Contact: Gregg Mitchell (323) 782-4574
News Release: February 1, 2011

Hollywood Set to Present Honors for Excellence in Writing

LOS ANGELES -- Spotlighting the creative collaboration between writers and other artists in the entertainment industry, a wide array of Hollywood talent is set to present honors at this year’s Writers Guild Awards L.A. show Saturday, February 5, at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel-Grand Ballroom. The West Coast WGA ceremony will feature writers, actors, and directors who’ve worked together to create memorable films, television shows, videogames, new media, and other written programs.

“We’re excited that some of the most talented storytellers, actors, producers, and directors have agreed to spend their Saturday night telling us insider tales of how some of the best shows and movies are created,” said 2011 WGA L.A. show Executive Producer Spike Jones, Jr.

Awards presenter pairs include: author Mitch Albom and Emmy-winning actor Hank Azaria (Tuesdays with Morrie), Academy Award-winning screenwriter Mark Boal and Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), WGA-winning writer-director Morgan Spurlock and WGA-nominated writer Jeremy Chilnick (The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special: In 3-D! On Ice!), Emmy-winning writer-executive producer Greg Daniels and Emmy-nominated actress Amy Poehler (Parks & Recreation), Emmy-winning actress Catherine O’Hara and Emmy-winning actor Martin Short (SCTV), actress Anna Torv and Emmy-winning writer-director-producer J.J. Abrams (Fringe), Emmy-winning writer-producer Al Jean and actor Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons), actress Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory, Blossom) and Emmy-nominated writer-producer Don Reo (’Til Death), and Daytime Emmy-winning As the World Turns star Eileen Fulton, who appeared on the long-running daytime drama for over 50 years, and Daytime Emmy-winning ATWT director-executive producer Christopher Goutman.

Columbia Pictures Chairman Amy Pascal, Oscar-winning producer Scott Rudin (No Country for Old Men), and Academy Award-winning director Steven Spielberg (Schindler’s List), via a special video presentation, will present the WGAW’s Laurel Award for Screen to Academy Award-winning screenwriter Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List). Emmy-winning actress Candice Bergen (Murphy Brown) and Emmy-winning writer-producer-director Michael Patrick King (Sex and the City) will present the Guild’s Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television to Emmy-winning writer Diane English (Murphy Brown).

In addition, Emmy-winning writer Allan Burns (Lou Grant) and Emmy and WGA-nominated executive producer-showrunner Neal Baer (Law & Order: SVU) will present the WGAW’s Valentine Davies Award to Emmy-winning TV writer Seth Freeman (Lou Grant) and Oscar-nominated screenwriter Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovich) for their entertainment industry and community service. WGAW President and writer-director-producer John Wells (The Company Men) will present the Guild’s Paul Selvin Award to those writers whose script highlights First Amendment and civil liberties issues, as well as the Guild’s Jean Renoir Award for Screenwriting Achievement Award, given this year to Italian screenwriter Tonino Guerra (Amarcord, Blow-Up; [*Editor’s note: Guerra will not be present at WGAW awards show, but accepted his honorary award at his home in northern Italy]).

Modern Family stars Jesse Tyler Ferguson and recent Emmy winner Eric Stonestreet will co-host this year’s event.

This year’s show is executive produced by Spike Jones, Jr., with Carole Propp as talent producer and Emmy and WGA-winning writer Guy Nicolucci (Late Night with Conan O’Brien) serving as the L.A. show’s head writer. The WGAW Awards Committee includes Guild members: Karen Harris (chair), Steve Chivers, Patrick Doody, Shelly Goldstein, Ruth Livier, Scott Saltzburg, and Maiya Williams.

The 2011 Writers Guild Awards will be held on Saturday, February 5, 2011, simultaneously at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel-Grand Ballroom in Los Angeles and the AXA Equitable Center in New York City. For more information about the 2011 Writers Guild Awards submission process, guidelines, and official entry forms, please visit or

For media inquiries about the 2011 Writers Guild Awards Los Angeles show, please contact Gregg Mitchell in the WGAW Communications Department at: (323) 782-4574, email: Gregg Mitchell, or visit online at:

For media press inquiries about the 2011 Writers Guild Awards New York show, please contact Sherry Goldman in the WGAE Press Office at (718) 224-4133 or email: Sherry Goldman; or visit online at:

The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) is a labor union representing writers of motion pictures, television, radio and Internet programming, including news and documentaries. Founded in 1933, the Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members. It is involved in a wide range of programs that advance the interests of writers, and is active in public policy and legislative matters on the local, national and international levels. For more information on the WGAW, please visit: