LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The writers of controversial Osama bin Laden thriller “Zero Dark Thirty” and of the presidential drama “Lincoln” won nominations for the Writers Guild Awards, as momentum built in Hollywood ahead of the Oscars in February. The screenplays for Iran hostage drama “Argo,” cult movie “The Master,” quirky comedy “Silver Linings Playbook,” and shipwreck tale “Life of Pi” also won nods from the Writers Guild of America for honours either as adapted or original movie screenplays.

Mark Boal’s controversial Zero Dark Thirty is set to face off against The Master and Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom at the 2013 Writers Guild Awards after earning top screenplay nominations.

The movies will battle Flight and Looper for the best Original Screenplay prize, while David O Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook will duke it out for Best Adapted Screenplay trophy with Argo, Lincoln, adventure drama Life of Pi and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Earning nods for best documentary screenplay are West of Memphis, The Central Park Five, The Invisible War, Searching for Sugar Man, Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, and We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists.

Awards season favourites Les Miserables, The Impossible, Django Unchained, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Rust & Bone and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel were not eligible.