Each writer or writing team receives a $30,000 prize and will collect the first instalment at a gala dinner in Beverly Hills on Nov 3.

The winners are: Chris Bessounian and Tianna Langham (Los Angeles, California) for Guns And Saris; Dion Cook (Altus, Oklahoma) for Cutter; John MacInnes (Los Angeles, California) for Outside The Wire; Matthew Murphy (Culver City, California) for Unicorn; and Abel Vang and Burlee Vang (Fresno, California) for The Tiger’s Child.

The winners were selected from a record 6,730 script submissions. The Nicholl Committee is chaired by producer Gale Anne Hurd and comprises writers Naomi Foner, Daniel Petrie Jr, Tom Rickman and Dana Stevens; actor Eva Marie Saint; cinematographers John Bailey and Steven B Poster; costume designer Vicki Sanchez; executive Bill Mechanic; producers Peter Samuelson and Robert Shapiro; marketing executive Buffy Shutt; and agent Ronald R Mardigian.