Rules & Procedures

TV-Radio-New Media Writing Awards 
WGAW Paul Selvin Award
Documentary Screenplay Award
Videogame Writing Award

TV-RADIO-NEW MEDIA WRITING AWARDS

ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible for entry, scripts must have been produced under the jurisdiction of the WGA and broadcast or exhibited as follows: Long form, episodic, animation, children’s and short form new media script categories first broadcast or exhibited between December 1, 2012, and November 30, 2013; all other script categories (comedy/variety, quiz and audience participation, documentary, daytime, news, radio and on-air promotion) first broadcast or exhibited between October 1, 2012, and September 30, 2013. (Programs written under the Writers Guild of Canada agreement pursuant to Working Rule #8 waivers or Sideletter Agreements are not eligible.)

Nominations will be based on outstanding achievement. If no script in a category is deemed outstanding, no nomination or award will be made. If there are insufficient entries in any category, those entries may be placed in another category.

WHICH SCRIPT SHOULD BE SUBMITTED?

If two or more writers are credited, they may agree upon the draft to be submitted, but if they are unable to agree, then the “as broadcast” script will be the only one to be considered. If one writer is credited, he/she must submit a draft which contains substantially his/her own writing. See “Special Instructions” for animation on page 2.

You may submit in one, several or all categories, but not more than one script in any single category. Please see “Episodic Drama and Episodic Comedy” in the “Special Instructions” section on page 2 for further clarification.

A television project is not eligible if it had a previous theatrical exhibition.

WRITER REPRESENTATIVES' SUBMISSIONS

Writer representatives (e.g., agents, managers and publicists) may submit scripts on behalf of their clients. Representatives' submissions must include a copy of the script, a completed entry form and the writer's written permission for the entry. Online submission is not available to representatives.

ONLINE SUBMISSIONS

Writers may submit scripts online for competition in any category by going to www.wga.org and clicking on the awards link in the spotlight section. Follow the instructions to complete the entry form online, then upload the script in either Word or PDF format where indicated. Upon successful completion of the submission, a receipt will be automatically sent to the preferred email address.

Members who wish to submit multiple scripts for judging in different categories must complete separate entry forms for each script submitted online.

Entry forms can also be downloaded at www.wga.org for your convenience.

THE JUDGING PROCEDURE

The preliminary judging will be by panels of volunteer Guild members. Scripts will be coded and anonymity maintained. The final judging will be by special panels of Guild members selected for their prominence in the particular fields of competition. See “Special Instructions” for Animation on page 2.

SEND IN YOUR ENTRIES EARLY

The greater the number of entries submitted, the more representative the final choices will be. Remember, awards will be based strictly on your written material. Send in your entries now. The deadline is October 11, 2013. Winners will be announced at the 2014 WGA Awards on February 1, 2014.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

CATEGORIES

#1 (A) LONG FORM – ORIGINAL and
#1 (B) LONG FORM – ADAPTED

A long form television or new media motion picture is a motion picture, over one hour in length, including MOWs and miniseries. A pilot script exceeding one hour will also be considered a long form television or new media motion picture.

An original long form teleplay is a teleplay that is not based on any source material of a story nature. An adapted long form teleplay is a teleplay that is based on previously exploited material of a story nature (e.g. a novel, a produced play or a series of published articles) or any other material written outside of the Guild’s jurisdiction. Sequels and remakes will be considered adapted teleplays. A mini-series is defined as two or more episodes with a total running time of at least three broadcast or exhibition hours that is based on a single theme or story line which is resolved within the piece. A limited run series with a “Created by” credit cannot be entered as a mini-series.

Mini-series that are four hours or less may be submitted in their entirety or in part (i.e., one part, one airing or exhibition time), and a synopsis, if any, may be submitted for the remainder. In the case of mini-series over four hours, up to four hours may be submitted and a synopsis permitted for the remainder.

Scripts produced and initially exhibited in the made-for-videocassette/DVD market will be eligible if they are next shown on television (i.e., there has been no previous theatrical exhibition).

Long form animated motion pictures must be entered in Category #2. Long form children’s scripts must be entered in Category #9B.

Multi-part episodes of Episodic Drama and Episodic Comedy series must be entered in Category #3 or #4.

