Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana to Receive Scripter Literary Achievement Award

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Screenwriting partners Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, the team behind the Academy Award-winning screenplay for Brokeback Mountain, will receive the 2013 Scripter Literary Achievement Award at the 25th-anniversary USC Libraries Scripter Award Ceremony on Saturday, Februrary 9. Read the press release to learn more about the honor:

Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana Win USC Libraries Literary Achievement Award
The Friends of the USC Libraries have selected the Brokeback Mountain screenwriting partners as the award’s 2013 honorees

The Friends of the USC Libraries have selected Academy Award-winning screenwriting partners Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana as the 2013 Scripter Literary Achievement Award co-honorees.

The 2013 award marks the first time a screenwriting team has earned the honor. The USC Libraries will present the award to McMurtry and Ossana at the 25th-anniversary Scripter Award ceremony on Saturday, February 9, 2013.

The Literary Achievement Award is an additional honor—distinct from the annual Scripter Award—that recognizes writers who have made significant, sustained contributions to the art of adaptation throughout their careers. USC Libraries Dean Catherine Quinlan and the Friends of the USC Libraries established the Scripter Literary Achievement Award in 2008.

“We feel honored to receive the prestigious USC Libraries Scripter Literary Achievement Award, while well aware that we do so owing a debt to the many novelists and writers whose works we have adapted,” said Ossana and McMurtry of their selection.

In addition to their 2006 Academy Award win for Best Adapted Screenplay for Brokeback Mountain, the pair has written two novels, nearly twenty original feature film scripts, and four award-winning miniseries. They began their writing partnership in the early 1990s with the novel Pretty Boy Floyd, about the notorious American bank robber. The television adaptation of Streets of Laredo, the sequel to Lonesome Dove, McMurtry’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Western of an epic cattle drive from Texas to Montana, followed in 1995.

Several other award-winning cinematic adaptations of McMurtry’s work have appeared since the 1960s, including Hud, The Evening Star, Terms of Endearment, and The Last Picture Show, which garnered McMurtry his first Academy Award nomination in 1971.

“Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana are accomplished writers of stories that thrive on the page and of screenplays that shape exceptional linguistic and visual landscapes in films,” said Catherine Quinlan, dean of the USC Libraries. “They are an inspiration to our community of writers and filmmakers at USC and beyond, and I’m proud that our libraries are able to recognize literary artists of such diverse and enduring talent.”

McMurtry has taught fiction writing at Texas Christian University, Rice, George Mason, and American University. He is a native of Archer City, Texas, where for nearly twenty-five years he has owned and operated Booked Up, a used bookstore.

In addition to co-writing Brokeback Mountain, Ossana was also a producer on the film and has been a juror for the American Film Institute’s annual selection of the Ten Best Films of the Year in 2006, 2007, and 2011. Ossana also taught screenwriting and writing of historical fiction at the University of Iowa.

Both are active contributors to The New York Review of Books. They are currently collaborating on the screenplay adaptation of Paulette Jiles’s novel The Color of Lightning for Ridley Scott and Twentieth Century Fox.

Previous Literary Achievement Award winners include novelists Michael Chabon and screenwriters Steven Zaillian, Eric Roth, and Paul Haggis.

The winners of the 25th-annual Scripter Award—for the year’s best adaptation of the printed word into a feature film released in calendar year 2012—will be announced at the ceremony on February 9. For tickets or additional information about the 25th-annual Scripter award ceremony, visit

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