My Roadmap Writers Experience
by Amena Kheshtchin-Kamel, Roadmap Writers Diversity Initiative Winner (February 2020) Signed with Seth Nagel Management (May 2020)
I could write a novel about what Roadmap means to me, and how Roadmap has been and continues to be game-changing for my writing career.
I’ll start with Roadmap’s incredible team. Joey, Dorian, Alexandra, Briana, Terra, Nita, and Jorge are stellar human beings who are seriously in our corner as writers. They’ve been instrumental to my growth as a writer and are advocates for my work, both within and outside of the programs. I was first introduced to Roadmap in January 2020 when I won the Diversity Initiative, which meant I won participation in their Pitch Prep Program in February.
First, I love that Roadmap offers the Diversity Initiative, and I appreciate their dedication to finding and championing diverse voices. Second, the Pitch Prep Program is phenomenal and truly educational. Not only that, but I also became very good friends with the other writers in my class, and we’ve since formed our own writers’ group where we champion each other’s work, an unexpected perk I find irreplaceable.
In Pitch Prep, I actually learned how to properly pitch my scripts and myself as a professional writer to industry execs. We learned how to pitch verbally and how to perfect our written pitches, and then we were given the opportunity to put what we’ve learned to the test during pitch sessions with industry managers and producers. After delivering our pitches, we’d get detailed feedback from those execs to help us continue crafting and improving our pitches.
As a writer living outside Los Angeles, a program like this is especially invaluable, because Roadmap connects writers to execs via online meetings. With all the networking I’ve done throughout the years, even in LA, my career never had real traction… until Roadmap. If you put in the work to perfect your pitches and demonstrate that you’ve got solid samples in your portfolio, Roadmap will vouch for you and help you land general meetings with managers, producers, and other industry execs.
To be clear, the program isn’t intended for someone who wants to learn screenwriting. Roadmap helps you polish and get you ready to put your work forward, but you have to already have your craft honed going in. After working hard to build my portfolio over the years, for the first time in my life, I’m finally having meetings with managers, script requests, and even manuscript requests.
Aside from the successful meetings, I’ve received incredible feedback through Roadmap - not only from the team but also from execs who work in development. The execs shed light on how scripts are analyzed for potential development in the real world - insight you can’t really glean from most film schools.
My experience in the Pitch Prep Program was so stellar that I continued with Marketing Intensive and then Manager Track (upon invitation). Pitch Prep taught me how to polish my pitches, Marketing Intensive taught me how to market my brand as a writer and find homes for my work, and Manager Track actually landed me those general meetings with managers, which led to more script requests. I’m now in Top Tier, along with friends I made back in Pitch Prep, and I am so grateful.
Most of all, I am incredibly grateful to the Roadmap team for their endless support and for believing in me and my work. They are valuable advocates who truly enjoy working with writers.
Roadmap has been a gift to me as a writer. I recommend the Career Writer Program to anyone who has a portfolio and is serious about pursuing work as a professional screenwriter. I cannot thank Joey and the wonderful Roadmap team enough!