Writers Guild of America Eligibility Criteria for Feature-Length Theatrical Documentary Screenplay Award

Download submission forms:

2010 WGA Annual Award for Documentary Screenplay Award Entry Form (.pdf)


To be eligible for entry, films must have been exhibited theatrically in Los Angeles or New York for at least one week during 2009.  Scripts need not be written under WGA jurisdiction.

The deadline for submission is 5:00 p.m. on December 3, 2009.  

A writer who wrote the script and received credit on the film may submit a script for consideration.  At the time the script is submitted, all credited writers on the film must be or must apply to become members of the WGAW Nonfiction Writers Caucus or the WGAE Nonfiction Writers Caucus. (To join the WGA East Nonfiction Writers Caucus please contact Justin Molito at 212-767-7808 or by email at jmolito@wgaeast.org)

The submitted script must be in writing, must be the final script and must be accompanied by five (5) viewing copies of the film.  The viewing copies must be in DVD format.  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 script 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.  Note: 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. 

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, 5 DVD screeners and the writer’s written permission for the entry. 

The Judging Procedure 

The preliminary judging will be done by panels of volunteer Nonfiction Writers Caucus members and/or Guild members with established nonfiction writing credits and will result in nominations of up to five (5) films.  Each script will be read by a minimum of three judges during the preliminary judging.  The final judging will be done by a special panel of Guild or Nonfiction Writers Caucus members selected for their prominence in the nonfiction field.  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 nomination or award will be made.  If a script is chosen to receive the award, all credited writers on the film will receive the award.