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On The Table Read, the “Best Entertainment Celebrity Magazine in the UK“, author Joel Samberg shares the letter he received from MGM after submitting the script to this musical-western, Crooked Dreams, at 12 years old.

Joel Samberg, author of Almost Like Praying, on The Table Read
Joel Samberg

Written by Joel Samberg

I wrote a musical-western called Crooked Dreams when I was 12, and received this note back a few weeks after sending it to the MGM movie studio. It was the first of several scripts I’ve written over the course of my life.

Letter from MGM

Joel Samberg Letter from MGM, on The Table Read
Letter to Joel Samberg from MGM

One recent screenplay, Menagerie, has the dubious distinction of prompting a cease-and-desist order from a New York law firm (this is part of a long story that I can share one day, if you’d like). Another, Remember Me to Herald Square (which I have since turned into a novel), garnered the interest of a motion picture studio–just weeks before the studio went out of business!

I wrote a few TV scripts that came close. Two of my short plays, Six Tens from a Fifty and The Bittersweet Ballad of Bobby Blue, came to life on stage in limited runs in New York and Connecticut.  

About Joel Samberg

Samberg decided to become a writer as a boy. He wrote a screenplay when he was 12 and sent it to MGM, and although the studio turned it down, an executive’s encouraging note suggested that he never give up on his dream to be a writer.

Two years later, his English teacher sent a nasty note home to his parents accusing him of plagiarizing a book report because, she said, it was too well-written for an eighth-grader. That settled it: from that point on, he never gave up.

Samberg has written for dozens of magazines and has published seven fiction and nonfiction books, including Some Kind of Lonely Clown: The Music, Memory, and Melancholy Lives of Karen Carpenter. His coming-of-age novel, Blowin’ in the Wind, was published in 2019 and features the boy who grows up to become the journalist across the street in Almost Like Praying.

Find more from Joel Samberg:

For more information, please visit, and follow the author on Twitter at @JoelSamberg.

Almost Like Praying

Publisher: Black Rose Writing (

Release Date: April 28, 2022

ISBN 978-1-68433-936-5

Available from, Black Rose Writing and other online booksellers.

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