#2 ANIMATION – Any length, one airing or exhibition time

To be eligible for entry, television and new media animation scripts must be broadcast or exhibited for the first time between December 1, 2012, and November 30, 2013. Television projects that were not written or produced under WGA jurisdiction may be submitted; new media projects must have been written and produced under WGA jurisdiction.

A writer who wrote the script and received credit on the program or episode may submit a script for consideration. At the time the script is submitted, all credited writers on the program or episode must be, or apply to become, members of the Animation Writers Caucus.

The submitted script must be in a standard teleplay format – it need not be the final script. A recording script may be submitted for consideration if it is a full script of the program or episode. In addition, the episode as broadcast from which the script is submitted must have had a writing credit (i.e., a “written by” or a “story by” and “teleplay by” credit, as appropriate) related to the writing of the program or episode. While there is no limit on the number of credited writers a particular program or episode may have, gang credits – not specifically tied to the writing on the episode – are not acceptable.

A writer (or each member of an established team) may submit only one (1) script in the Animation category. The script may be of any length or type (i.e., long form original, long form adaptation, specials or episodic). Scripts produced and initially exhibited in the made-for-video market will be eligible if they are next shown on television (i.e., there has been no previous theatrical exhibition). Animated children’s scripts must be entered in category #2. Animated new media scripts must be entered in category #2.

If two or more writers are credited, they may agree upon the draft to be submitted, but if they are unable to agree, then the “as broadcast” script will be the only script to be considered. If one writer is credited, he or she must submit a draft containing substantially his or her own writing.

THE JUDGING PROCEDURE FOR ANIMATION. The final judging will be by special panels of Guild members selected for their prominence in the animation field. The AWC Steering Committee will make recommendations of qualified animation writers eligible to serve as judges in this category. A writer serving as a judge may not submit a script for award consideration in this category.

Nominations will be based on outstanding achievement. If no script is deemed outstanding, no nomination or award will be made. If a script is chosen to receive the award, all credited writers on the program or episode will receive the award.

#3 EPISODIC DRAMA and
#4 EPISODIC COMEDY

Television: One hour or less, one airing time (synopsis, if any, permitted for remainder).

New media: Over 15 minutes in length - not to exceed one hour; one exhibition time (synopsis, if any, permitted for remainder).

No writer may submit a script if his/her credit does not reflect at least 50 percent of the on-screen credit. In the case of three or more credited writers, they may “pool” their percentage of the script to arrive at 50 percent if they have not submitted another script. Each member of an established two-member team may submit one team-written script (or one sole-credit script) in each category. Multi-part Episodic Dramas originally broadcast or exhibited as more than one hour must be entered in category #3; and Episodic Comedies originally broadcast or exhibited as over 30 minutes must be entered in category #4.

Anthology Episode/Single Episode scripts (one hour or less—one part, one airing or exhibition time) must be entered in category #3 or #4.

A Pilot Script (not to exceed one hour in length) must be entered in category #3 or #4.

#5 (A) COMEDY/VARIETY (including Talk) – SERIES and
#5 (B) COMEDY/VARIETY – MUSIC, AWARDS, TRIBUTES – SPECIALS — Over 15 minutes in length
#5 (C) QUIZ AND AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

5(A) Series (including Talk): (a) The headwriter(s) will submit five sketches and/or monologues that best represent a series’ overall quality of writing; (b) Include with the entry form the names of all writers who participated in 25 percent of all programs telecast or exhibited during the eligibility period and those who were credited on the shows from which the submitted sketches were selected. Do not include writers’ names on the individual scripted segments.

5(B) Specials: Submit one script (no special instructions).

5(C) Quiz and Audience Participation: (a) The headwriter(s) will submit up to three “as broadcast” scripts; (b) Include with the entry form the names of all writers who participated in the shows telecast or exhibited during the eligibility period.

#6 (A) DOCUMENTARY SCRIPT - CURRENT EVENTS and
#6 (B) DOCUMENTARY SCRIPT - OTHER THAN CURRENT EVENTS — Over 15 minutes in length, one part, one airing or exhibition time (synopsis, if any, permitted for remainder)

A television or new media project is not eligible if it had a previous theatrical exhibition.

