“If it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage ” was the prevailing theme as writers paid homage to each other at last week’s 57th annual WGA awards at the Hollywood Palladium.

Do writers still get no respect? “Sideways'” Alexander Payne (he won for adapted screenplay along with Jim Taylor) doesn’t think so. Says Payne, “I’ve been respected in my career — everything is beautiful for a writer in Hollywood now.”

Later, David Mamet, who was honored with the Screen Laurel Award, mused that writers will garner respect “when hell freezes over.” But he added that writing in Hollywood “is still better than driving a cab.”

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