Writers & Illustrators of the Future Blog

The purpose of this blog is to provide a forum for winners, judges, entrants and anyone interested in sharing information regarding the contests and the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future volumes. For more information you can also go to www.writersofthefuture.com

Friday, February 23, 2007

Three Winners from Volume 22 Give an Update

Today, I have news on three of our winners from Writers of the Future volume 22. Eldar, our grand prize winner from Uzbekistan; Laura Jennings, our Texas Tech student who does incredible TV interviews; and Blake Hutchins, next in a long line of incredible writers from the Wordos Writing Group in Eugene, OR.


ELDAR ZAKIROV:

From my news: I met two editors and journalists of ones of the greatest of our newspapers and they wrote the reportages about us. One of this reportages is already published, other will be soon.

Now I am working as CG-designer and painter in an russian-uzbek cellular content provider. Many samples for our advertising I'm drawing by mouse. Now I create the animation for TV-advertising of our services too. The work is interesting! Besides I am painting the classic illustrations for Moscow greeting cards.

This springs one of Moscow publishers will issue the second album of CG and traditional painters of Russia and Post-Soviet Countries. There will be printed 5 of my works.

I has given all information about Contest to my friends-artists and writers. Maybe (I hope - soon) they will send their works soon. :)

-- Eldar

LAURA JENNINGS:


I'd had a really rough day at work. I was lying on the couch on my lunch break, depating whether I should get up and go back to work, or just lie here for a few more minutes and just be late. I was on my way out the door when the phone rang.

I was late for work, because that was when I won the Illustrators of the Future. I had done my three entries at my bill collecting job, pen and ink on bristol. It was just this transcendent sense of accomplishment. Somebody liked my work! I had to wait more than a year before the ceremony, but Illustrators became this shining star. No matter how bad my day was or what was going on, I still had Illustrators. In the back of my head it was like "You're still good. You're ... an Illustrator!"

Even now, after San Diego, Illustrators is still that same kind of reassurance. Probably even more so.
Since I won, I moved up to Lubbock, Texas to attend Texas Tech University. I met a lot of resistance from fine artists, who sneered at illustration. That was until they saw whatI could do. I suppose they thought illustration is a cop out for people who can't draw, or something, but my skills have blown away the large majority of my professors. I've also kept in good contact with my fellow Illustrators. I have a network that extends further than I ever thought it would. But after growing up in a place where people basically can't answer your art questions because there's no market for it, it's very reassuring to know that I can pop on line and ask what I need to know.

I'm getting ready to head down to Austin, and become a video game developer. I want to be an art director, concept artist, or character/environment designer. And Illustrators won't just tell me I'm a good artist, it'll tell other people. It's going at the top of my resume.

- Laura Jennings

BLAKE HUTCHINS:


After I heard I'd won the L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future contest in 2005, I started planning my way to building a sustaining career as a writer. The Writers of the Future win came at a great time for me and provided an incredible shot in the arm, the kind that really helps you drive for anything really ambitious and long-term. It gave me that extra jolt of confidence--plus all the benefits of the workshop's sage advice and perspective. I've noticed that other writers and publishers have given me some automatic respect just from my contest winner status, and that's an uplifting feeling.

With the workshop and professional connections under my belt, I now approach my writing with a more seasoned eye, as well as consider carefully how to present myself when it comes time to market my work. The entire experience brought the business side into focus in a concrete way I'd never gotten from writing books or general writing advice, and I found it immensely helpful.

Right now the immediate focus is on craft. I'm working on a pair of novels and putting a ton of short stories in the mail, pushing some boundaries and experimenting with various styles and genres. I'm confident the Writers of the Future pedigree will open doors for me going forward; the contest commands a lot of respect in the F&SF field. My strategy is to build a solid body of work first, so I have something to market. So far I haven't hit any jackpots (I'm a very recent winner), but the plan is more of a long-term one, and I'm pleased with my progress and thankful for the fantastic experience of the contest.

Best,
Blake


WRITERS OF THE FUTURE SITE

And, if you haven't done so yet or even for a while, check out the Writers of the Future dot com site. You can see photos from each of the 22 years awards ceremonies and photos with descriptions of all our judges.



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