Unlike other feature film awards, the Scripter Award honors both the screenwriter or screenwriters of an adaptation, as well as the author on which the screenplay is based.
The nominees announced Thursday morning are:
"Philomena": Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, screenwriters; Martin Sixsmith, author of "The Lost Child of Philomena Lee."
"The Spectacular Now": Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, screenwriters; Tim Tharp, author of the novel of the same name.
"12 Years a Slave": John Ridley, screenwriter; Solomon Northup, author of "Twelve Years a Slave."
"What Maisie Knew": Carroll Cartwright and Nancy Doyne, screenwriters, who adapted the novel by Henry James.
The 2014 Scripter selection committee was co-chaired by Naomi Foner, the Golden Globe Award-winning screenwriter, and Howard Rodman, USC professor and vice president of the Writers Guild of America, West. The committee chose the five finalists from a field of 86 eligible adaptations.
Among those serving on the committee were L.A. Times film critic Kenneth Turan, critic and historian Leonard Maltin and screenwriters Geoffrey Fletcher, Callie Khouri and Steve Zaillian.
The USC Libraries will announce the winners at a ceremony Feb. 8 at the Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library at USC. Helen Mirren and Taylor Hackford serve as honorary dinner chairpersons.