November 21, 2015

Amazon Launches New Free Screenwriting App Amazon Storywriter

Amazon Launches New Free Screenwriting App Amazon Storywriter
With Storywriter, Amazon now provides a free screenwriting app with auto-formatting, and a new gateway into Amazon Studios.

Amazon Storywriter is a free cloud-based screenwriting app whose main feature is auto-formatting your screenplay as you type (similar to the Fountain-based Mac app Slugline). Writers can access Storywriter via most computer-based browsers to write and edit their scripts. For offline use, Amazon has created a free Chrome app for Storywriter for both Mac and PC to let writers continue to work without an Internet connection, then sync up later when they are back online. Storywriter also includes conflict resolution safeguards if a script is edited on more than one computer before syncing with the cloud.

Writers can read their Storywriter scripts on their smartphones and tablets, but cannot edit their scripts using these devices. Editing capabilities are only currently available via computer-based web browsers. Amazon Storywriter will also import and export screenplays in PDF, Final Draft (FDX) and Fountain formats to let screenwriters move between Storywriter and their other screenwriting apps.

On the surface, Amazon Storywriter looks like a free screenwriting app designed for the initial and early drafts of a screenplay, using auto-formatting so a writer can focus on writing and not worrying about where the words belong on the page. And for the most part, that's what it is. But Amazon is also using Storywriter as a gateway to encourage writers to submit their screenplays to Amazon Studios right from their free app.

When Amazon Studios first launched, they came under fire for essentially asking for free options on all screenplays submitted to them. That is no longer the case. Amazon Studios now works with both non-WGA and WGA writers and has an open-door policy for script submissions for movies and series. According to its website, "Amazon Studios no longer takes a free option on submitted work" and "[i]f we want to option your property, even if you’re not a Writer’s Guild of America member, we will propose an agreement with terms that meet or exceed applicable WGA minimums."

You can check out Amazon Storywriter and its basic tutorials now, as well as the current submission guidelines for Amazon Studios.

What do you think about the new Amazon Storywriter? Let us know in the comments.      

Your Comment

7 Comments

looks pretty cool and similar to adobe story. I'll have to check it out.

November 21, 2015 at 6:34PM

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Wyatt Spalding
Director of Photography
94

I like it. It's very intuitive. But I can only get the chrome extension to work. For some reason, the cloud version doesn't seem to work for me.

I'm still trying to figure out if they have hot/short keys. I'm sure they'll add more features later.

November 22, 2015 at 7:37AM

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Jeff Rivera
Filmmaker | Storyteller
764

I use celtx at the moment, but the lack of a desktop application is very limiting as you cannot use it offline :(

November 22, 2015 at 8:16AM

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George Watkins
Writer/Director
111

I used this a little bit - it's really intuitive and minimal to use (and they do a really good job with syncing and PDF import) but unfortunately, it's lacking some major features that make it essentially useless until they are added. There is no dual dialogue, there is no formatting (bold, italics, underline) and you can't add to the title page other than the title of the script and your name. It says it will import Fountain but it doesn't import the above key features.

November 22, 2015 at 11:22PM

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Thanks for saving me the time to figure out that much. Dual dialogue is quite an important feature indeed. I'm sure others are missing too; and they'll probably fix all that as soon as they realise there's demand for it.

Overall, I don't like Amazon as a company so I'll stick to Celtx hahaha

November 27, 2015 at 9:37PM, Edited November 27, 9:37PM

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Raph Dae
Screenwriter & attempted director
364

I'm still with the old version of Celtx for desktop... I'll try this but I understand it's online only, and this bothers me.

November 23, 2015 at 4:49PM

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David R. Falzarano
Director / Writer / Editor
1402

I'm curious what kind of rates Amazon pays for scripts. Anyone here have any experience selling a script to them?

November 23, 2015 at 9:15PM

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