A Night Of Inspiration At The Writers Guild Awards 2014

Everyone in Hollywood has a dream, and the majority of them have to do with entertainment industry. Though much of the acclaim and recognition goes to the actors that we see on screen, there is at least one evening a year dedicated to honoring those who compose the stories and dialog for those thespians. The Writers Guild Awards is an annual celebration dedicated to the very best writers in entertainment industry. The nominees and attendees are the cream of the crop in the creative force behind Hollywood. 
I was thrilled to attend the Writers Guild Awards last Saturday (Feb. 1), held at the JW Marriott in downtown Los Angeles. I was greeted by a grand entrance onto the red carpet. 
Everyone was dressed to the nines, men in tuxes and ties (of course), and retro fashion for the women seemed de rigor. Perhaps it had something to do with the Mad Men being nominated, the Creators being in attendance. Everyone was in a festive mood, and a palpable feeling of excitement and anticipation hung in the air. 
A cocktail party followed the red carpet extravaganza, affording a welcome opportunity to meet and greet each other before the award show began. I was delighted to run into actress Jennifer Tilly, who I'd met several years ago. Always delightfully quirky and funny, and oh so beautiful. 
It was also amazing meeting Hollywood legend Garry Marshall, who was there to receive the 2014 Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television Writing Achievement, honoring lifetime achievement in outstanding television writing.

Marshall has been a pillar in the industry, and has more credits than I can speak of... but here are just a few notables:  The Lucy Show (Lucille Ball), Happy Days, Mork and Mindy, Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride, Beaches, and New Years Eve... and that's only scratching the surface!

One thing that I deeply admire about him is his contribution to uplift woman through his many television shows such as 'Laverne and Shirley'. This was the first of it’s kind portraying two woman who are strong and independent, living on their own. This was a cutting edge at the time. I know my grandma loved that show! He was awarded the Women in Film Lucy Award for his wonderful contribution to woman in media in the past, and has his own Star on the walk of fame. 
One of my favorite shows that my family grew up with was The Simpsons. Our whole family watched it together every week, and my dad was probably the biggest fan. So I was thrilled to meet writer and executive Producer Joel H. Cohen, who won for the Simpsons. 
One of the best and most powerfully dramatic films I've seen this year is Dallas Buyers Club. It was an honor to meet Craig Borten, writer of the film. I found that movie to be so deeply moving... it really touched my heart! Craig had such passion for his project, that he stuck with it for 20 years until it manifested. This was a film that people said would never be made, and though many of Hollywood’s heavyweights including: Brad Pitt, Woody Harrelson, and Ryan Gossling, had been attached to this project, nobody was willing to make it. Dallas Buyers Club is now up for 6 Oscars in 2014. Meeting Craig Borten reinvigorated my spirit for filmmaking, because he has the one ingredient necessary for great film writing: passion... and that sometimes means holding the space for your dream until it comes true!
I am grateful that the WGA takes time to honor so many talented writers. It was a total inspiration to attend it. 
(Photos by Nelson Shen)
Here is a complete list of 2014 Nominees and Winners:

2014 Nominees & Winners


American Hustle, Written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell; Columbia Pictures

Blue Jasmine, Written by Woody Allen; Sony Pictures Classics

Dallas Buyers Club, Written by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack; Focus Features

Her, Written by Spike Jonze; Warner Bros. - WINNER

Nebraska, Written by Bob Nelson; Paramount Pictures


August: Osage County, Screenplay by Tracy Letts; Based on his play; The Weinstein Company

Before Midnight, Written by Richard Linklater & Julie Delpy & Ethan Hawke; Based on characters created by Richard Linklater & Kim Krizan; Sony Pictures Classics

Captain Phillips, Screenplay by Billy Ray; Based on the book A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea by Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty; Columbia Pictures - WINNER

Lone Survivor, Written by Peter Berg; Based on the book by Marcus Luttrell with Patrick Robinson; Universal Pictures

The Wolf of Wall Street, Screenplay by Terence Winter; Based on the book by Jordan Belfort; Paramount Pictures


Dirty Wars, Written by Jeremy Scahill & David Riker; Sundance Selects

Herblock – The Black & The White, Written by Sara Lukinson & Michael Stevens; The Stevens Company

No Place on Earth, Written by Janet Tobias & Paul Laikin; Magnolia Pictures

Stories We Tell, Written by Sarah Polley; Roadside Attractions - WINNER

We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks; Written by Alex Gibney; Focus Features



