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28th annual Scripter Award ceremony has a TV twist

For the first time, this year’s event honoring adaptations of the written word includes episodic television writing

Scripter movie and TV actors
Saoirse Ronan, Kit Harington, Steve Carell, Alexa Davalos and Matt Damon, from left (Collage/Courtesy of USC Libraries)

The USC Libraries have named the finalists for the 28th annual USC Libraries Scripter Award. Since 1988, the annual ceremony has honored the authors of printed works alongside the screenwriters who adapt their stories. This year, for the first time, Scripter will honor excellence in adaptation of the printed word into a television episode in addition to a feature film. The television and film finalists compete in separate categories for their own Scripter.

The finalist writers for film are in alphabetical order by film title:

  • Screenwriters Adam McKay and Charles Randolph for The Big Short, adapted from Michael Lewis’ nonfiction work The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine
  • Novelist Colm Tóibín and screenwriter Nick Hornby for Brooklyn
  • Screenwriter Donald Margulies for The End of the Tour, adapted from David Lipsky’s memoir “Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip With David Foster Wallace”
  • Novelist Andy Weir and screenwriter Drew Goddard for The Martian
  • Emma Donoghue for the novel and screenplay of Room

The finalist writers for television episodes are in alphabetical order by series title:

  • Screenwriters David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for the episode “Hardhome” from Game of Thrones, adapted from the fantasy series “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George R. R. Martin
  • Damon Lindelof and Jacqueline Hoyt for the episode “Axis Mundi” from The Leftovers, based on the novel by Tom Perrotta
  • Frank Spotnitz for the episode “The New World” from The Man in the High Castle, based on the novel by Philip K. Dick
  • Michelle Ashford for the episode “Full Ten Count” from Masters of Sex, based on the biography by Thomas Maier, Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love
  • Screenwriters William F. Zorzi and David Simon for the miniseries Show Me a Hero, based on the nonfiction book by Lisa Belkin

Chaired by Howard Rodman, USC professor and president of the Writers Guild of America, West, the 2016 Scripter selection committee selected the finalists from a field of 73 film and 18 television adaptations.

Serving on the selection committee, among many others, are film critics Leonard Maltin, Anne Thompson and Kenneth Turan; authors Michael Chabon, Michael Ondaatje and Mona Simpson; screenwriters Graham Moore, John Ridley and Erin Cressida Wilson; producers Gale Anne Hurd and Suzanne Todd; and USC deans Elizabeth Daley of the USC School of Cinematic Arts and Catherine Quinlan of the USC Libraries.

The USC Libraries will announce the winning authors and screenwriters at a black-tie ceremony on Feb. 20 in the Doheny Memorial Library. Academy Award winners Helen Mirren and Taylor Hackford will serve as honorary dinner chairs.

For more information about the Scripter — including ticket availability, additional sponsorship opportunities and a list of sponsors — email or visit

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28th annual Scripter Award ceremony has a TV twist

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