Contact Sydney

Sydney Sidner

WRITING? STUCK? Whatever you’re writing – book or script – I will speed and clarify your process and help you make it what it should be – whether your work is still in its preliminary stages or in the home stretch.

Email Sydney at

Sydney’s Work

"Where others might only find a mess of words and jumbled ideas, Syd saw something more. She encouraged me and became my primary reader, editor, critic and guide." Peter Hedges, Writer/Director

Who I Am

SYDNEY SIDNER is a consultant as well as an award-winning filmmaker,  screenwriter and educator.

Syd co-wrote a pilot (reboot) of CHARMED for CBS. Her other works include her most recent feature TOUGH LOVE, as well as GETTING BUDDHA BACK and the TV pilots: BLISS CITY, TIOGA LAKE, ROUGE and MERIDIAN HILLS, which she sold to the CW, and INDISPOSED a short, produced by Warner Bros. for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).

She has taught original TV pilot writing at Stony Brook’s M.F.A. film program in Manhattan, screenwriting and pilot writing at Columbia, spec writing for television at NYU, theater at The Dalton School as well as theater and screenwriting at Northwestern University’s National High School Institute (NHSI).

Sydney has an extensive background in screenwriting and theater. After receiving a BFA in acting from Carnegie-Mellon, she went to New York and began directing plays at venues including Manhattan Class Company, Circle Rep, Lincoln Center, The National Theater of London, and Williamstown Theater Festival, where she was awarded the Boris Sagal Directing Fellowship. She was also awarded grants from The Drama League of New York,  Circle Rep Lab and New York Foundation for the Arts.

She went on to earn an MFA in screenwriting from Columbia Film School, where her first short film THE RITE was  awarded ‘Best Film’ at the Columbia Film Festival and was selected as a finalist for best student film by The National Board of Review. Another short she directed, GRAVITY, was selected by both Slamdance and Williamstown Film Festivals. Her feature-length screenplay, ADELAIDE, was awarded a MacDowell Colony screenwriting residency.


“I can’t begin to imagine my career without Syd Sidner. Without her help I would never have written both the novel, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, and the subsequent film. Where others might only find a mess of words and jumbled ideas, Syd saw something more. She encouraged me and became my primary reader, editor, critic and guide. Most recently, she served as the creative consultant on the screenplay for my film, The Odd Life of Timothy Green. While Syd’s resume reflects a breadth of experience and genuine accomplishment, there are qualities that no CV can reflect. Intangibles. She has an incredible way with people. She possesses a gentleness, a quiet confidence. She inspires. She has the ability to transform a room. She can distill the enormity of writing a play or screenplay (even novels!) into something less daunting. For me, it’s her ability to ask the good, smart question that sets her apart.”

Peter Hedges  Writer/Director

“When I was pushing towards the finish of May We Be Forgiven–I hired Syd.  She has a wonderful mind to bounce things off of.”

A.M. Homes   Novelist/Screenwriter

“I cannot recommend Syd more, she is a gifted screenwriter and filmmaker and has helped me so much with past scripts.”

Paul Rachman  Co-founder Slamdance Film Festival


“I speak from first hand experience when I say Syd is extraordinary to work with. Working with her is one of the best things I’ve given myself. Grab this while you can.”

Deb McDonald  Founder at ‘Say What?’ Consumer Research


“My friend Syd is a powerfully insightful creative consultant who helps writers wrestle their work into shape. She’s a successful writer herself, and a has taught at Columbia, and she’s fun and erudite and kickass. If you have a project that needs a nurturing crack of the whip to get you to the finish line, hire Syd.”

Portia Kamons  Producer En Garde Arts