The awards were started by legendary movie pioneer, Samuel Goldwyn, Sr. on the occasion of his 75th birthday in 1955 to encourage young stage, film, and television writers.  Some of the more famous winners include:  Francis Ford Coppola, Eric Roth, Pamela Gray, Allison Anders, Colin Higgins, Carroll Ballad, Scott Rosenberg, and Jonathan Kellerman.

Former winners of the Samuel Goldwyn Writing Awards have written more than 300 films, television series and made-for-TV movies.  These productions have won a total of 27 Academy Awards® with 101 nominations, 35 Golden Globe Awards® with 189 nominations, and 87 Emmys® with 488 nominations.  Many previous winners are also popular authors who, collectively, have published over 60 books including many New York Times bestsellers. 

In past years our list of judges has included:  Lorne Michaels, Tom Rothman, Brian Grazer, Kathleen Kennedy, Denzel Washington, Dustin Hoffman, James Brooks, David Mamet, Robert E. Sherwood, Moss Hart, Billy Wilder, Sidney Poitier, Leonard Maltin, Joel Schumacher, Marlee Matlin, Hilary Swank and Shonda Rhimes. 

The first prize is $15,000, second $7,500, third $4,000, with two honorable mentions of $2,000 and $1,000.