You've written a spec. Then you wrote another one. You've done all you can-almost. Now you send it out to the right people. But to whom? The answer, dear child, is to literary agents. These are agents who specialize in finding talented writers and getting them to meet with producers. Agents get really specific; different agents specialize in hour-long dramas, TV movies, feature films, or sitcoms. You need the sitcom agent, genius. Again, 95% of all sitcom agents are in LA, so you have a built-in advantage if you live there. Getting an agent is a potentially complicated process . . . so complicated that it deserves its own SYW. But we'll give you the bare bones basics here.

  1. Register your spec with the WGA. The Writer's Guild Association (WGA) is the writer's union, and it protects writers from being abused (keeps them from being forced to sew sweatsuits for 10¢ a day). You need to register your script, though, because if you don't, then someone else can steal your idea and you couldn't do anything about it. What if someone reads your script, writes the exact same story, and then claims it was a coincidence? So before you send anything out to anybody, register that script. It'll cost you $20. To register your script, go here.

  2. Write a query letter. Since you probably don't know that many literary agents, you need to write them a short one-page letter convincing them to read your spec. They're busy people, so your letter has to grab them right away. Make your letter creative, and give a short synopsis of your script. It should list the titles of your script and the other scripts you've written, and it should be confident. Finally, always include a self-addressed stamped postcard or they won't bother responding to you. If they are intrigued by your letter, they'll send you back your postcard asking for whichever scripts they'd like to read. If they like those scripts, they might represent you and try to get you work as a staff writer on a show. Here's a sample.

    Who, exactly, should you send your brilliant letter to? Well, no matter what, you should always get a name. No "To whom it may concern," or "Dear Sir or Madam," - you MUST get a name. If you go to the WGA website, you'll get a huge list of literary agents. There are hundreds. So get to it and figure out who you're going to send your query letters to. Do that research. Also get the word out that you're interested in doing some sitcom writing. You'd be surprised how many important people your friends know.

    If you're nervous about sending tons of letters out, it would not be inappropriate for you to call some agents before sending them your letter. The more people you know and talk to, the better your chances.

If you do get picked up by an agent, then what theoretically happens next is that your agent will send your specs to producers looking for writers. If the producer really likes your specs, then you'll go meet with him/her for an interview and hopefully get hired.

And that's the whole story! Yes, this is a relatively surface-level discussion of what goes into becoming a sitcom writer, but at least you have a clue now about how complicated the whole thing is. But if you really want to write, then you won't let that get you down.

Here are some websites that will offer you further guidance: