More Ad Astra News from Stephen Kotowych
I see you’ll be posting a few reports about the Writers of the Future panel this past weekend at AD ASTRA. Thought I’d add my two cents if you’d like to include them with the others.
The Writers of the Future panel was well attended, especially for an 11 am Sunday panel (keep in mind most people at the con had likely been up all Saturday night) and it definitely filled up as the hour progressed.
The panelists who had already been to the WOTF event—James Alan Gardner, Mike Rimar, and Jim C. Hines—related their experiences, and it was interesting to hear how the event runs, and how it has changed over time (Jim won in 1990, and Mike and Jim have both been in the last few years). Rob Sawyer had some very good things to say about his experience as a judge, and the high quality of the finalist stories he’d read.
One common theme mentioned by the panelists was that having a Writers of the Future credit in your submission cover letter immediately got you taken seriously. Many of the panelist commented that after their WOTF win, when stories were rejected they were accompanied by personal rejections from editors (whereas before they’d been getting form rejection letters—and I can attest to this personal rejection phenomenon personally).
Tony Pi and I (both winners this year) were excited by the discussion of the original art that will accompany each story in the anthology. Both Jim Gardner and Rob Sawyer commented that they have original artwork based on their stories hanging in their homes, and on what a thrill it is to have art inspired by your writing. Rob even said he’s seen WOTF winners break into tears of joy when they first lay eyes on the art for their stories done by the Illustrators of the Future winners. I can’t wait to see what will accompany my story!
All in all, I think it went very well, and I may have learned more about the contest and what to expect from the week-long workshop than anyone else in the room.
I was also on a panel Saturday (my first ever panel as a writer!) about what day jobs writers have. It was a real thrill to be on that panel with Terence M. Green, a 2-time World Fantasy Award finalist, and hear him talk about how he made time to write
while working for 30 years as a high school English teacher. Also on the panel were authors Hayden Trenholm (who works as a policy consultant for a Canadian senator), and Jana Paniccia (who works for PriceWaterhouseCooper), one of the editors of the DAW Books anthology Under Cover of Darkness (which includes my
first published story).
And immediately following the WOTF panel was the second launch for Under Cover of Darkness which was exceptionally well attended and a lot of fun. Many copies of the anthology sold and the line-up for autographs was so long we actually ran half and hour into the room time booked for the next panel. A great time, all around!
This us sitting down for the WOTF panel. L to R: Tony Pi (WOTF 23), Rob Sawyer WOTF judge), James Alan Gardner (Grand Prize Winner WOTF 6), Stephen Kotowych (WOTF 23), Mike Rimar (WOTF 21), and Jim Hines (WOTF 15)
This is a close-up of Stephen Kotowych, Mike Rimar, and Jim Hines. Note Mike’s published finalist trophy (which Jim seems to be snatching...)
This is of my first panel, “Not Just a Writer”, and L to R: Hayden Trenholm, Terence M. Green, Stephen Kotowych, and Jana Paniccia.
SHARE YOUR NEWS!
Be sure to share your news with the Writers & Illustrators of the Future blog. Send photos, books and art sold. If its interesting to you, its no doubt interesting to others as well and this is where they can find out about it!