Writers Guild Makes Changes To Awards Eligibility & Submission Guidelines; New Media Series Like 'House Of Cards' OK; 'Quiz & Audience Participation Category Added

The big news is that the Writers Guild awards to be held February 1, 2014, have revised their guidelines to allow eligibility for Netflix series like House Of Cards that have been produced for initial exhibition in New Media. Show received 9 Emmy nominations last week and was not specifically named in today’s WGA announcement:

Los Angeles and New York – For the upcoming awards season, Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) have changed awards eligibility and submission guidelines for the television and new media categories, and have added a new Quiz & Audience Participation writing award.

“Whether you’re watching content on a TV screen, online on a laptop, or with a hand-held device, outstanding writing and great storytelling deserve the same recognition,” said WGAW President Christopher Keyser and WGAE President Michael Winship. “These changes in eligibility and submission guidelines reflect the evolution of distribution models in the entertainment industry. We are also looking forward to giving out the new Quiz & Audience Participation Award in 2014.”

TELEVISION AND NEW MEDIA

In the past year, several high profile series have been produced for initial exhibition in new media. Under the existing Writers Guild Awards rules, these shows would not have been eligible to compete against similar programs produced for TV. The new guidelines will permit online series to compete with TV series in the script and series categories.

Also in the last year, several daytime serials, which had been broadcast on network television for decades, moved to new media platforms. Although they are continuations of programs previously produced for television, the old rules would have placed them in the separate Derivative New Media award category. The new awards guidelines will allow online daytime serials to compete in the Daytime Drama category along with serials that continue to be produced for television.

Specific changes to Writers Guild Awards rules are as follows:

· Both the Original and Adapted New Media categories remain intact but will be limited to programs 15 minutes or less in length and will now be referred to as Short Form New Media – Original and Short Form New Media – Adapted. The “adapted” category is open to new media programs based on any source material, whether a TV series, motion picture or written work.

· All programs over 15 minutes in length will compete in existing TV categories (i.e., overall series, episodic drama, episodic comedy, etc.), which have been expanded to encompass made-for new media programming.

· All daytime serials will compete in the Daytime Drama category, which has also been broadened to include made-for new media programming.

· The WGA’s three series awards categories – Drama, Comedy, and New Series – will be open to all programs over 15 minutes and under one hour in duration, regardless of the platform for which they were created.

NEW “QUIZ & AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION” AWARD CATEGORY CREATED

This type of programming customarily involves the writing of questions and answers, as well as other material (i.e., quizzes, stunts, host copy, et al.). Scripts submitted for awards consideration must be written under a WGA collective bargaining agreement.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

Submissions are now open for 2014 Writers Guild Awards in the following script and series categories:

FILM

Theatrical Screenplays (Original and Adapted)

Submission deadline for theatrical screenplay categories is: November 15, 2013

TELEVISION / RADIO / NEW MEDIA

Series Categories: Comedy, Drama, and New Series

Script Categories: Animation, Children’s Episodic, Comedy/Variety, Daytime, Documentary, Episodic Comedy, Episodic Drama, Long Form, On-Air Promotion, News, Quiz & Audience Participation, Radio, and Short Form New Media

Submission deadline for TV/radio/new media categories is: October 11, 2013

For more information about the 2014 Writers Guild Awards submission process, guidelines, and official entry forms, please visit http://www.wga.org or http://www.wgaeast.org.

The Writers Guild Awards honor outstanding writing in film, television, new media, videogames, news, radio, promotional, and graphic animation categories. The awards will be presented jointly at simultaneous ceremonies on Saturday, February 1, 2014, in Los Angeles at the JW Marriott L.A. LIVE and in New York City at the Edison Ballroom.