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The 2017 Writers Guild Awards Give Well-Deserved Honors to Arrival, Moonlight, and Atlanta


Arrival was one of my personal favorite movies of the year, so it’s been great to see the movie clean up in awards nominations. However, Arrival didn’t win anything at the Golden Globes this year, which made me feel a little more worried about their Academy Award chances. Luckily, the movie did finally win a well-deserved accolade: Best Adapted Screenplay from the Writers Guild of America!

Sadly, Deadpool didn’t win anything at the WGAs in 2017, and interestingly, neither did Westworld or La La Land (the latter of which has cleaned up tons of other award ceremonies). Instead, Moonlight won Best Original Screenplay, which was a pleasant surprise.

In the TV categories, Atlanta ended up beating out Westworld (among others) for New Series, and The Americans beat Westworld, Stranger Things, GoT, and Better Call Saul for Best Drama. Atlanta also won Best Comedy Series.

Here’s something else cool: American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson won Best Longform Adapted Series. I just watched all of that recently; I highly recommended it.

Anyway, here’s an abridged version of all the winners for the WGAs. I agree with pretty much all of these picks, so it’s a satisfying list to read through!


“Hell or High Water,” Written by Taylor Sheridan; CBS Films
“La La Land,” Written by Damien Chazelle; Lionsgate
“Loving,” Written by Jeff Nichols; Focus Features
“Manchester by the Sea,” Written by Kenneth Lonergan; Amazon Studios/Roadside Attractions
WINNER-“Moonlight,” Written by Barry Jenkins, Story by Tarell McCraney; A24

WINNER-“Arrival,” Screenplay by Eric Heisserer; Based on the Story “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang; Paramount Pictures
“Deadpool,” Written by Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick; Based on the X-Men Comic Books; Twentieth Century Fox Film
“Fences,” Screenplay by August Wilson; Based on his Play; Paramount Pictures
“Hidden Figures,” Screenplay by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi; Based on the Book by Margot Lee Shetterly; Twentieth Century Fox Film
“Nocturnal Animals,” Screenplay by Tom Ford; Based on the Novel Tony and Susan by Austin Wright; Focus Features

“Author: The JT LeRoy Story,” Written by Jeff Feuerzeig; Amazon Studios
WINNER-“Command and Control,” Telescript by Robert Kenner and Eric Schlosser, Story by Brian Pearle and Kim Roberts; Based on the book Command and Control by Eric Schlosser; American Experience Films
“Zero Days,” Written by Alex Gibney; Magnolia Pictures


WINNER-“The Americans,” written by Peter Ackerman, Tanya Barfield, Joshua Brand, Joel Fields, Stephen Schiff, Joe Weisberg, Tracey Scott Wilson; FX
“Better Call Saul,” written by Ann Cherkis, Vince Gilligan, Jonathan Glatzer, Peter Gould, Gennifer Hutchison, Heather Marion, Thomas Schnauz, Gordon Smith; AMC
“Game of Thrones,” written by David Benioff, Bryan Cogman, Dave Hill, D.B. Weiss; HBO
“Stranger Things,” written by Paul Dichter, Justin Doble, The Duffer Brothers, Jessica Mecklenburg, Jessie Nickson-Lopez, Alison Tatlock; Netflix
“Westworld,” written by Ed Brubaker, Bridget Carpenter; Dan Dietz, Halley Gross; Lisa Joy; Katherine Lingenfelter, Dominic Mitchell, Jonathan Nolan, Roberto Patino, Daniel T. Thomsen, Charles Yu; HBO

WINNER-“Atlanta,” written by Donald Glover, Stephen Glover, Stefani Robinson, Paul Simms; FX
“Silicon Valley,” written by Megan Amram, Alec Berg, Donick Cary, Adam Countee, Jonathan Dotan, Mike Judge, Carrie Kemper, John Levenstein, Dan Lyons, Carson Mell, Dan O’Keefe, Clay Tarver, Ron Weiner; HBO
“Transparent,” written by Arabella Anderson, Bridget Bedard, Micah Fitzerman-Blue, Noah Harpster, Jessi Klein, Stephanie Kornick, Ethan Kuperberg, Ali Liebegott, Our Lady J, Faith Soloway, Jill Soloway; Amazon Studios
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” written by Emily Altman, Robert Carlock, Azie Mira Dungey, Tina Fey, Lauren Gurganous, Sam Means, Dylan Morgan, Marlena Rodriguez, Dan Rubin, Meredith Scardino, Josh Siegal, Allison Silverman, Leila Strachan; Netflix
“Veep,” written by Rachel Axler, Sean Gray, Alex Gregory, Peter Huyck, Eric Kenward, Billy Kimball, Steve Koren, David Mandel, Jim Margolis, Lew Morton, Georgia Pritchett, Will Smith, Alexis Wilkinson; HBO

