I agonized over whether to make my first series proposal public or not, Nidhi. I searched the AS forums, I googled, I read everything under the AS guidelines trying to figure out if there was any advantage to making it public.
AS states that they "encourages" public projects but in the end, I honestly don't think it matters and they're going to make the decision based on the strength of the submission and what type of project they want to produce. I decided not to make my first submission public because my mini-bible was very detailed and it's a story I'm still actively looking for a home for (didn't want too much of the plot "out there"). I decided to make my second public because I do feel there are some advantages and wanted to see what it was like. The advantages:
1. Feedback and support. The social component of it was a big draw for me. I loved WriteOnCon and learned so much from the experience that I wanted to open my project up to public feedback. What I've gotten is tons and tons of support. In the end will it matter? Like I said, if AS falls in love with a project, they're going to add it to the development slate whether it's public or private but there's no way that it hurts to have Borislav up to the #2 spot for children and tweens or that Borislav was burning up the AS newsfeed all weekend! That being said, I also don't think it's going to hurt if a public project doesn't get much feedback.
2. Industry eyes outside of AS. A long shot yes, but a private submission has zero chance of being seen by an industry professional roaming the AS site, whereas a public one does. Notable projects are ones that AS has not added to their development slate but they found interesting enough to highlight. You never know who is watching/reading.
3. Community building. If you do it right, even if you only get a handful of people to leave feedback or who get excited about your proposal, it's a handful more than when you started.
I taught myself screenwriting and it wasn't easy, Nidhi! I read tons of books. Some of my favorites are:
1. Writing the Pilot, William Rabkin
2. Writing Screenplays That Sell, Michael Hauge (his Story Master website is great too, http://www.storymastery.com/
3. Writing the TV Drama, Pamela Douglas
And this little SP titles is so great for nitty gritty style issues:
4. Your CUT TO: is Showing, by T.J. Alex
We also have a thread here with some other favorites: http://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php?topic=70301.0
There's also tons of scripts on the internet. The more screenplays you read, the more natural it becomes. WARNING: You can't necessarily learn screenwriting by reading scripts by famous screenwriters. This is where Your CUT TO: is SHOWING comes in. There are things stylistically that JJ Abrams can do that scream newbie in a spec (speculative) script. I learned this the hard way and had to reformat big time!
I'm still learning. It is a challenge to go from prose/narrative to dialogue/action!
Hope this helps...keep those questions coming! I want BBoarders to take over AS!