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‘American Fiction’ Oscar Winner Cord Jefferson Set For WGA West’s 2024 Paul Selvin Award

This is fact: Oscar-winning American Fiction screenwriter Cord Jefferson will receive the WGA West’s 2024 Paul Selvin Award next month. The first-time feature scribe will be feted during the West Coast ceremony for strike-delayed 77th Writers Guild Awards on April 14 at the Hollywood Palladium.

He also is up for the Adapted Screenplay prize at the WGA Awards, having written his script based on Percival Everett’s novel Erasure.

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Jefferson also directed American Fiction, which stars Jeffrey Wright as Thelonious “Monk” Ellison, a frustrated novelist fed up with the literary establishment’s continual ignorance and blind promotion of what they consider “Black” entertainment. He writes an outlandish “Black” book of his own under a pen name, a book that propels him to the heart of hypocrisy and the madness he claims to disdain.

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Along with the accolades for Jefferson’s first big-screen script, American Fiction scored a Best Picture Oscar nom and dozens of awards or nominations from critics groups, film festivals and Hollywood guilds.

Jefferson began his writing career as a journalist in 2009 before becoming a television writer in 2014, when he joined the writing staff for Season 1 of Survivor’s Remorse, which he followed with the full two-year run of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. After writing for The Good Place and Master of None – both of which saw him nominated for Writers Guild Awards, he went on to win two Writers Guild Awards in 2020 for his work on Succession and Watchmen and wrote for the limited series Station Eleven.

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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, per the guild.

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