Coverfly is excited to now offer our industry mandates, updated daily and free for any writer with a Coverfly profile to submit. We are already seeing lots of interest and a few questions about what exactly mandates are and how they work, so here is a quick primer to bring you up to speed.
What is a mandate?
A mandate is a broad term for what types of writers and projects a company is looking for. So say:
- CBS is looking for another NCIS spinoff
- Blumhouse is looking for a contained horror with commentary on income disparity
- Netflix needs a staff writer with experience as a lumberjack
Those are their mandates and they are changing all the time.
So what is a Coverfly mandate?
Coverfly mandates are current and legitimate writing opportunities with studios, networks, production companies, and streamers collected by the Coverfly Writer Development team and shared with our writing community.
How does Coverfly collect its mandates?
Coverfly has a dedicated Writer Development team of experienced entertainment industry professionals. Members of this team have worked previously for major companies like ICM, Paramount, Lionsgate, Imagine, and more. In short, members of our team maintain industry contacts and relationships to stay up to speed on what sort of writers and projects they are looking for. Once we have an opportunity that is currently available, we post it on the platform.
Why don't you list the names of the companies?
Coverfly respects the privacy and requests of both our writers and industry partners. If a company does not give us approval to share their details, we don't. Period. If Coverfly were to make the details of a specific company's mandate + their contact info widely available, it would violate the trust and working relationship they have with Coverfly to receive and review curated recommendations.
Why would a studio, network, steamer, or production company go to Coverfly instead of managers or agents?
Great question! Short answer– trust and track record.
(1) Executives and producers accept submissions from managers and agents because they either have a pre-existing working relationship with that rep or trust that the material has been vetted and is worth consideration. The same would apply for Coverfly Development Executives given our track record of finding writers employment and that we have earned their trust that we will refer quality writers and projects. Coverfly basically acts as a rep for the writers and projects on the platform-- only we don't collect a commission.
(2) Coverfly works closely with many managers and agents to refer their clients for available mandates. If their client is a fit for a mandate we receive, we will share and facilitate.
So how does it work?
Mandates are hyper specific so please make sure you qualify before submitting. Read closely-- a mandate can be specific about everything from the genre + subject of your sample to representation status to previous credits to a specific professional background.
Submitting to a mandate cannot and does not guarantee consideration or review of material by Coverfly's industry partner. The Coverfly Team will review all submissions and forward any that closely apply. From there, it is entirely our industry partner's decision to read, consider, engage, or pass on the material.
Coverfly will notify writers if their work is submitted or requested.
How much does it cost to submit to an industry mandate?
Submitting to industry mandates on Coverfly is free! Yes, really. There's no catch.
How are projects chosen for industry mandates?
The Coverfly Writer Development Team reviews all projects submitted to industry mandates and passes along the ones we think are a good fit to the industry professional who shared the mandate. We take into account 1) a project's Coverfly rank, 2) the writer's Coverfly profile, and 3) the reason given by the writer for why the submitted project is a good fit for the mandate.
My project doesn't have a Coverfly rank. Can I still be selected?
While a high Coverfly rank certainly helps, even projects with low or non-existent Coverfly ranks will be reviewed. We understand not every writer and project has a track record of Coverfly-qualifying evaluations that result in a Coverfly rank. If you don't have a Coverfly rank, make sure to take extra time to explain why your project is a particularly good fit for the industry mandate.
When will I hear back?
Only writers who are selected for the industry mandate will hear back from Coverfly or the industry professional who shared the mandate. It may be several weeks to several months before you hear. Please do not reach out to customer support for updates as Coverfly will not be able to provide timelines.
Why should I submit to an industry mandate?
Industry mandates are an essential part of the Hollywood film development system and one of the most common ways for professional writers to get work. Coverfly is taking the model used by studios and opening it up to Coverfly writers. An industry mandate is an opportunity for an industry member to tell you exactly what they are looking for in a project or a writer.
What's the difference between an industry mandate and a writing competition or fellowship?
When you enter a fellowship or competition, your project receives at least one fresh evaluation (the scores/feedback from which are sometimes shared with you), and the fellowship or competition subsequently announces the results of its program. When you submit to an industry mandate, Coverfly is reviewing your project's track record and your writer profile, but it's not paying readers to read your entire project or provide feedback, and decisions from the industry mandate are not necessarily announced publicly.
Which projects can I submit to an industry mandate?
Any of your projects are eligible, as long as you have a draft on file for the project.
The industry mandate will be specific about genre, format, tone, style, length, and even types of characters and settings. Ideally, your project will match as many of the particular elements as possible. However, projects with similar themes or styles to the request, even if they don't match the plot or subject exactly, will be considered as relevant writing samples. Ultimately, it is up to the writer to submit to industry mandates that are the best match.
Should I make changes to an existing script of mine so that it fits the request?
You are certainly able to tweak an existing project to better fit the mandate, but we do not recommend any massive overhauls or rewrites. Scripts and writers that organically align with the industry mandate are more likely to be chosen. There will be more industry mandate opportunities, so we recommend waiting for the ones that match you best.
Is there a guaranteed "winner" of an industry mandate?
No. Industry mandates are not writing competitions. There are no set "winners" and scripts do not advance through rounds. They are an opportunity to get your work in front of an industry member looking for specific projects. While it is our hope to provide our industry partner with scripts, projects, or writers that match exactly what they are looking for, there is no guaranteed result with an industry mandate.
Can my submission to an industry mandate affect my Coverfly rank?
No. Submitting to or being chosen for an industry mandate on Coverfly will not impact your Coverfly rank.
How long before I hear back if my submission was chosen?
This varies based on the the industry mandate, and sometimes no projects are chosen at all. If you are not selected, you will not hear back.
Our turn for a question
How can we improve this experience for you? Coverfly is always eager for feedback from our writers. If you have any questions not covered here or ideas of how we can improve, don't hesitate to reach out.