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The Jim Burt Screenwriting Prize

The WGC is now accepting entries for the Jim Burt Screenwriting Prize, deadline Friday Jan. 18 5:30 p.m. EST. You'll find the eligibility requirements and the entry form here.

It’s a daily thing, you have to constantly ask yourself, have I missed someone? Have I missed a great talent? The volume of development is extremely important. It allows you to find who’s really good, to find what really works, and it allows you to find the surprises.Jim Burt

The Jim Burt Screenwriting Prize, presented biennially, was created to continue the work of the late Jim Burt in recognizing and nurturing new longform talent.  

The winner will receive a total prize worth $5,000 - a $3,000 cash prize, and $2,000 will be allotted for an experienced story editor approved by the jury in order to further develop their script. 

The winner of the 2017 Jim Burt Screenwriting Prize is Daniel Whidden, for his script, Valhalla. Congratulations, Daniel!


In a 20-year career at the CBC, Jim’s championing of Canadian writers and their stories resulted in the production of some 75 longform dramas including Big Bear, The Boys of St. Vincent, Little Criminals and Million Dollar Babies. These productions met with national and international acclaim and embodied excellence in Canadian stories.

Past recipients of the Jim Burt Screenwriting Prize: Adam Garnet Jones for his screenplay, Wild Medicine (2013), Denise Blinn for 1936 (2011), Riley Adams for Cold Rush (2009), Tony Elliott for Stranger Than You (2008), Ryan Redford for Bone (2007), Jason Hreno for Two Mountains (2006), Andrea Gutsche for Dead Sparrows (2005), Sherry White for Crackie (2004), Gordon Pengilly for Drumheller or Dangerous Times (2003), and Aubrey Nealon for Idaho Peak (2002).

The Jim Burt Award is made possible with the generous support of private donors as well as the following.