I can’t recommend too highly the importance for writers of getting to festivals and markets.

And Cannes is the biggie: a week at Cannes is worth a year at film school. And there’s things you’ll learn there that you’ll never learn at school.

But if you’re going this year, you need to start preparing now.

My biggest tip is this. Don’t underestimate the value of the work you do during this time.

I always run an evening in London with tips and advice for people going to Cannes – and I’m delighted to say that I get constant feedback from writers and film-makers who have prepared properly and made contacts, got commissions, won pitching awards and boosted their careers as a result.

Second tip: Start researching who you want to talk to now, and start making bookings. Phone or email and say you’ll be there and ask for an appointment to meet and greet.

Some people will be happy to give you a slot. Others will need to be caught while you’re out there.

Third tip: all your appointments will change. Meetings will blow out, people will be late – allow for that, stay calm and go with the flow.

You’ll be surprised how elusive people suddenly become available when you’re least expecting it. And some will remain elusive. That’s life.

And Cannes is a big place – allow at least 15 minutes to get from one meeting to the next. (Comfortable shoes will also be a must as you’ll be walking everywhere).

The more prepared you are, the more you’ll get out of the time you spend there.

If you want more tips, I recommend you come along: http://www.euroscript.co.uk/cannes.html

This year’s evening  is Tuesday 15 March 2011.

Join us and start planning now.