Skip Press - Writing & Advice

Conquering the world, one word at a time...

"Affection is the last and final and most precious reward than any man can win, whether by character or achievement." -- Mark Twain


Here's how I operate - Give every person more in use value than I take from that person in cash value; that way, I am adding to the life of the world with every transaction. This is an old and invaluable principle.

By dictionary definition, I'm a best-selling author and editor. Teaching and helping others is a God-given path. Here are some examples...

In 2010, former student Barry Cowan in Canada got a green light on his action feature "Deadly Cargo." Barry has had many successes. I got this from him in 2009: I wanted to send you another “thanks”, not only for your book but for your online group as well. After having one children’s fantasy/adventure feature produced, I have three contracted assignments for some low budget direct to video flicks... thank you not only for your comprehensive book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Screenwriting which is how I got into writing screenplays in the first place, but for your time and effort that you put into the group. So… Thanks, Skip!!! In September, 2010 he wrote to say his script "Ricky Lazio Jr., F.B.I." had started shooting.

When I consulted a friend on his first TV script (a pilot) he ended up with a development deal with a legendary producer at CBS and offers to write for two shows. With help, a talented novice can break into Hollywood.

It's always thrilling to hear of people's first big success. At the 2008 Austin Film Festival screenplay competition one client came in second, and the winner, Anita Skibski, said this about my help: I was thinking about you on the plane home last night... remembering how you were the FIRST professional I sent the script to for coverage, and how much you helped me. Your comments were right on the money, and I can honestly say that MINE hasn't changed much since that first, post-Skip rewrite. :) ... When I come to LA, I'll take you to lunch... somewhere swanky.

From Tony Ducklow after coaching on writing a novel & getting an agent: They picked up my manuscript! If it wasn't for you, there would be no "Summer of the Crows." You gave me the correct input to turn my short story into a children's novel.

I helped Gleb Kaminer with his script "Profile 21" and he became a semi-finalist in the Academy's Nicholl contest (the reader called him to thank him for writing such a great script).

Sometimes I don't even know about results until much later. In April 2010, Joanne Wannan wrote to tell me about her script "Obituary" being made into a Lifetime movie starring Josie Bissett - in 2006!

In 2013 my friends and clients Brian Pittman and Rachel Long saw their feature "Dawn Patrol" go into production via my first agent in Hollywood, writer/producer Daniel Petrie Jr. Hollywood is a very small world, but I know the town. In 2012, I got a TV director his first feature film and also sold the comic book series "Boris Karloff Presents" to be reprinted in hardback to Dark Horse Comics. Sara Karloff (Boris' daughter) had tried for years to get a deal with no success before I came along.

I began teaching at UCLA Extension Writers Program in 1992 with "How To Write What You Want & Sell What You Write." It became my first writing book. The edition published by Barnes & Noble Books. helped a lot of people get book deals.

Three editions of my "Writer's Guide to Hollywood Producers, Directors and Screenwriters' Agents" put me in touch with writers all over the world. My "The Ultimate Writer's Guide to Hollywood" debuted November 2004 from Barnes & Noble Books. My "Complete Idiot's Guide to Screenwriting" became a best-seller also available in Russian, and in 2008 the English language third edition debuted.

Giving Hollywood advice led to being asked to create my "Your Screenwriting Career" course taken by thousands of students. It and other courses are available (see the Services page). Everyone should be able to write well; literate people tend to be more sane. If you need my help, let me know. You'll get more than you pay for.

My prices are explained on the Services page. I'm 20 years as a full-time writer, editor, and media entrepreneur. I've made money with plays, books, novels, articles, videos, scripts and just about any other kind of creative writing you can name. I've put on conventions, spoken all over the U.S. I've used PayPal for years to accept money from all over the world, with never a snag on my end. Pay me with any credit card or debit card. If you've never used it I can send you an invoice and you just click through and pay. I'm also old-fashioned; I'll take a check or even an occasional barter!



Never give up on your greatest dreams!


I found this quote one day in the Wall Street Journal:

"Heaven, when it is about to place a great responsibility on a man, always first tests his resolution, wears out his sinews and bones with toil, exposes his body to starvation, subjects him to extreme poverty, frustrates his efforts so as to stimulate his mind, toughens his nature and makes good his deficiencies. Men for the most part can mend their ways only after they make mistakes. Only when they are frustrated in mind and in their deliberations can they stand up anew. Only when their intentions become visible on their countenances and audible in their voices can they be understood by others. As a rule, a state without law–abiding families and trustworthy Gentlemen on the one hand, and, on the other, without the threat of external aggression, will perish. Only then do we realize that anxiety and distress lead to life and that ease and comfort end in death."

Chinese philosopher Mencius, Book VI Kao Tzu, Part II, 15