WINNER-“Atlanta,” written by Donald Glover, Stephen Glover, Stefani Robinson, Paul Simms; FX
“Better Things,” written by Pamela Adlon, Louis C.K., Cindy Chupack, Gina Fattore; FX
“Stranger Things,” written by Paul Dichter, Justin Doble, The Duffer Brothers, Jessica Mecklenburg, Jessie Nickson-Lopez, Alison Tatlock; Netflix
“This Is Us,” written by Isaac Aptaker, Elizabeth Berger, Bekah Brunstetter, Dan Fogelman, Vera Herbert, Joe Lawson, Kay Oyegun, Aurin Squire, K.J. Steinberg, Donald Todd; NBC
“Westworld,” written by Ed Brubaker, Bridget Carpenter, Dan Dietz, Halley Gross, Lisa Joy, Katherine Lingenfelter, Dominic Mitchell, Jonathan Nolan, Roberto Patino, Daniel T. Thomsen, Charles Yu; HBO

“American Crime,” written by Julie Hébert, Sonay Hoffman, Keith Huff, Stacy A. Littlejohn, Kirk A. Moore, Davy Perez, Diana Son; ABC
WINNER-“Confirmation,” written by Susannah Grant; HBO
“Harley and the Davidsons,” written by Seth Fisher, Nick Schenk, Evan Wright; Discovery Channel
“Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge & Michel’le,” written by Dianne Houston; Lifetime

“11.22.63,” written by Bridget Carpenter, Brigitte Hales, Joe Henderson, Brian Nelson, Quinton Peeples, Based on the novel by Stephen King; Hulu
WINNER-“American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson,” written by Scott Alexander, Joe Robert Cole, D.V. DeVincentis, Maya Forbes, Larry Karaszewski, Wally Wolodarsky, Based on the book The Run of His Life by Jeffrey Toobin; FX
“Madoff,” written by Ben Robbins, Inspired by the Book The Madoff Chronicles: Inside the Secret World of Bernie and Ruth by Brian Ross; ABC
“The Night Of,” written by Richard Price, Steve Zaillian, Based on the BBC Series Criminal Justice Created by Peter Moffat; HBO
“Roots,” written by Lawrence Konner, Alison McDonald, Charles Murray, Mark Rosenthal, Based upon the Book by Alex Haley; History Channel

“Barthood” (“The Simpsons”), Written by Dan Greaney; Fox
“First Day of Rule” (“Elena of Avalor”), Written by Craig Gerber; Disney Channel
“Fish Out of Water” (“BoJack Horseman”), Written by Elijah Aron & Jordan Young; Netflix
“A Princess on Lothal” (“Star Wars Rebels”), Written by Steven Melching; Disney XD
WINNER-“Stop the Presses” (“BoJack Horseman”), Written by Joe Lawson; Netflix

“Gloves Off” (“Better Call Saul”), Written by Gordon Smith; AMC
“I Am a Storm” (“Shameless”), Written by Sheila Callaghan; Showtime
“Klick” (“Better Call Saul”), Written by Heather Marion & Vince Gilligan; AMC
“Switch” (“Better Call Saul”), Written by Thomas Schnauz; AMC
WINNER-“The Trip” (“This Is Us”), Written by Vera Herbert; NBC
“The Winds of Winter” (“Game of Thrones”), Written for Television by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss; HBO

“Kimmy Finds Her Mom!” (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), written by Tina Fey & Sam Means; Netflix
WINNER-“Kimmy Goes on a Playdate!” (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), written by Robert Carlock; Netflix
“Pilot” (“One Mississippi”), written by Diablo Cody & Tig Notaro; Amazon Studios
“R-A-Y-C-Ray-Cation” (“Speechless)”, written by Carrie Rosen & Seth Kurland; ABC
“Streets on Lock” (“Atlanta”), written by Stephen Glover; FX
“A Taste of Zephyria” (“Son of Zorn”), written by Dan Mintz; Fox

“Episode 101” (“Now We’re Talking”), written by Tug Coker, Tommy Dewey;
“Escape the Room” (“Life Ends at 30”), written by Michael Field;
“Itsy Bitsy Spider” Episode 1 (“Thug Passion”), written by Motrya Tomycz;
WINNER-“The Party” (“The Commute”), written by Linsey Stewart & Dane Clark;

WINNER-“Passage” Part 4 (“Fear the Walking Dead”), written by Lauren Signorino & Mike Zunic;
“Under Siege” (“The Strain”), written by Bradley Thompson & David Weddle, Based on the novels by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan;