Breaking Bad, Written by Sam Catlin, Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, Gennifer Hutchison, George Mastras, Thomas Schnauz, Moira Walley-Beckett; AMC - WINNER

The Good Wife, Written by Meredith Averill, Leonard Dick, Keith Eisner, Jacqueline Hoyt, Ted Humphrey, Michelle King, Robert King, Erica Shelton Kodish, Matthew Montoya, J.C. Nolan, Luke Schelhaas, Nichelle Tramble Spellman, Craig Turk, Julia Wolfe; CBS

Homeland, Written by Henry Bromell, William E. Bromell, Alexander Cary, Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, Barbara Hall, Patrick Harbinson, Chip Johannessen, Meredith Stiehm, Charlotte Stoudt, James Yoshimura; Showtime

House of Cards, Written by Kate Barnow, Rick Cleveland, Sam Forman, Gina Gionfriddo, Keith Huff, Sarah Treem, Beau Willimon; Netflix

Mad Men, Written by Lisa Albert, Semi Chellas, Jason Grote, Jonathan Igla, Andre Jacquemetton, Maria Jacquemetton, Janet Leahy, Erin Levy, Michael Saltzman, Tom Smuts, Matthew Weiner, Carly Wray; AMC


30 Rock, Written by Jack Burditt, Robert Carlock, Tom Ceraulo, Luke Del Tredici, Tina Fey, Lang Fisher, Matt Hubbard, Colleen McGuinness, Sam Means, Dylan Morgan, Nina Pedrad, Josh Siegal, Tracey Wigfield; NBC

Modern Family, Written by Paul Corrigan, Bianca Douglas, Megan Ganz, Abraham Higginbotham, Ben Karlin, Elaine Ko, Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd, Becky Mann, Dan O’Shannon, Jeffrey Richman, Audra Sielaff, Emily Spivey, Brad Walsh, Bill Wrubel, Danny Zuker; ABC

Orange Is the New Black, Written by Liz Friedman, Sian Heder, Tara Herrmann, Sara Hess, Nick Jones, Jenji Kohan, Gary Lennon, Lauren Morelli, Marco Ramirez; Netflix

Parks and Recreation, Written by Megan Amram, Donick Cary, Greg Daniels, Nate DiMeo, Emma Fletcher, Rachna Fruchbom, Daniel J. Goor, Norm Hiscock, Matt Hubbard, Dave King, Greg Levine, Joe Mande, Sam Means, Aisha Muharrar, Matt Murray, Amy Poehler, Alexandra Rushfield, Michael Schur, Jen Statsky, Harris Wittels, Alan Yang; NBC

Veep, Written by Simon Blackwell, Roger Drew, Sean Gray, Armando Iannucci, Ian Martin, Georgia Pritchett, David Quantick, Tony Roche, Will Smith; HBO - WINNER


The Americans, Written by Michael Batistick, Joshua Brand, Joel Fields, Melissa James Gibson, Sneha Koorse, Joe Weisberg, Bradford Winters; FX

House of Cards, Written by Kate Barnow, Rick Cleveland, Sam Forman, Gina Gionfriddo, Keith Huff, Sarah Treem, Beau Willimon; Netflix - WINNER

Masters of Sex, Written by Michelle Ashford, Tyler Bensinger, Michael Cunningham, Lyn Greene, Richard Levine, Amy Lippman, Sam Shaw, Noelle Valdivia; Showtime

Orange Is the New Black, Written by Liz Friedman, Sian Heder, Tara Herrmann, Sara Hess, Nick Jones, Jenji Kohan, Gary Lennon, Lauren Morelli, Marco Ramirez; Netflix

Ray Donovan, Written by Ann Biderman, Sean Conway, David Hollander, Brett Johnson, Ron Nyswaner; Showtime


“Buried” (Breaking Bad), Written by Thomas Schnauz; AMC

“Confessions” (Breaking Bad), Written by Gennifer Hutchison; AMC - WINNER

“Episode 101” (House of Cards), Teleplay by Beau Willimon; Netflix

“Granite State” (Breaking Bad), Written by Peter Gould; AMC

“Hitting the Fan” (The Good Wife), Written by Robert King & Michelle King; CBS

“Pilot” (Masters of Sex), Written by Michelle Ashford; Showtime


“Career Day” (Modern Family), Written by Paul Corrigan & Brad Walsh; ABC

“Farm Strong” (Modern Family), Written by Elaine Ko; ABC

“Hogcock!” (30 Rock), Written by Jack Burditt & Robert Carlock; NBC - WINNER

“Lesbian Request Denied” (Orange Is the New Black), Written by Sian Heder; Netflix

