2019 Writers Guild Awards Winners: The Writers Have Spoken

Writers Guild Awards

The Writers Guild Awards took place this evening in NY and LA with big wins going to Can You Ever Forgive Me? and Eighth Grade.

The Writers differs from that of the Academy in that they have stricter rules than the Oscars.  Put it this way:  A screenplay could sweep the boards with critical acclaim and miss out on a Writers Guild nomination.  In a perfect world, Bo Burnham would have a a chance to repeat next weekend during the Oscars.  Unfortunately, the comedian isn’t nominated for his Eighth Grade screenplay.  I think back to the 65th DGA Awards that took place in 2013.  This was where Ben Affleck took home the DGA prize but was completely passed over by the Oscars in the same category.

While there’s a chance that Can You Ever Forgive Me? repeats next weekend, there’s strong competition in the form of If Beale Street Could Talk and BlacKkKlansman.  To say that this has been one of the craziest awards seasons in recent times would not be an understatement.  A lot can and will still happen between now and next weekend.  Among the next major awards ceremonies to take place before the Oscars are the Film Independent Film Spirit Awards on Saturday.


  • Original Screenplay:  Eighth Grade, Written by Bo Burnham; A24
  • Adapted Screenplay:  Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Screenplay by Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty, Based on the book by Lee Israel; Fox Searchlight
  • Documentary Screenplay:  Bathtubs Over Broadway, Written by Ozzy Inguanzo & Dava Whisenant; Focus Features


  • Drama Series:  The Americans, Written by Peter Ackerman, Hilary Bettis, Joshua Brand, Joel Fields, Sarah Nolen, Stephen Schiff, Justin Weinberger, Joe Weisberg, Tracey Scott Wilson; FX Networks
  • Comedy Series:  The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Written by Kate Fodor, Noah Gardenswartz, Daniel Goldfarb, Jen Kirkman, Sheila Lawrence, Daniel Palladino, Amy Sherman Palladino; Prime Video
  • New Series:  Barry, Written by Alec Berg, Duffy Boudreau, Bill Hader, Emily Heller, Liz Sarnoff, Ben Smith, Sarah Solemani; HBO
  • Original Long Form:  Castle Rock, Writers: Marc Bernardin, Scott Brown, Lila Byock, Mark Lafferty, Sam Shaw, Dustin Thomason, Gina Welch, Vinnie Wilhelm; Hulu
  • Adapted Long Form:  The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, Writers: Maggie Cohn, Tom Rob Smith, Based on the book Vulgar Favors by Maureen Orth; FX Networks
  • Original Short Form New Media:  Class of Lies, Written by Tessa Leigh Williams; Snapchat
  • Adapted Short Form New Media:  The Walking Dead: Red Machete, Written by Nick Bernardone; AMC.com
  • Animation:  “Bart’s Not Dead” (The Simpsons), Written by Stephanie Gillis; Fox
  • Episodic Drama: “Paean To The People” (Homeland), Written by Alex Gansa; Showtime
  • Episodic Comedy:  “Chapter One: ‘Make Your Mark’” (Barry), Written by Alec Berg & Bill Hader; HBO
  • Comedy/Variety Talk Series:  Last Week Tonight with John Oliver; Writers: Tim Carvell, Raquel D’Apice, Josh Gondelman, Dan Gurewitch, Jeff Maurer, Daniel O’Brien, John Oliver, Brian Parise, Owen Parsons, Ben Silva, Will Tracy, Jill Twiss, Seena Vali, Juli Weiner; HBO
  • Comedy/Variety Sketch Series:  Nathan For You, Writers: Leo Allen, Nathan Fielder, Carrie Kemper, Michael Koman, Adam Locke-Norton, Eric Notarnicola; Comedy Central
  • Comedy/Variety Specials:  The Fake News with Ted Nelms, Written by John Aboud, Andrew Blitz, Michael Colton, Ed Helms, Elliott Kalan, Joseph Randazzo, Sara Schaefer; Comedy Central
  • Quiz and Audience Participation:  Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Head Writer: Stephen A. Melcher, Jr.; Writers: Kyle Beakley, Tom Cohen, Patricia A. Cotter, Ryan Hopak, Gary Lucy, James Rowley, Ann Slichter, Dylan Snowden; Disney/ABC Syndication
  • Daytime Drama:  Days of Our Lives, Head Writer: Ron Carlivati; Writers: Sheri Anderson, Lorraine Broderick, Joanna Cohen, Lisa Connor, Carolyn Culliton, Richard Culliton, Rick Draughon, Cydney Kelley, David Kreizman, David A. Levinson, Rebecca McCarty, Ryan Quan, Dave Ryan, Katherine Schock, Elizabeth Snyder, Tyler Topits; NBC
  • Children’s Episodic and Specials:  “The Ersatz Elevator: Part One” (A Series of Unfortunate Events), Teleplay by Daniel Handler; Netflix
  • Documentary Script – Current Events:  “Trump’s Takeover” (Frontline), Written by Michael Kirk & Mike Wiser; PBS
  • Documentary Script – Other Than Current Events:  “The Eugenics Crusade” (American Experience), Written by Michelle Ferrari; PBS
  • News Script – Regularly Scheduled, Bulletin, or Breaking Report:  “Catastrophe” (60 Minutes), Written by Scott Pelley, Katie Kerbstat, Nicole Young; CBS News
  • News Script – Analysis, Feature, or Commentary:  “Wounds of War” (60 Minutes), Written by Scott Pelley, Katie Kerbstat, Nicole Young; CBS News
  • Digital News:  “Inside The Culture Of Sexism At Riot Games,” Written by Cecilia D’Anastasio; Kotaku.com


  • Radio/Audio Documentary:  “RFK: 50 Years After Shots Rang Out at The Ambassador Hotel,” Written by Andrew Evans; ABC News Radio
  • Radio/Audio News Script – Regularly Scheduled, Bulletin, or Breaking Report:  “Remembering The Good, The Bad and the Brilliant,” Written by Gail Lee; CBS News Radio
  • Radio/Audio News Script – Analysis, Feature, or Commentary:  “John McCain: A Life of Service,” Written by Gail Lee; CBS News Radio


  • On-Air Promotion (Radio or Television):  “Tribute to Star Trek for the 2018 Creative Arts Emmys,” Written by Sean Brogan; CBS


  • Videogame Writing:  God of War, Written by Matt Sophos, Richard Zangrande Gaubert, Cory Barlog; Story and Narrative Design Lead Matt Sophos; Story and Narrative Design Richard Zangrande Gaubert; Narrative Design Orion Walker, Adam Dolin; Sony Interactive Entertainment

Some of tonight’s honorees include:

  • WGAW’s Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television Writing Achievement:  Jenji Kohan (Orange is the New Black, Weeds)
  • WGAW’s Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement:  Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel (Parenthood, Splash)
  • WGAW’s Paul Selvin Award:  Adam McKay, Vice
  • WGAW’s Jean Renoir Award for International Screenwriting Achievement:  Agnès Varda
  • WGAW’s Morgan Cox Award for Guild service:  Joan Meyerson
  • WGAE’s Ian McLellan Hunter Award for Career Achievement:  Tom Fontana (Borgia, Oz, Homicide: Life on the Street, St. Elsewhere)
  • Evelyn F. Burkey Award:  Franklin Leonard (The Black List)
  • WGAE’s Richard B. Jablow Award for Devoted Service to the Guild:  Randall Jansta

The Writers Guild Awards honor outstanding writing in film, television, new media, videogames, news, radio, promotional, and graphic animation categories.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.