On the Shoulders of Giants:
Early Writers Guild History

The Writers, ca. 1930. The members pictured include Preston Sturges (front row, far left).

From its incarnation in July 1920 as the Screen Writers’ Guild to officially being recognized as a labor union in 1933 and the merge with radio and television writers in 1954, the Writers Guild blazed a trail as the first union in the entertainment industry.

Prominent members in the early days included: James M. Cain, Raymond Chandler, Julius and Philip Epstein, Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Dashiell Hammett, Lillian Hellman, John Howard Lawson, Dorothy Parker, Preston Sturges, and Billy Wilder.

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Scribble to Screen

The handwritten drafts in the Writers Guild Foundation collections reveal the creative magic behind the unforgettable screen moments.

From the hilarious “There’s no crying in baseball!” in A League of Their Own to the snappy Bogart and Bacall banter of Han and Leia in The Empire Strikes Back, the pages offer a rare glimpse at how writers develop stories and characters.

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