submissions either directly or via online screening services, though consumer awareness of what each company seeks is key.

How much does HBO pay for scripts?

While variable, typical rates for HBO purchasing screenplays either for production or to secure exclusive development rights tend to range from $75,000 to $300,000 depending on the attached talent, market demand, and production estimates if greenlit.

How do screenwriters get paid?

Screenwriters earn income from initial script sales, residuals from production, and later royalties. Compensation varies widely, though the WGA provides minimum guidelines on payment standards screenwriters or their representatives should accept.

How to sell script to Amazon?

Amazon Studios has an online submission process for movie and TV scripts. You must create an Amazon Studios account and follow the exact provided guidelines on script formats, supplemental documents like loglines or synopses, then submit the properly packaged screenplay for consideration.

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