#7 (A) NEWS SCRIPT – REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN, OR BREAKING REPORT and
#7 (B) NEWS SCRIPT – ANALYSIS, FEATURE OR COMMENTARY — One air date

Material originally produced for the internet will be eligible only if it was produced under the jurisdiction of the WGA. If you have questions, please contact your business agent.

#8 DAYTIME DRAMA

(a) Furnish, through the head writer, a precis (covering an integrated period of time) which describes what has been happening on the television or new media program and the relationships of the characters. This should not exceed 1,000 words. (b) Furnish three scripts (not necessarily in sequence) together with outlines for same which the head writer and second writer(s) agree should be submitted for the award. Each of the three scripts is judged as a part of a coherent whole; the award is given accordingly. It should be noted that often several writers collaborate on the writing of a single script in this category. When submitting the material to be judged, include on the entry form the names of all writers who participated a minimum of 13 weeks in writing the show during the eligibility period. 

#9 (A) CHILDREN’S SCRIPT – EPISODIC AND SPECIALS — Over 15 minutes but not more than one hour, one part, one airing or exhibition time, intended primarily for children. Animated children’s scripts must be entered in category #2.

#9 (B) CHILDREN’S SCRIPT – LONG FORM OR SPECIAL — Over one hour, one or two parts, one or two airing or exhibition times, intended primarily for children. Long form animated children’s scripts must be entered in category #2.

#10 RADIO DOCUMENTARY — Any length

#11 RADIO NEWS SCRIPT – REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN OR BREAKING REPORT and
#12 RADIO NEWS SCRIPT – ANALYSIS, FEATURE OR COMMENTARY

Submit up to five scripts and a CD with a cumulative air time of not more than 15 minutes. Please delete all written and audio references to the name of the submitting writer.

#13 ON-AIR PROMOTION (TELEVISION, NEW MEDIA or RADIO)

Submit scripts and four copies of each spot on DVD (TV) or CD (radio). Submit at least three - but no more than eight - spots if they are shorter than two minutes. Submit one or two spots if they are two minutes or longer. Material originally produced for the internet will be eligible only if it was produced under WGA jurisdiction. If you have questions, please contact your business agent.

#14 TELEVISION GRAPHIC ART AND ANIMATION

For Graphic Art, the artist or team may submit one entry only with up to five spots per entry. Submit a DVD (include four copies of each submitted DVD) with the entry form. The entry form should include credits for graphic artist only. The artist's name may not appear on the tape. For Graphic Design for a package/campaign/series, one artist or team may submit one entry with at least three different design elements from the total graphic look. Each element can be selected from any of the following areas: logo design, open animation, internal graphics and/or animations, bumpers, lower third designs, coordinating elements of the set, and virtual set elements.

#15 (A) SHORT FORM NEW MEDIA – ORIGINAL and
#15 (B) SHORT FORM NEW MEDIA – ADAPTED

For a stand alone new media program or an episode of a new media series that is 15 minutes or less in length and was first exhibited on a new media platform. For this purpose, a new media platform is defined as the Internet via a major video sharing site or unique URL, mobile devices such as cellphones or PDAs, or any other established new media platform. Only work that was written and produced under a WGA collective bargaining agreement and for which the Guild has determined writing credits may be submitted.

An original short form teleplay is a teleplay that is not based on any source material of a story nature. An adapted short form teleplay is a teleplay that is based on or derived from previously exploited material of a story nature (e.g. a television series, a novel, a produced play or a series of published articles) or any other material written outside of the Guild’s jurisdiction.

WGAW PAUL SELVIN AWARD

The Board of Directors has established the Paul Selvin Award to be given “to that member whose script best embodies the spirit of the constitutional and civil rights and liberties which are indispensable to the survival of free writers everywhere and to whose defense Paul Selvin committed his professional life.”

Entries are now being accepted and must be received no later than 5:30 p.m. Friday, October 11, 2013. Members may enter as many scripts in each field as they believe are appropriate.

TELEVISION/NEW MEDIA

To be eligible for entry, scripts must have been produced under the jurisdiction of the WGA and broadcast or exhibited as follows:

Long form, episodic, animation, children’s and short form new media script categories first broadcast between December 1, 2012, and November 30, 2013; all other script categories (comedy/variety, quiz and audience participation, documentary, daytime, news, radio and on-air promotion) first broadcast between October 1, 2012, and September 30, 2013.

