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WGA Awards Honors Nancy Meyers, Brad Falchuck, David N. Weiss And Other Top Writers

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Courtesy of WGA West

Nancy Meyers
Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement
The first job screenwriter Meyers had in the industry was as a story editor for Oscar nominated producer Ray Stark.
“It was an exciting job working for him,” says Meyers, recipient of the Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement. “It was through that job that it kind of sealed my fate that [writing] is my area, this what I like.”
Meyers, who went on to pen such modern comedy classics as “Private Benjamin,” “Baby Boom” and “It’s Complicated,” draws her inspiration from various sources, but she can never predict from where a screenplay idea will bloom.
“That’s one of the great mysteries of life,” says Meyers of her writing process. “You never know. I remember once that Billy Wilder saw [1945 drama “Brief Encounter”] and from that he came up with the idea for ‘The Apartment.’ I always remember that. Because it is a mysterious thing how it occurs.”

Merrill Markoe
Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award
Markoe hasn’t written for, or even watched, late night TV in ages. Yet her irreverent sensibility still helps to shape late night. As the original head writer for the influential and groundbreaking “Late Night With David Letterman,” she recalls how Johnny Carson placed certain restrictions on his protege — the sidekick couldn’t sit with the host — and her response was actually enthusiasm: “Oh. Well, gee … that just leaves us with everything else in the world!”
She shared six Emmy nominations for her work there, following an earlier one for the daytime “David Letterman Show,” and now she’s receiving the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television Writing Achievement. Markoe, however, has switched to books and these days is “in the final throes of writing and illustrating a graphic novel.”

David N. Weiss
Animation Writers Caucus Animation Writing Award
Weiss, recipient of the Animation Writers Caucus Animation Writing Award, remembers how he “found my groove” in the world of animation. Weiss had not yet served as WGA veep, nor built his writing partnership with J. David Stern and his Emmy-nominated resume (“The Smurfs,” “Shrek 2,” “Rugrats”). He was in his
late 20s and had flown to Ireland to work on “All Dogs Go to Heaven.”
With animators awaiting his words, he was nervous until he began brainstorming with the legendary Don Bluth and John Pomeroy. “I would act out the movie as we wrote and that’s how I found my style as a collaborator,” recalls Weiss, who is working on a live action remake of “Harvey” for Netflix.

Brad Falchuck
Valentine Davies Award
Falchuk made headlines last year for the megadeal from Netflix that lured him away from 20th Century
Fox Television, where he wrote and produced such hits as “Glee,” “Pose,” “American Horror Story” and “American Crime Story.” But he is staying put at his second Los Angeles home, the Young Storytellers Foundation, an org that teaches fourth-graders in more than 80 L.A. schools.
Falchuk, who is receiving the Valentine Davies Award, says: “I’ve seen the power that mentorship provides for both the mentor and the mentee. As well as developing my own shows, I am committed to finding new, unheard voices and helping to turn them into the showrunners of the future.”

Charles Randolph
Paul Selvin Award
Oscar-winning screenwriter Randolph (“The Big Short”) is set to receive the Paul Selvin Award, given each year to a writer whose script best embodies the spirit of the constitutional civil rights and liberties that are indispensable to the survival of free writers everywhere. The award comes on the heels of Randolph penning the
Fox News sexual-harassment drama “Bombshell.”
Randolph also received top honors from the WGA and BAFTA for his work on “The Big Short,” which he co-adapted with Adam McKay from the book by Michael Lewis. His other credits include “Love & Other Drugs,” “The Life of David Gale” and “The Interpreter.”