Writers Guild Awards

Writers Guild Awards
Photo: wga.org
The Writers Guild of America Awards, also known as simply the Writers Guild Awards, are presented annually for outstanding achievements in film, television, radio, and video games. The first award ceremony was held in 1949. Since 2004, the show has been broadcast on television.

As a matter of fact, there is no national labor union representing film, television, radio and new media writers in the United States. There are two affiliated bodies instead, the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE). They present the award jointly, although the show takes place on the West Coast.

The screen awards are for films that were exhibited theatrically in Los Angeles for at least one week during the preceding calendar year. Documentaries exhibited in New York during the eligibility period are considered as well. Television series, television programs, video games and other script categories have their own eligibility periods. Additionally, scripts are required to be produced under the jurisdiction of the Writers Guild of America (regardless of the wing) or under a collective bargaining agreement in Canada, New Zealand, Ireland or the United Kingdom.

A list of categories is divided into four large groups of nominations: screenplay nominations, television and new media nominations, radio nominations, video game writing nominations. The lists is slightly altered almost every year, but some categories are a permanent fixture. They include Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay. Additionally, two lifetime achievement awards are presented every year, the Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement and the Laurel Award for TV Writing Achievement.

The WGA Award ceremony is held every year in Los Angeles because the award was inaugurated by the Screen Writers Guild that later became part of the west wing of the Writers Guild of America. It takes place in February, at the end of the annual awards season. Winners often go on to win a respective Academy Award, but that’s not always the case. For example, the 2015 WGA Award winner was The Grand Budapest Hotel, but the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay went to Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).

Writers Guild of America Awards

Photo: Michael Jones, wga.org



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