Programs written under the Writers Guild of Canada agreement pursuant to Working Rule #8 waivers or Sideletter Agreements are not eligible.

THEATRICAL MOTION PICTURES

To be eligible, entries must have been exhibited theatrically in the Los Angeles area for at least one week during 2013. The theatrical motion picture must have been written under the WGA MBA or under a bona fide collective bargaining agreement of the Writers Guild of Canada, Writers Guild of Great Britain, Irish Playwrights & Screenwriters Guild or the New Zealand Writers Guild (collectively, “affiliate Guilds”). Submissions for films written under the jurisdiction of an affiliate guild must include a letter from the affiliate guild verifying awards eligibility. Please note than an affiliate guild may impose additional requirements for a writer to be considered covered by its collective bargaining agreement.

ALL SCRIPTS MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY AN ENTRY FORM WHICH INCLUDES A ONE-PARAGRAPH STATEMENT ON HOW THE SCRIPT EMBODIES THE PRINCIPLES OF THE PAUL SELVIN AWARD.

Previous winners of the Paul Selvin Award and two members of the Board of Directors comprise the Paul Selvin Award Committee. The credited writers of eligible scripts and members of the Committee may nominate scripts for the award. The Committee may recommend one winner from among the television and theatrical motion picture scripts submitted or declare a tie. The Board of Directors will approve or reject the recommendation in whole or in part. (If no script is recommended, or if the Board rejects the Committee’s recommendation, no award will be given.)

The winner will be announced at the Guild’s 66th Annual Awards on February 1, 2014.

WRITER REPRESENTATIVES' SUBMISSIONS

Writer representatives (e.g., agents, managers and publicists) may submit scripts on behalf of their clients. Representatives' submissions must include a copy of the script, a completed entry form and the writer's written permission for the entry. Online submission is not available to representatives.

ONLINE SUBMISSIONS

Scripts may be submitted online to be judged for the WGAW Paul Selvin Award. Go to www.wga.org and click on the awards link in the spotlight section. Then click on the Paul Selvin link, complete the entry form including the one-paragraph statement on how the script embodies the principles of the Paul Selvin Award, and then upload the Word or PDF script where indicated. A receipt will be sent automatically to the preferred e-mail address confirming the submission.

Entry forms can also be downloaded at www.wga.org for your convenience.

DOCUMENTARY SCREENPLAY AWARD

WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR FEATURE-LENGTH THEATRICAL DOCUMENTARY SCREENPLAY AWARD

To be eligible for entry, films must have been exhibited theatrically in Los Angeles or New York for at least one week during 2013.

Scripts must have been written under the WGA MBA or under a bona fide collective bargaining agreement of the Writers Guild of Canada, Writers Guild of Great Britain, Irish Playwrights & Screenwriters Guild, New Zealand Writers Guild, La Guilde Francaise des Scénaristes (France), Scriptwriters Guild of Israel or the Société des Auteurs de Radio, Télévision et Cinéma (Québec) (collectively, “affiliate Guilds”). Submissions for films written under the jurisdiction of an affiliate Guild must include a letter from the affiliate Guild verifying awards eligibility. Please note that an affiliate Guild may impose additional requirements for a writer to be considered by its collective bargaining agreement.

The deadline for submission is 5:30 p.m. on Friday, November 15, 2013.

A writer who wrote the script and received credit on the film may submit a script for consideration. The submitted script must be in writing, must be the final script and must be accompanied by five (5) viewing copies of the film. The viewing copies must be in DVD format. In addition, the film as exhibited from which the script is submitted must have had an on-screen writing credit (i.e. a “written by,” “story by,” “screenplay by,” “documentary screenplay by,” “documentary script by,” “screen story by” or “narration written by” credit, as appropriate) related to the writing of the film.

The script must be of feature length (more than 40 minutes). Films that receive their first public exhibition on broadcast or cable television are not eligible for Screen Awards. Foreign-language films are eligible, provided they have English-language subtitles.

Writers of source material are not eligible for awards consideration.

If two or more writers are credited, they may agree upon the draft to be submitted, but if they are unable to agree, then the “as produced” script will be the only script to be considered. If one writer is credited, he/she must submit a draft containing substantially his/her own writing.

