Each writer will receive a $35,000 prize, the first instalment of which will be distributed at a gala dinner in Beverly Hills on Nov 8.

This year’s winners are listed in alphabetical order by author: Nikole Beckwith, Brooklyn, New York: Stockholm, Pennsylvania; Sean Robert Daniels, Laezonia, Gauteng, South Africa: Killers; James DiLapo, New York, New York: Devils At Play; Allan Durand, Lafayette, Louisiana: Willie Francis Must Die Again; and Michael Werwie, Los Angeles, California: Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, And Vile.

The winners were selected from a record 7,197 script submissions. This is the first time entries from Louisiana and South Africa have been selected as winners.