The 61st annual Samuel Goldwyn Writing Awards have whittled down to five finalists for the competition to encourage young film, stage and TV writers. Guardians of the Galaxy helmer James Gunn, AMC and SundanceTV exec Joel Stillerman and Empire co-creator Danny Strong are the judges for the competition recognizing excellence in dramatic writing, with the winners to receive cash prizes.

Four of the five finalists this year are from UCLA, where Samuel Goldwyn Sr first started the
competition in 1955 and where the winners will be announced November 1. Past winners have included Francis Ford Coppola, Eric Roth, Allison Anders and Jonathan Kellerman.

This year’s finalists and their projects:

Dominic Abeyta (UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television), 100 Degrees
Nicholas Adams (UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television), Falling
Bennett Fisher (UC San Diego), Damascus
Eric Mallory Morgan (UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television), Tonya
Meedo Taha (UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television), Other People