The Writers Guild Of America will honour The Help screenwriter and director with the award in recognition of “work that touches on the constitutional rights and civil liberties.”

The West Coast awards ceremony will be held on Feb 19 in Hollywood.

The Help earned four Oscar nominations last week for best picture, best actress for Viola Davis and best supporting actress nods for Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain.

“Tate Taylor’s adapted screenplay for The Help artfully distils the empowering essence and core emotional truths of Kathryn Stockwell’s novel, translating it into a film that forcefully illustrates how ordinary people can impact positive social change.” WGAW president Christopher Keyser said.

“Evoking a specific time and place, the film’s message is ultimately universal and remains relevant today. Tate’s honour is well-deserved – and his script does Paul Selvin’s legacy proud by conveying the continuing power of the written word.”

Previous recipients of the award include Eric Roth, Michael Mann, Dustin Lance Black and most recently, Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth.