USC Libraries Name Finalists for 28th-Annual Scripter Award, Include Television Writing for the First Time


The USC Libraries have named the finalists for the 28th-annual USC Libraries Scripter Award. Since 1988, Scripter 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 feature film. The television and film finalists compete in separate categories for their own Scripter award.

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’s 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 memoirAlthough 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 USC professor and president of the Writers Guild of America, West, Howard Rodman, 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 School of Cinematic Arts and Catherine Quinlan of the USC Libraries.

The studios distributing the finalist films and the publishers of the original printed works are:

  • “The Big Short”—Paramount Pictures and W.W. Norton
  • “Brooklyn”— Fox Searchlight and Viking
  • “The End of the Tour”—A24 and Broadway Books
  • “The Martian”—Twentieth Century Fox and Crown Publishing Group
  • “Room”—A24 and Little, Brown and Company

The networks airing the finalist television series and the publishers of the original printed works are:

  • “Game of Thrones”—HBO and Bantam
  • “The Leftovers”— HBO and St. Martin’s Press
  • “The Man in the High Castle”—Amazon and Putnam
  • “Masters of Sex”—Showtime and Basic Books
  • “Show Me a Hero”—HBO and Little, Brown and Company

The USC Libraries will announce the winning authors and screenwriters at a black-tie ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016 in the historic Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library on the University Park campus of the University of Southern California. Academy Award winners Helen Mirren and Taylor Hackford will serve as honorary dinner chairs.

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