Thirty-eight writers, including Wash Westmoreland and Richard Glatzer, Laura Poitras and Peter Saji are finalists in ten categories for the 41st Annual Humanitas Prize. The writers will compete for $225,000 in prize money to be handed out at the annual cocktail gala February 11 at Directors Guild of America. The Humanitas Prize was created 41 years ago “to honor television and film writers whose work explores the human experience in a way that both entertains and enlightens”, the org says.

“If you speak to anyone who works in the industry, they will tell you everything comes back to good writing,” said President Ali LeRoi. “Good writing gets big actors attached, gets executives to give the green light, and keeps the audience tuning in week after week. It’s the writing that sparks the fire and builds the community. But the act of writing, the actual doing of the thing, is often lonely, isolated, and fraught with fears and doubts. It takes not only great talent, but great vision, drive, perseverance, and bravery to write truly groundbreaking stories. It is a privilege to shine a light on these artists, a light we hope helps lift them through the dark beginnings and allows them to see the value of their visions.”

“I am proud to honor each and every 2016 Humanitas finalist,” said Executive Director Cathleen Young. “Their stories begin with thoughts and words—linked, appended, trimmed—sometimes destroyed and recreated—before they are shared on stage or screen. Thanks to their skill and passion, these stories allow us to step out into new worlds or into someone else’s shoes. I have to believe that makes the world a better place.”

Previous Humanitas Prize winners include John Ridley (12 Years A Slave), Damien Chazelle (Whiplash), Larry Kramer (The Normal Heart), David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook), Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin (Beasts Of The Southern Wild), Denis Leary & Peter Tolan (Rescue Me), Geoffrey Fletcher (Precious), Steve Levitan (Modern Family, Frasier), Ryan Murphy (Glee) and Robert & Michelle King (The Good Wife).

The 2015 Humanitas Prize Finalists:

Feature Film Category
Still Alice Written by: Wash Westmoreland & Richard Glatzer
Testament of Youth Written by: Juliette Towhidi
The Good Lie Written by: Margaret Nagle

Sundance Feature Film Category
Dope Written by: Rick Famuyiwa
Experimenter Written by: Michael Almereyda
Me And Earl And The Dying Girl Written by: Jesse Andrews

Documentary Category
Citizen Four Written by: Laura Poitras
Landfill Harmonic Written by: Andrew Allgood
Southern Rites Written by: Josh Alexander

60 Minute Category
MADAM SECRETARY “Face the Nation” Written by: Matt Ward (CBS)
ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK “Trust No Bitch” Written by: Jim Danger & Jenji Kohan (Netflix)
THE AFFAIR “Pilot” Written by: Sarah Treem & Hagai Levi (Showtime)

30 Minute Category
Blackish “Please Don’t Ask, Please Don’t Tell” Written by: Peter Saji (ABC)
The Middle “The Graduate” Written by: DeAnn Heline & Eileen Heisler (ABC)
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt “Kimmy Goes Outside!” Written by: Tina Fey & Robert Carlock

Children’s Animation Category
Arthur “The Tardy Tumbler” Writter: Matt Hoverman

Children’s Live Action Category
Gortimer Gibbons Life On Normal Street “Gortimer and the Surprise Signature” Written by: Garrett Frawley & Brian Turner
Gortimer Gibbons Life On Normal Street “Ranger and the Legend of Pendragon’s Gavel” Written by: Gretchen Enders
Liv And Maddie “Rate-A-Rooney” Written by: Jennifer Keene, John D. Beck & Ron Hart

DAVID & LYNN ANGELL COMEDY FELLOWSHIP
Jane Miller, UCLA
Andrew Hu, AFI
Eugenie Carabatso, Carnegie Mellon

DRAMA FELLOWSHIP
Juliana Rabadjijia, Boston University
Kimberly Guerrero, UC Riverside
Adrienne Rush, Flordia State University

HUMANITAS NEW VOICES RECIPIENTS
Lauren Goodman
Jason Holtham
Chisa Hutchinson
Dario Konjicija
Damir Konjicija