WGA Awards: Cord Jefferson to Receive Paul Selvin Award

The Writers Guild of America West announced on Tuesday that American Fiction writer-director Cord Jefferson has been named recipient of the 2024 Paul Selvin Award for the Amazon MGM Studios film, for which he won the Oscar for best adapted screenplay earlier this month.

Additionally, American Fiction — based on the novel Erasure by Percival Everett — is nominated for the WGA Award for best adapted screenplay.

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The comedy, which stars Oscar nominee Jeffrey Wright as a frustrated novelist who writes a satirical book under a pen name that exposes the publishing industry’s limited view of Black life, has garnered numerous awards in addition to the Oscar, including the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, a BAFTA award for best adapted screenplay and Film Independent Spirit Awards for best actor (Wright) and adapted screenplay. The film was also named as one of the year’s best by the American Film Institute and earned an Oscar nom for best picture.

Jefferson previously won two WGA Awards in 2020 for writing on the HBO series Succession and Watchmen and also earned WGA Award noms for comedies The Good Place and Master of None.

Named for the late Paul Selvin, general counsel to WGAW for 25 years, the honorary award is given each year to the member or members whose script best embodies the spirit of the constitutional and civil rights and liberties that are indispensable to the survival of free writers everywhere. Previous recipients of the Paul Selvin award include Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Barry Jenkins, Will Berson & Shaka King and Kenny Lucas & Keith Lucas, Charles Randolph, Adam McKay, Dustin Lance Black, Alex Gibney, Susannah Grant, Eric Roth, Michael Mann, Gary Ross, Liz Hannah, Josh Singer, George Clooney and Tony Kushner.

The WGA Awards will take place April 14 at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles. Read the full list of nominees here.

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