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Hello, World!

Who am I? I’m an unpaid writer who has been story-telling for 10+ years through screenplays, pilots, shorts, and, most recently, a  YA novel called The Wild Adventure of Mitch and the Sand-Bridge.

To anyone out there who wants to know what it looks like to be an unpaid writer, here are some highlights.




Pre—“I want to be a serious writer"—phase:

I wrote short comedy sketches with my close friend. It was, to this day, one of the most enjoyable stages of writing I’ve ever had: improvised, creative, and no boundaries. 


In 2012, my sister and I wrote our first screenplay, STUCK — “Stop the divorce, they've run out of money!” It was repped and had legitimate interest but ultimately got shelved. I blame the unfortunate and wrongful decline of rom-coms. 


In 2013, my sister and I wrote another screenplay, a futuristic thriller. From the start, it looked promising, with CAA and WME requesting multiple revisions and considering it as a trilogy. But just when we thought we had a commitment, they backed off, never to be heard from again. 


Over the years, the premise for this story (think Children of Men 2.0) has only grown more prevalent. It’s since been adapted into a pilot but has yet to find the hands of the right person.


In 2017, I wrote a coming-of-age screenplay that is still my favorite story I’ve written. (Sure, I’m biased and salty, but for anyone who loves a John Hughes film, it’ll be a shame if this never gets made). Yet, after all the effort I put into this script, I still cannot find an agent to read it. Living outside the walls of the industry has again sealed my fate. 


In 2020, my sister and I wrote a comedic pilot based on the religious community in our small hometown. New script, new story that I’d kill to watch even if someone else wrote it, all to the same result: we can’t find anyone to read it. Like the others, this one went back into the vault where it waits, hoping to become that five-year overnight success. 


In 2020, after losing faith in writing spec for the film industry, I wrote a YA novel — not for an agent, not for a studio but for myself, something I would want to read as a kid. So, of course, it’s a survival story that includes alien octopus, magical swords, and summer vacation. And I got repped!


Over the next few months, my novel was considered by many, including Simon and Shuster,  Macmillan, and Harper Collins,  who acknowledged how much they loved the style, the premise, the characters — but also how much they would love NOT to take on my project, ending their e-mail with a passive rejection similar to the ones I got in 7th grade from girls on instant messenger, “…sorry, you’re just not for me.”


After all these years of “it’s not for me” or radio silence, 

I decided to change my approach — and it started in 2022 when I began re-writing The Wild Adventure of Mitch and the Sand-Bridge from page one.


I quit placing my fate in the hands of others, and self published The Wild Adventure of Mitch and the Sand-Bridge. Aside from the sequels planned for this book, I am self publishing more works — a collection of magical and mysterious stories — I'm writing with my brother and sister.

And now you are up to speed! If you want to check out any samples of my work, check out the pages above or send me a message, and I'll personally send you more highlights. 


Naturally, a writer must be confident in their work — but more importantly, a writer must be honest with themselves. My honest take, I’m not Hemingway…but I’m also no scrub either. Thanks for reading!


Zach Hawrot

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