Making It As A Screenwriter | Aaron & Neiman Outlen

By: Laura Huie

Aaron and Neiman Outlen are twins and writing partners from Baltimore who won our 2023 1-Hour Television Pilot Grand Prize with their script THE MIGHTY MIND OF IMANI STRONG. The script tells the story of a thirteen-year-old girl who discovers her extraordinary true self after the untimely death of her mother.

 

Keep reading to learn more about Aaron and Neiman’s screenwriting journey thus far, along with advice they have for other emerging writers.

 

The Beginning

 

Aaron and Neiman started dabbling with the idea of writing around 2017. Drawn to the sense of empowerment it offered—liberating them from the constraints of waiting for auditions—they found joy in the limitless possibilities of creation.

 

But as any writer can attest to, they acknowledged the inherent challenges and toughness of writing a successful pilot.

 

However, despite the frustrations, the pair said that there is no greater satisfaction than the moment of completing a script.

 

They also emphasized the importance of committing to the process, assuring that the journey, though demanding, ultimately proves to be worthwhile.

 

 

Submitting to Shore Scripts

 

Relying on Coverfly as their go-to resource for discovering writing programs to submit their work, the duo discovered Shore Scripts whilst looking for contests to enter.

 

Having just wrapped up a polished draft of their winning script, they decided to take a chance and submitted it to several contests recommended by Coverfly, including Shore.

 

Despite not having prior familiarity with our contests, their confidence in the platform stemmed from Coverfly’s reputation as a trusted source in the industry.

 

 

What They’ve Learned

 

Since entering and eventually winning our 2023 1-Hour Pilot Contest, the duo has learned a significant lesson – the essence of writing lies in sharing. They’ve come to recognize that writing is not just intended for the writer but for others to read, analyze, criticize, and perhaps even compliment.

 

This insight is especially crucial for writers who tend to be protective and self-conscious about their creations. Emphasizing the importance of embracing feedback, the duo highlighted that every piece of writing is bound to have flaws, and expecting and welcoming notes is an integral part of the process.

 

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What They’re Working On Now

 

Engaged in the creative process, the duo is currently working on a couple of distinct scripts. One of their projects takes the audience to outer space, promising a mix of captivating action elements and a storyline designed to leave readers pondering. Embracing the freedom inherent in sci-fi, they aim to infuse a sense of enjoyment and unpredictability into the narrative.

 

The joy of writing, they express, lies in the ability to control the unfolding events, hoping the outcome proves to be intriguing for the audience. Additionally, fueled by their shared passion for video games, they are contemplating the creation of a spec script based on an existing IP (intellectual property).

 

With the recent trend of video games transitioning into TV and film, they find inspiration in innovative adaptations like The Last Of Us, originally a PS3 video game turned hugely successful show. The duo also expressed a desire to be part of the next major video game adaptation in the entertainment industry.

 

 

Advice for Writers

 

As for advice to other emerging writers, Aaron and Neiman had this to say:

 

“Enter. As long as you’ve taken the time to complete a script and feel a sense of confidence, no matter how small or large, you should submit. As screenwriters, much of what we do or don’t do depends entirely on us. So don’t count yourself out.”

 


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Laura Huie is a writer and editor involved in comedy-drama screenwriting, fiction editing, and full-time marketing copy. Laura is also a freelance article writer for Shore Scripts and has worked with Script Pipeline on their live Symposium series. She is one-half of the screenwriting duo, Bloom & Huie. Together, they have written multiple television series as well as a feature-length film. Their mission is to write honest and witty female stories wrapped up in unbelievable worlds.

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