“Leslie and Ben” (Parks and Recreation), Written by Michael Schur & Alan Yang; NBC

“Pilot” (Orange Is the New Black), Teleplay by Liz Friedman and Jenji Kohan; Netflix


Killing Kennedy, Written by Kelly Masterson, Based on the book by Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard; National Geographic

Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight, Written by Shawn Slovo, Based on the book by Howard Bingham and Max Wallace; HBO -WINNER


“Episode 4: The Collected Sylvia” (Sylvia Plath: Girl Detective), Written by Mike Simses; sylviaplathgirldetective.com - WINNER

“Episode 8” (Lauren, Season 2), Written by Jay Rodan; youtube.com/wigs

“I Do Over Part 1” (Husbands), Written by Bradley C. Bell & Jane Espenson; cwseed.com

“I Do Over Part 2” (Husbands), Written by Bradley C. Bell & Jane Espenson; cwseed.com


“A Test Before Trying” (The Simpsons), Written by Joel H. Cohen; Fox - WINNER

“Game of Tones” (Futurama), Written by Michael Rowe; Comedy Central

“Hardly Kirk-ing” (The Simpsons), Written by Tom Gammill & Max Pross; Fox

“Murder on the Planet Express” (Futurama), Written by Lew Morton; Comedy Central

“Saturday Morning Fun Pit” (Futurama), Written by Patric M. Verrone; Comedy Central

“Yolo” (The Simpsons), Written by Michael Nobori; Fox


The Colbert Report, Writers: Stephen Colbert, Tom Purcell, Michael Brumm, Nate Charny, Rich Dahm, Paul Dinello, Eric Drysdale, Rob Dubbin, Glenn Eichler, Gabe Gronli, Dan Guterman, Barry Julien, Jay Katsir, Frank Lesser, Opus Moreschi, Bobby Mort, Meredith Scardino, Max Werner; Comedy Central - WINNER

Conan, Writers: Jose Arroyo, Andres du Bouchet, Scott Chernoff, Deon Cole, Josh Comers, Dan Cronin, Scott Gairdner, Michael Gordon, Brian Kiley, Laurie Kilmartin, Rob Kutner, Todd Levin, Conan O'Brien, Matt O'Brien, Jesse Popp, Andy Richter, Brian Stack, Mike Sweeney; TBS

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Head Writer: Tim Carvell; Writers: Rory Albanese, Steve Bodow, Travon Free, Hallie Haglund, J.R. Havlan, Elliott Kalan, Matt Koff, Dan McCoy, Jo Miller, John Oliver, Zhubin Parang, Daniel Radosh, Jason Ross, Lauren Sarver, Jon Stewart; Comedy Central

Jimmy Kimmel Live, Writers: Tony Barbieri, Jonathan Bines, Joelle Boucai, Gary Greenberg, Josh Halloway, Sal Iacono, Eric Immerman, Bess Kalb, Jimmy Kimmel, Jeff Loveness, Molly McNearney, Bryan Paulk, Danny Ricker, Rick Rosner; ABC

Portlandia, Writers: Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, Jonathan Krisel, Bill Oakley; IFC

Saturday Night Live, Head Writers: Seth Meyers, Colin Jost; Writers: James Anderson, Alex Baze, Neil Casey, James Downey, Steve Higgins, Zach Kanin, Chris Kelly, Joe Kelly, Erik Kenward, Rob Klein, Lorne Michaels, John Mulaney, Mike O’Brien, Josh Patten, Paula Pell, Marika Sawyer, Sarah Schneider, Pete Schultz, John Solomon, Kent Sublette, Bryan Tucker; NBC Universal


Blake Shelton’s Not So Family Christmas, Head Writers: Jay Martel, Ian Roberts; Writers: Alex Rubens, Charlie Sanders; NBC - WINNER


Jeopardy!, Written by John Duarte, Harry Friedman, Mark Gaberman, Debbie Griffin, Michele Loud, Robert McClenaghan, Jim Rhine, Steve D. Tamerius, Billy Wisse; ABC - WINNER


Days of Our Lives, Written by Lorraine Broderick, David Cherrill, Carolyn Culliton, Richard Culliton, Rick Draughon, Christopher Dunn, Janet Iacobuzio, David A. Levinson, Ryan Quan, Dave Ryan, Melissa Salmons, Christopher J. Whitesell; NBC - WINNER

