Arrival, Atlanta, Moonlight & More Win 2017 WGA Awards

Arrival Atlanta Moonlight

Writing is key to the success of any credible TV show or movie. Without good writing, shows and films can fall prey to convoluted plots, two-dimensional characters, and trope-heavy scripts. Therefore, acknowledging the writers behind excellent shows and films is key to fully honoring their originality and excellence.

With the Oscars just around the bend, it can be easy to forget about the other key award ceremonies that get less TV hype and fanfare. Still, these awards can be key, as they can point to which media will win big at ceremonies like the Academy Awards and the Emmys. The Writers Guild of America Awards, held last night, is one such ceremony which honors the year's best writing, across a number of platforms.

Both buzz-heavy works and dark horses took home top prizes at the WGA Awards, including Donald Glover's TV hit Atlanta and Academy Award for Best Picture nominees Arrival and MoonlightMoonlight notably won over top contender La La Land, an achievement the film will be unable to accomplish at the Oscars, as it was relegated to the Best Adapted Screenplay category on a technicality. Other winners included dramatic favorite This Is Us, Netflix animated series BoJack Horseman, and Tina Fey's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

While the past few years have seen some of the same TV contenders, like VeepMad Men, and Game of Thrones, win key prizes, this year's WGA Awards honored some newcomers in their TV categories. Atlanta beat out favorites like Transparent and Veep for the Comedy Series award, while This is Us won over Better Call SaulShameless, and Game of Thrones for Episodic Drama. Meanwhile, last year's Original Screenplay award went to Spotlight, which ended up taking home the Academy Award for Best Picture, so this could mean great things for MoonlightArrival beat out fan favorite Deadpool for Adapted Screenplay.

All in all, this year's WGA Awards singled out some extremely deserving nominees and winners. It's especially cool to see Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu studio productions take home awards, as those streaming sites continue to change the scope of what is possible on the big and little screen. It's a shame to see fan hit Stranger Things continue to lose well-deserved awards (they were up for WGA's Drama Series category), and Arrival won amidst a pool of strong contenders, but, in the end, these nominees definitely represent the industry's best.

The complete list of WGA Award winners is here, but you can check out the TV and film nominees and winners below.

Moonlight - Trevante Rhodes and Andre Holland


  • Moonlight, Screenplay by Barry Jenkins, Story by Tarell Alvin McCraney; A24
  • 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


  • 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


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


  • 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, Karl Gajdusek, Jessica Mecklenburg, Jessie Nickson-Lopez, Alison Tatlock; Netflix
  • Westworld, Written by Ed Brubaker, Bridget Carpenter; Dan Dietz, Karl Gajdusek, Halley Gross; Lisa Joy; Katherine Lingenfelter, Dominic Mitchell, Jonathan Nolan, Roberto Patino, Daniel T. Thomsen, Charles Yu; HBO


  • Atlanta, Written by Donald Glover, Stephen Glover, Jamal Olori, 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, Erik Kenward, Billy Kimball, Steve Koren, David Mandel, Jim Margolis, Lew Morton, Georgia Pritchett, Will Smith, Alexis Wilkinson; HBO


  • Atlanta, Written by Donald Glover, Stephen Glover, Jamal Olori, 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, Karl Gajdusek, 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, Karl Gajdusek, Halley Gross, Lisa Joy, Katherine Lingenfelter, Dominic Mitchell, Jonathan Nolan, Roberto Patino, Daniel T. Thomsen, Charles Yu; HBO


  • Confirmation, Written by Susannah Grant; HBO
  • American Crime, Written by Julie Hébert, Sonay Hoffman, Keith Huff, Stacy A. Littlejohn, Kirk A. Moore, Davy Perez, Diana Son; ABC
  • 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


  • The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, 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
  • 11.22.63, Written by Bridget Carpenter, Brigitte Hales, Joe Henderson, Brian Nelson, Quinton Peeples, Based on the novel by Stephen King; Hulu
  • 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


  • “Stop the Presses” (BoJack Horseman), Written by Joe Lawson; Netflix
  • “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


  • “The Trip” (This Is Us), Written by Vera Herbert; NBC
  • “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
  • “The Winds of Winter” (Game of Thrones), Written for Television by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss; HBO


  • “Kimmy Goes on a Playdate!” (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Written by Robert Carlock; Netflix
  • “Kimmy Finds Her Mom!” (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Written by Tina Fey & Sam Means; 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


  • 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
  • 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, Alex Marino, Dan McCoy, Lauren Sarver Means, Trevor Noah, Joe Opio, Zhubin Parang, Owen Parson, Daniel Radosh, Michelle Wolf, Delaney Yeager; Comedy Central
  • 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, Rob Dubbin, Ariel Dumas, Glenn Eichler, Gabe Gronli, Barry Julien, Jay Katsir, Daniel Kibblesmith, Matt Lappin, Opus Moreschi, Tom Purcell, Jen Spyra, Brian Stack; CBS


  • 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
  • Documentary Now!, Writers: Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, Erik Kenward, John Mulaney, Seth Meyers; IFC
  • Inside Amy Schumer, Writers: Kim Caramele, Kyle Dunnigan, Jessi Klein, Michael Lawrence, Kurt Metzger, Christine Nangle, Claudia O'Doherty, Dan Powell, Tami Sagher, Amy Schumer; Comedy Central
  • Maya & Marty, 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

Source: WGA

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