Writers Guild Sets Deadlines, Plans Feb. 19 Awards

WGA will be the last guild to present awards, one week before the Oscars

The Writers Guild of America has become the latest Hollywood guild to announce the timeline for its 2012 awards, which will take place on Sunday, Feb. 19 in Los Angeles and New York.

The schedule will make the WGA the last of the major Hollywood guilds to present its awards, exactly one week before the Academy Awards.

Under a timeline released on Wednesday by the Writers Guild of America, East and the Writers Guild of America, West, submission deadlines begin in October and run to the beginning of December, depending on the category; nominations will be announced on Dec. 7 for television, radio, news, promotional writing and graphic animation, on Jan. 5 for theatrical features (including documentaries), and tentatively on Jan. 11 for new media and videogame writing.

The awards will be handed out simultaneously at ceremonies at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles and a yet-to-be-determined location in New York.

The eligibility period for theatrical features is the calendar year 2011, while the period for broadcast submissions varies depending on the category. Additional information is available at www.wgaeast.org and www.wga.org.

Curiously, the WGA timeline also includes a notation for February 26 as the date of the Academy Awards – a curious inclusion because unlike most other guilds, the WGA only opens its awards to screenplays written under guild jurisdiction. As a result, the WGA Awards draw from a far smaller field than the Oscars, making them one of the least-reliable predictors of Oscar success.

The timeline:

Oct. 14, 2011: Deadline for submissions: TV-Radio and Paul Selvin Award scripts

Oct. 14: Deadline for submissions: Drama, Comedy, and New TV Series

Oct. 25: Preliminary Drama/Comedy/New TV Series online voting begins

Nov. 18: Deadline for submissions: Theatrical and Documentary Screenplays

Nov. 18: Deadline for submissions: New Media Writing

Nov. 29: Deadline for Preliminary Drama, Comedy, and New TV Series online voting

Dec. 1: Deadline for submissions: Videogame Writing

Dec. 2: Preliminary Screenplay online voting begins

Dec. 7: Television, Radio, News, Promotional Writing, and Graphic Animation nominees announced

Dec. 31: Theatrical eligibility period ends (Original/Adapted/Documentary Screenplays)

Jan. 3, 2012: Deadline for preliminary screenplay online voting

Jan. 5: Theatrical and Documentary Screenplay nominees announced

Jan. 6: Final Screenplay and Drama, Comedy, and New TV Series online voting begins

Jan. 10 – January 19: "The Contenders" WGA-nominated films screening series

Jan. 11:  New Media and Videogame Writing nominees announced (Tentative)

Jan. 27: Deadline for Final Screenplay and Drama/Comedy/New TV Series online voting

Feb. 8: Deadline for reservations and ticket sales for 2012 WGA L.A. ceremony

Feb. 16: "Beyond Words" – WGA-nominated screenwriters panel & reception

Feb. 19:  2012 Writers Guild Awards