“The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” writers: Dan Amira, David Angelo, Steve Bodow, Devin Delliquanti, Zach DiLanzo, Travon Free, Hallie Haglund, David Kibuuka, Matt Koff, Adam Lowitt, Dan McCoy, Lauren Sarver Means, Trevor Noah, Joe Opio, Zhubin Parang, Owen Parson, Daniel Radosh, Michelle Wolf; Comedy Central
WINNER-“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” writers: Kevin Avery, Tim Carvell, Josh Gondelman, Dan Gurewitch, Geoff Haggerty, Jeff Maurer, John Oliver, Scott Sherman, Will Tracy, Jill Twiss, Juli Weiner; HBO
“Late Night with Seth Meyers,” writers: Jermaine Affonso, Alex Baze, Bryan Donaldson, Sal Gentile, Matt Goldich, Jenny Hagel, Allison Hord, Mike Karnell, Andrew Law, John Lutz, Aparna Nancherla, Chioke Nassor, Seth Meyers, Ian Morgan, Conner O’Malley, Seth Reiss, Amber Ruffin, Mike Scollins, Mike Shoemaker, Ben Warheit, Michelle Wolf; NBC
“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” writers: Mike Brumm, Nate Charny, Aaron Cohen, Stephen Colbert, Cullen Crawford, Paul Dinello, Eric Drysdale, Ariel Dumas, Glenn Eichler, Gabe Gronli, Barry Julien, Jay Katsir, Daniel Kibblesmith, Matt Lappin, Opus Moreschi, Tom Purcell, Jen Spyra, Brian Stack; CBS

“Documentary Now!,” Writers: Bill Hader, John Mulaney, Seth Meyers; IFC
“Inside Amy Schumer,” Writers: Kim Carmele, Kyle Dunnigan, Jessi Klein, Michael Lawrence, Kurt Metzger, Christine Nangle, Claudia O’Doherty, Dan Powell, Tami Sagher, Amy Schumer; Comedy Central
“Maya and Marty in Manhattan,” Head Writers: Mikey Day, Matt Roberts, Bryan Tucker. Writers: Eli Bauman, Jeremy Beiler, Chris Belair, Hallie Cantor, David Feldman, R J Fried, Melissa Hunter, Paul Masella, Tim McAuliffe, John Mulaney, Diallo Riddle, Maya Rudolph, Bashir Salahuddin, Marika Sawyer, Streeter Seidell, Martin Short; Emily Spivey, Steve Young; NBC
“Nathan For You,” Written by Leo Allen, Nathan Fielder, Adam Locke-Norton, Eric Notarnicola; Comedy Central
WINNER-“Saturday Night Live,” Head Writers: Rob Klein, Bryan Tucker. Writers: James Anderson, Fred Armisen, Jeremy Beiler, Chris Belair, Megan Callahan, Michael Che, Mikey Day, Jim Downey, Tina Fey, Fran Gillespie, Sudi Green, Tim Herlihy, Steve Higgins, Colin Jost, Zach Kanin, Chris Kelly, Erik Kenward, Paul Masella, Dave McCary, Dennis McNicholas, Seth Meyers, Lorne Michaels, Josh Patten, Paula Pell, Katie Rich, Tim Robinson, Sarah Schneider, Pete Schultz, Streeter Seidell, Dave Sirus, Emily Spivey, Andrew Steele, Will Stephen, Kent Sublette; NBC

68th Primetime Emmy Awards, Written by Jack Allison, Tony Barbieri, Jonathan Bines, Joelle Boucai, Robert Cohen, Gary Greenberg, Josh Halloway, Sal Iacono, Eric Immerman, Jimmy Kimmel, Bess Kalb, Jeff Loveness, Jon Macks, Molly McNearney, Danny Ricker, Jeff Stilson, Joe Strazzullo, Alexis Wilkinson; ABC
73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards, Written by Barry Adelman; Special Material Written by Dave Boone, Ricky Gervais, Jon Macks, Matthew Robinson; NBC
88th Annual Academy Awards, Written by Dave Boone, Billy Kimball; Special Material Written by Scott Aukerman, Rodney Barnes, Neil Campbell, Matthew Claybrooks, Lance Crouther, Mike Ferrucci, Langston Kerman, Jon Macks, Steve O’Donnell, Nimesh Patel, Vanessa Ramos, Chris Rock, Frank Sebastiano, Chuck Sklar, Jeff Stilson, Michelle Wolf; CBS
“Triumph’s Election Special,” Written by Andy Breckman, Josh Comers, David Feldman, R J Fried, Jarrett Grode, Ben Joseph, Matthew Kirsch, Michael Koman, Mike Lawrence, Brian Reich, Craig Rowin, Robert Smigel, Zach Smilovitz, Andrew Weinberg; Hulu

(via Variety, image via Paramount Pictures)

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Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (, and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (