The Quality of Screenwriting Magazines



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  • The Quality of Screenwriting Magazines

    I don't know if anyone else has noticed this, but for the most part, screenwriting magazines aren't very well made. I just got the most recent issues of Creative Screenwriting, scr(i)pt and Fade In. I haven't finished all of them yet, but so far I've caught no fewer than three obvious mistakes in the issue of CS, one of which was in nice bold type.

    Now, I understand the limits of magazine publishing (since I work in the business) and that there can't be 100% perfection all the time, but the irony of sloppy writing in a writers' magazine just sticks in my gut.

    Of course, I'm probably the only one who's really bothered by this stuff. Heck, I'm probably the only one who even notices.

    Am I?

  • #2
    I haven't noticed. I actually read this month's CS cover-to-cover.

    For me, at least, the main things in these mags are the craft tips, interviews with writers, and articles about the genesis of movies and their scripts. Guess I just glance over the cacography.


    • #3
      I notice. Scr(i)pt has more than a few in each issue, although Creative Screenwriting has their share. It's never to the level of a punk zine or anything, but it does make me shake my head.


      • #4
        Written By is very, very well written and a MUST for all writers.


        • #5
          Script has got to be the worst. Even their cover pictures look like crap. The actors they shoot have no makup on or anything. Looks like a 14 year old took the pic. Doesn't exactly make me wanna open up the mag...

          Fade In looks the best IMO.


          • #6
            The covers on Script are either stills from the studio - the same ones used in all of the other magazines, or photos (not of actors) of the screenwriters which are either provided by the screenwriter... or taken by some photo-journalist who also probably writes for several other entertainment mags.

            Since for the past 3 years all of the photos on the cover have been from the studio - the same photos used in Entertainment Weekly, Premiere, etc - I can't figure out what sort of quality issue you might have with them.

            - Bill


            • #7
              I bought a copy of Scr(i)pt the other day but have not read it yet. A few years ago it was my favorite, and I bought every issue off the newsstand.

              Then the magazine started having unbelievable typographical errors (imagine Wowser on a really bad day! :lol ). I counted so many on just one page one time that it was incredible. Maybe it was 20 or 30 or 40. I cannot remember, but it was awful. I seem to remember that Shelley, the editor, even made a comment apologizing for the problem. But then it continued, and I quit.

              However, I am going to give it a try again.

              So, yes, these things do bother me.


              • #8
                Dear Comic -
                Since the hiring of our new editorial staff in Nov of 2002, I think you will find very few errors in scr(i)pt.
                Thanks for trying it again.


                • #9
                  "I think you will find very errors in scr(i)pt."

                  Whoops, there's another!


                  • #10
                    Gee, sorry Jake. I have to admit to being human.


                    • #11
                      Hey, don't take it personally. I just found it a little amusing, considering the context.

                      PS In all seriousness, I'd be delighted to proofread for you on a job-to-job basis. I've been a writer for more years than you can imagine and I have a great eye.


                      • #12
                        No problem - we just have a very small and dedicated staff. We work hard to deliver a valuable resource for screenwriters. Our new editorial staff is quite sharp - it is a shame they have to overcome past mistakes, but that is life.

                        I hope the readership has noticed a marked improvement, but you just can't make everyone happy.

                        It is a shame to have people ripping on things that aren't true, like the comment about the cover that is totally out of left field, as Bill pointed out. We'll just have to assume by our 65% sell-through on the newsstands that some folks out there like the magazine - and keep working for them.

                        Thanks for the comments. We will continue working to bring screenwriters the information they need, and keep working to improve!



                        • #13
                          Shelly, I shall look for your latest issue and, I'm sure, read it for pleasure. I'm sure you'll get all the kinks out now that you have some new eyes on your staff.

                          Best of luck, and I'm glad you took my comment as it should be taken--as a little minor friendly fire and nothing more.

                          All best,


                          • #14
                            I have to stand with the comment my uncle made when telling my aunt why he subscribed to Pl*yboy...

                            ...I only read it for the articles:rollin



                            • #15
                              As Shelly said, there was a serious rough patch in the past. Sadly, that seems to be the period that made the strongest impact on readers around here (myself included). Of course, I still notice a few things now and then (especially as regards image quality), but 99% of the time, those are problems in ads and other materials that are out of the control of the editorial staff. In fact, that gets my highest degree of sympathy.

                              I can't tell you how many times I have had to produce what I know to be sub-standard work because of the quality of the materials I'm given. I swear, if I get one more stupid photo of a group of people taken with some crappy point-and-shoot camera, I'll murder someone. If only I could count up all the hours I spend every month retouching out awful harsh shadows and red-eye. But that's the way it goes for us folks. For what it's worth, the magazine industry is constantly in the midst of tremendous change. If it's not rising postal rates, it's major changes in printing technology. And there's never enough staff. Ever.

                              I know I started this thread, but I just want people to understand all that's involved. Some things are genuine issues (like the atrocious proofreading in Creative Screenwriting), some are just the price of doing business (like getting crappy supplied images that you have to use anyway). But I hope you will believe that no one involved ever wants to do a bad job. Most times, it's the best anyone can do with the resources available.