General Hospital, Written by Shelly Altman, Ron Carlivati, Anna Theresa Cascio, Suzanne Flynn, Kate Hall, Elizabeth Korte, Daniel James O’Connor, Jean Passanante, Elizabeth Page, Katherine Schock, Scott Sickles, Chris Van Etten; ABC

The Young and the Restless, Associate Head Writers: Shelly Altman, Tracey Thomson; Written by Amanda Beall, Jeff Beldner, Brent Boyd, Susan Dansby, Janice Ferri Esser, Jay Gibson, Beth Milstein, Lisa Seidman, Natalie Minardi Slater, Anne Schoettle, Linda Schreiber, Teresa Zimmerman; CBS


“influANTces” (A.N.T. Farm), Written by Vincent Brown; Disney Channel - WINNER

"The Haunted Cave" (Spooksville), Written by Jim Krieg; Hub Network

“Simon Says” (Sesame Street), Written by Christine Ferraro; PBS


“Cliffhanger” (Frontline), Written by Michael Kirk & Mike Wiser; PBS

“Egypt in Crisis” (Frontline), Written by Marcela Gaviria & Martin Smith; PBS - WINNER


“The Abolitionists” (American Experience), Written by Rob Rapley; PBS

“The Choice 2012” (Frontline), Written by Michael Kirk; PBS - WINNER - TIE

“Episode 1” (The Dust Bowl), Written by Dayton Duncan; PBS

“Silicon Valley” (American Experience), Telescript by Randall MacLowry and Michelle Ferrari; Story by Randall MacLowry; PBS - WINNER - TIE


“The Election of Pope Francis” (CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley), Written by Jerry Cipriano, Joe Clines and Scott Pelley; CBS

“The Fall of Lance Armstrong” (60 Minutes), Written by Michael Radutzky, Michael Rey, Oriana Zill de Granados; CBS

“The Inauguration of the President” (CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley), Written by Jerry Cipriano and Joe Clines; CBS

“Tragedy at Newtown” Special Edition (ABC World News with Diane Sawyer), Written by Lisa Ferri and Matt Negrin; ABC -WINNER


“Lethal Medicine” (60 Minutes), Written by Michael Rey, Oriana Zill de Granados, Michael Radutzky; CBS - WINNER

"Throwback Thursday – Happy Birthday, Michael Jackson” (ABC World News Now), Written by Matt Nelko; ABC

“Vinyl Revival’ (CBS News), Written by Polly Leider; CBS



“2012 Year in Review,” Written by Gail Lee; CBS Radio News - WINNER


“Afternoon Drive,” Written by Bill Spadaro; CBS Radio/1010 WINS - WINNER

“George McGovern: A Look Back,” Written by Gail Lee; CBS Radio News


“Remembering C. Everett Koop,” Written by Scott Saloway; CBS Radio News - WINNER

“Remembrances,” Written by Gail Lee; CBS Radio News

“Tributes,” Written by Thomas A. Sabella; CBS Radio News



“48 Hours: 2013 Fall Preview,” Written by Jay Pedinoff; CBS News Marketing

“The Crazy Ones – Building a Better Comedy,” Written by Erial Tompkins; CBS - WINNER


CBS News Animations: “Brain Injury,” “Pills,” “Bionic Leg,” “Midland Parade,” “Concordia Salvage;” Animation by David Rosen; CBS News - WINNER

(*Editor Note: There were no nominees in Long Form – Original, Short Form New Media – Adapted, or Children’s – Long Form or Special awards categories this year.) ;

Video Game Nominees

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Story by Darby McDevitt, Mustapha Mahrach, Jean Guesdon; Lead Scriptwriter Darby McDevitt; Scriptwriter Jill Murray; AI Scriptwriter Nicholas Grimwood; Scriptwriter Singapore Mark Llabres Hill; Ubisoft

Batman: Arkham Origins, Narrative Director Dooma Wendschuh; Writer & Senior Narrative Designer Ryan Galletta; Writer Corey May; Warner Bros. Interactive

God of War: Ascension, Written by Marianne Krawczyk; Additional Writing Ariel Lawrence; Sony Computer Entertainment

The Last of Us, Written by Neil Druckmann; Sony Computer Entertainment - WINNER

Lost Planet 3, Head Writer Richard Gaubert; Writers Orion Walker, Matt Sophos; Capcom

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