The Black List is many things: an annual list of the top unproduced screenplays floating around Hollywood, a service to rate and promote screenplays as well as provide feedback to aspiring screenwriters, and an organization dedicated to finding and championing the next great screenplay, wherever it may be.
Since 2014, The Black List has hosted happy hours on the first Wednesday of every month at Melrose Umbrella Company in Los Angeles, where hundreds of screenwriters come, meet fellow writers, hang out, and talk shop over a few drinks.
But we don't all live in Los Angeles.
So, The Black List wants to expand its monthly happy hours to towns all over the country (and even the world). The Black List will supply promotional materials, marketing copy, access to Eventbrite to manage RSVPs, prizes for your guests and more. Founder and CEO Franklin Leonard plans to visit happy hours that reach RSVPs of 75 or more, so if you're really successful, you can ask Franklin himself your burning questions about The Black List and its services for screenwriters.
I had a few follow-up questions after receiving The Black List email recruiting happy hour hosts, and Megan Halpern, Director of Events for The Black List was kind enough to illuminate some additional points for us:
NFS: Your email mentions that The Black List currently hosts monthly happy hours on the 1st Wednesday of the month. Are you looking for/expecting hosts in other cities to host happy hours every 1st Wednesday of the month, or would these be one-time events for the screenwriters in their towns?
Megan Halpern: Yes, we're looking for folks to host monthly events.
NFS: In what ways would you like hosts to "expand the mission of The Black List" in their towns?
MH: In LA, there are endless opportunities for screenwriters to meet and support each other. We're doing our best to foster that community here and hope that we can help grow that community in places outside of LA, where it might be a bit trickier to meet other writers. Not to mention that screenwriting can be a lonely endeavor — we'd love to create spaces across the country (and around the globe!) where writers can come together to talk about their work, share advice or just take a break from the computer.
NFS: Will The Black List coordinate with the venues that a host suggests, or will it ultimately be the host's responsibility to secure a venue?
MH: We'll help out as much as we can but ultimately it will be the host's responsibility to secure the venue. We find that people on the ground tend to know the social scene of their city better than we would! I found our LA venue (Melrose Umbrella Company) when they opened in my neighborhood. It was a great, central spot looking to expand their business and the perfect fit for us -- vibe-wise. In exchange for bringing in a crowd on what's usually a slow weeknight for them, they let us use the space for free. We've built a great relationship with them over the past two years and they've been so welcoming to us and our writers -- they even have a specialty cocktail for us, "The Cure for Writer's Block"!
NFS: Any examples of prizes for guests from past Black List happy hours that may be sent to happy hours outside of LA?
MH: Sure! In the past we've given out coupons for free hosting and free evaluations [of screenplays on The Black List], as well as Black List t-shirts and tote bags.
Thanks to Megan Halpern for providing the additional details about The Black List Happy Hours. If you would like to be considered as a host for The Black List Happy Hour in your town, fill out their application form online, but don't wait. The Black List plans to make the first round of decisions by this Monday, January 18.