LOS ANGELES — Television and movie screen writers said Thursday they will go on strike for the first time in nearly 20 years in a dispute over royalties. Four writers told The Associated Press that Writers Guild of America President Patric Verrone made the announcement in a closed-door session Thursday night, prompting loud cheers from the crowd. “There was a unified feeling in the room. I don’t think anyone wants the strike, but people are behind the negotiation committee,” said writer Dave Garrett. Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers president Nick Counter released a statement saying that the alliance was not surprised by the action. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m. “We are ready to meet and are prepared to close this contract this weekend,” he said. Officials had called a meeting of the union’s 12,000 members for Thursday night. Guild members recently authorized their negotiators to call the first strike since 1988, if necessary.