The same kind of disruption that’s transformed the travel, music and publishing industries is coming to television and films, according to panelists at the recent paidContent Entertainment 2011 conference. The costs of producing content has plummeted, the demand for content has never been higher, and thus a whole new class of entrants has a chance to make a splash.

What does this mean, long-term, for writers? Well, we’re the content producers – whether the word ‘content’ resonates with you or not – and it means that what we do is becoming increasingly valuable.

“Because of the..need for big brands [including new video platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, etc] to have quality content associated with their brands, in a way, content is once again expensive,” William Quigley of Clearstone Venture Partners said.

And what does it mean for writers in the short term? It means that, at the very least, we need to prepare for this new world.

For example, if you’re a short story writer, don’t let those unpolished drafts or unpublished stories languish in a drawer. Film-makers like to adapt short stories into films because a whole world has already been created. Polish those stories, and submit them for publication. Build a list of credits and, potentially, a list of stories for potential adaptation. See our submission guidelines here.(NB. eChook has recently become a talent scout for a NY agent who sells long-form work to the new publishers Amazon, Premier Digital and Open Road Media, as well as film options to Hollywood.)

Also, you might want to think about adapting your short work into a script. You can list that script for free on websites like Inktip where long and short scripts get optioned.

If you’re not sure which story would be best to adapt, or how to write a script? The delightful and accomplished Gigi New is a screenwriter (with 3 of her own projects currently in development) who helps writers make the leap from prose to script.

Learn more about Gigi HERE.

Or, finally, why not film it yourself? Production costs are down, and more and more, would-be scriptwriters are making their own short films to showcase their talents. Or if you’d like some help, Juilliard-trained Nick Sadler is a hot young producer/director/actor who works with individuals to film their webisodes (he was in True Grit – the recent one with Jeff Bridges).

Learn more about Nick Sadler HERE.

Whatever direction you decide to take, keep writing. This is a fantastic time to be a writer, despite the shifting sands beneath our feet. We might question, with the current turbulence in publishing, whether it’s worth the time (never mind the blood, sweat and tears) it takes to become an accomplished writer but…have faith. New worlds of opportunity are developing every day. Writing – and by extension, writers – are more important than ever even now, and in the coming years, as people realize what effort it takes to establish a writing career, many will fall by the wayside. Those of us who keep at it – keep writing, improving, submitting and publishing – will prevail.

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