April 14, 2024

Rules for Documentary Screenplay Awards Submissions

To be eligible for entry, films must have been exhibited theatrically in Los Angeles or New York for at least one week during the eligibility period of January 1, 2023 – December 31, 2023. Films with simultaneous theatrical and new media exhibitions shall be eligible for screenplay consideration.

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, Writers Guild of Ireland, Writers’ Guild of South Africa, New Zealand Writers Guild, ALMA Sindicato des Guionistas (Spain), Screenwriters Association (India), Screenwriters Guild of Korea (SGK), La Guilde Francaise des Scénaristes (France), Scriptwriters Guild of Israel, the Société des Auteurs de Radio, Télévision et Cinéma (Québec) or Verband Deutscher Drehbuchautoren (VDD/Germany) (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 covered by its collective bargaining agreement.

The deadline for submission is 5:00 p.m. PST on Friday, December 22, 2023.

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 and must be the final script. The entry form must include a Media Platform URL hosting a digital screener of the documentary for the judging period of 12/22/23 – 3/8/24. 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. Financial core and fee payer non-members are not eligible to be nominated for or receive WGA Awards.

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 a Media Platform URL hosting a digital screener.


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.