How to Break Into TV Animation As A Story Editor Or Head Writer
No one is going to hire you because you have a nice smile. You need writing samples and yes, it is who you know.
“Don’t be an asshole; don’t be a jerk.”
Find like-minded people with the same goals as you. Develop a support system and work your way up in the industry together.
If you are doing a writing group with a mentor, ... show up regularly and do the writing – show you’re interested and committed.
“Know your genre. Know the aesthetics of what you want to write." You need to be a strong writer in your genre of interest so you’ll stand out from the crowd.
It may take awhile to cultivate opportunities, so you have to be patient. ...
Here's the little bit I know after working in Cartoonland for a dozen years and repping cartoon workers for twice that:
The industry changes constantly, and change is more rapid now than it was twenty years ago.
Unlike 1993 or 1983, lots of colleges are turning out graduates with animation majors, so though the industry is a lot bigger than it was in the seventies or eighties, there's much more competition.
The days of a high school grad driving up cold to Disney's front gate and getting a job, as director-producer-story artist Burny Mattinson did during the Eisenhowe Adminstration, are not high.
Even so, some dynamics remain constant:
1) Animation studios are looking for fresh, capable new talent, and
2) you need luck, talent, and a strong worth ethic to beat your way in.
The people with skill and tenacity get into the industry. The people who know how to play well with others (code for "Don't fight with your co-workers and/or the boss") stay in the industry.