...Twenty Worst Agents
In fact for 'agents' read 'most likely scammers'. This has already been up on Writer Beware, and Neil Gaiman's blog, but probably the more people that are aware of this info the better. I think these are all American, and literary rather than screenwriting, but best to warn people anyway.
I had a few people emailing for writerly advice over the Bank Holiday Weekend, possibly influenced by massive amounts of sugary treats. To be honest, I'm not the best person to ask, as I have no earthly idea what I'm doing. I really don't, and I rather thought the blog made that clear, yet is seems that even on the internet it is possible to coast quite a long way on the basis of having great hair. However the best rule of thumb if you're in discussions with a possible agent is 1) are they in the Writers and Artists Yearbook? Because if they are they should be reputable, and 2) have they asked you for some kind of 'reading fee'? If the latter, then don't touch them with a bargepole. Possibly they're not evil, soul-stealing cynics preying on the simple naivete of wannabe writers, but even so, the basic rule of writing is this: money should always be moving toward the writer. If it's going the other way, something is amiss.
The one time I broke this rule was to pay ten pounds to enter a Channel 4 scriptwriting competition. But I did win it, which proves that it's okay to break your own rules if you're both a) tops and b) skill.
UPDATE: sorry for the rampant egotism evident in this post, I just finished off the home-made simnel cake. Marzipan low due to crash in... now.
UPDATE 2: Re a certain line in GW2 Ep3 - GW writer Rob has confirmed that the line is 'little wooden tree'. He even wrote it in English, just to be sure. Now let that be an end to the matter.