Ben Hecht won the first ever Oscar given for screenwriting (at the time the category was called "Best Original Story") in 1927.
Out of the thousand writers huffing and puffing through movieland there are scarcely fifty men and women of wit or talent. The rest of the fraternity is deadwood. Yet, in a curious way, there is not much difference between the product of a good writer and a bad one. They both have to toe the same mark.