Writer representatives (e.g., agents, managers and publicists) may submit scripts on behalf of their clients. Representatives’ submissions must include a copy of the script, a completed entry form, 5 DVD screeners and the writer’s written permission for the entry.

THE JUDGING PROCEDURE

Preliminary and final judging will be done by panels of volunteer Guild members with established nonfiction writing credits. A writer serving as a judge may not submit a script for award consideration in this category.

Nominations will be based on outstanding achievement. If no script is deemed outstanding, no award will be given for that year. If a script is chosen to receive the award, all credited writers on the film will receive the award.

Nominated scripts will be retained at The Writers Guild Foundation Shavelson-Webb Library.

Videogame Writing Award

Writers Guild of America Eligibility Criteria for Videogame Writing Award

To be eligible for entry, games must have been originally released between 12/1/2012 and 11/30/2013; subsequent release dates for different platforms do not qualify. The submission deadline is 5:30 p.m. on Monday, November 25, 2013.

Work that was not produced under WGA jurisdiction may be submitted.

Submitted games must have separate credit for writing. Accepted credits include:

  • Story (by)
  • Story Designer
    • Lead Story Designer
     
  • Written by
  • Writer
    • Lead Writer
    • Additional Writing (by)
     
  • Scenario Writer
  • Script Writer
  • Dialogue (by)
    • Additional Dialogue (by)
     

Additional credits will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

While there is no limit on the number of credited writers a particular game may have, credits not specifically tied to videogame writing are not acceptable (i.e. Lead Designer, Designed By, Produced By, etc.) User Experience writing credits do not qualify for the WGA Videogame Writing Award.

Writing credits must be verified by their inclusion in the game manual. If writing credits are not printed in the game manual, the publisher must fax or email screenshots of the game’s complete writing credits directly to Alexandra Maddox at the WGAW (fax: 323-782-4801, email: Alexandra Maddox). Alternate proof of writing credit will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

If more than one writer is credited (either through a shared “Written By” credit, or through separate acceptable writing credits as described above), all writers will be nominated as a unit. Note: Writers of source material are not eligible for awards consideration.

All submissions must be made in the name of the credited writer(s), and not the game itself. Only one entry form will be evaluated per game. In the case of multiple writers, a submitting writer must serve as the point person and complete a single entry form for consideration. All writers’ names must appear in the Final Writing Credit(s) field on the entry form.

Scripts may also be submitted by the developer/publisher of the game, or by writer representatives (e.g., agents, managers, and publicists.) Entries submitted by anyone other than the writer(s) must contain an entry form signed by the submitting writer.

At the time the script is submitted, the credited writer(s) of the game must be, or apply to become, a member of the WGA’s Videogame Writers Caucus.

Scripts must be submitted in a reasonable approximation of a standard film or TV script format, and must clearly demonstrate the progression of the story. The submission must represent a linear play-through of the game; it should only contain scenes and dialogue that are critical to telling the story, and must not include multiple beginnings, middles or endings. In the case of multiple story pathways, it is acceptable to choose a single path.

In addition to the script, a story synopsis (1-2 pages) is required. The synopsis should describe the flow of the storyline and serve to clarify the game experience. The synopsis should not detail the process of creating the game, or list awards and accomplishments associated with the title.

Submitted scripts should be no longer than 350 pages and printed on 8 X 11 white paper. Abridged submissions that maintain the integrity of the narrative are acceptable in order to comply with the maximum page limit.

Any script consisting solely of random, in-game dialogue will not be considered.

THE JUDGING PROCEDURE

Preliminary and final judging will be done by panels of volunteer Videogame Writers Caucus and/or Guild members active in the field of videogame writing. Nominations will be based on outstanding achievement. If no script is deemed outstanding, no award will be given for that year. If a script is chosen to receive the award, all credited writers on the game will receive the award.

The five nominated scripts will be retained at The Writers Guild Foundation Shavelson-Webb Library.

HOW TO SUBMIT

Either submit online here or mail your script, synopsis, signed entry form, game manual (or alternate proof of writing credit) to:

Writers Guild of America West
Attn: Alexandra Maddox
7000 West 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90048

If you have any questions, please contact Alexandra Maddox at (323) 782-4712 or Alexandra Maddox.