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

Saturday, June 30, 2007

A Tip from Algis Budrys

Algis has the following writing tip.

"Make sure the ending fits with the story.

Start the story aiming for the ending."

Friday, June 29, 2007

Answers To Your Questions - Writing Tips

There were many good questions posed from the post
yesterday and here are the answers so far:

(note - all questions will be answered and I will post tomorrow,
Saturday, a few tips from Algis Budrys.

Question: Is it true that Elements of Style by Struck is the 'standard' for the contest?

Answer: No. Any consistent style is fine.

Question: I would guess that poor grammar and spelling are likely the first demise of many manuscripts. What comes after that?

Answer: Yes, you are correct that poor grammar and spelling are the first demise. K.D. Wentworth will respond with the top 5 dis qualifiers on Monday. Stay tuned.

Question: Are there certain story lines that are overdone? If so, what are they?

Answer: Yes, Vampires, Elves and Wizards. Not that we would not accept a really good story about any of those subjects but it better be unique.

Question: Based on the stories that I have read, it seems that the contest is more interested in stories of 7,500 + words. Is this accurate, or is my perception wrong?

Answer: It is not the length of the story that matters. Stories that work and what gets chosen. Do not take this to mean that a 2 page story would be accepted.

Realize that we have 12 winners per year, and 12 stories get published. My suggestion to all of you is to purchase an L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future volume and see what you are submitting to.

Question: How are the stories chosen. What is the process?

Answer: I'll break it down for you step-by-step:

1) All stories get logged when they arrive and your contact information is separated from the story, placed in a numbered envelope.

2) Every entry is sent to our coordinating judge, K.D. Wentworth.

3) K.D. selects the finalists and semi-finalists (now called Honorable Mentions) and they get sent back to the contest.

4) 4 judges are chosen to choose the winners from the finalist category (this is around 10 stories). I choose the judges for each quarter. They are never the same "group". I have a dozen to choose from and I don't use the same group of judges.

5) The judging results come back and they are tabulated. The stories that have the highest votes are the winners.

That is the simplicity of it.


Thursday, June 28, 2007

What Judge Would You Like to Hear From?

We have a list of judges with lots of experience in the field.
Which judge would you like to hear from? What types of tips would you
like to increase your writing or illustration skills? Let me know.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Hints for Illustrators Entering the Contest by Val Lakey Lindahn

We would like to see Original Ideas, Passion, and Detail

1. Original Idea. - We receive many illustrations with a hero fighting a Dragon, or a spaceship floating in space with some planets in the background. A knight fighting a dragon might be interesting but is hardly unique. A robot fighting a dragon on mud wrestling night at Gillie's Grill is interesting and original. The characters are interacting in an extraordinary environment. Tell us a new story.

2. Passion. - Believe in and get to know your characters. Think about every aspect of their life. Then you will know how they will react to every situation or environment. This will give your character real life passion and energy. It can help to listen to music that inspires you when you are imagining their world. Take notes about what motivates your characters and for that passion that drives them.

3. Detail. - Pay attention to detail. If you are illustrating a dragon or creature with wings, understand and study function. Look at how different kinds of wings are attached. A new planet may have a lower density and gravity. This will effect how the life forms, animals, and botanicals look. How would creatures adapt if they weigh only half of what they do on earth? Would they run faster, jump higher? What if life forms are not carbon based? Here is where your homework and imagination pay off!

Remember, this contest is designed to assist those who wish to become professional illustrators. A professional portrays an original idea, using passionate characters, with attention to the details.

Good Luck, and come back for more hints, Val

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Announcement - This Year the Event Is at Cal Tech

Dear All,

This year's awards ceremony will be held in Pasadena California at Cal-Tech's private club The Athenaeum. The word Athenaeum means: 1. the temple of Athena at Athens, where writers and scholars met 2. a literary or scientific club
(Websters New World Dictionary) It is the perfect venue.

You are all invited but we MUST have your name at the door.

The date: Friday, 24 August at 8:00pm sharp. Dress: (Black Tie) - suits OK for audience.

To check out the venue visit the Cal Tech web site. They have photographs of the Athenaeum.

If you are anywhere near Southern California I recommend you attend. It is a very special event and those of you who are entrants will particularly enjoy yourselves.

For reservations contact me direct at: contests@authoservicesinc.com or call me at 323-466-3310.

I look forward to meeting many of you at the event.


Announcement - This Year's Event Is at Cal Tech

Dear All,

This year's Writers of the Future event will be held at Cal Tech in Pasadena, California at the Athenaeum (Cal Tech private club). We could not have a more perfect venue. The word Athenaeum means: " 1. The temple of Athena at Athens, where writers and scholars met. 2) a literary or scientific club."

You are all invited but we must have an RSVP as we MUST have names at the door. It is a private club and only those on our guest list will be admitted.

The date: Friday, 24 August, 2007 - time 8:00pm SHARP. It would be smart to arrive 1/2 hour early to get through registration and seating, etc. (Black Tie) suits acceptable for audience.

To check out this beautiful venue go to the Cal Tech site for photos of the Athenaeum.

Contact me direct at: contests@authorservicesinc.com. or 323-466-3310.

I hope to see many of you there.


Monday, June 25, 2007

Former Winner Published

Larry Schliessmann (Volume XX) has been published his latest
Unmerciful, which is a Marlowe Black/Hacker McKaybees mystery.

The next in the series Sfumato (not a typo), is going through
the final edit now.


Promised announcement coming out later today. Stay tuned!

Best to you all, Joni

Friday, June 22, 2007

More Good News from David Sakmyster

David Sakmyster (Volume XXII) just made another sale to Abyss and Apex for his story "Turning Time" and Dragon Moon Press, the publisher of his first small-press novel, "Twilight of the Fifth Sun" has arranged to sell the Spanish Translation Rights for a very nice advance. Congratulations David!!



Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A Writing Tip From A Master

Tim Powers wants you all to know the following writing tip:

Take your characters and their problems as seriously as you take yourself and your own problems. Don't try to hide behind irony or tongue-in-cheek.

Monday, June 18, 2007

More News from Winners

Patrick Rothfuss (Volume XVIII) continues to have success with his epic released earlier this year, The Name of the Wind. It was just nominated for the Quill Awards category of Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror.

David Sakmyster (Volume XXII) made another pro-sale this month to ChiZine with his story Ladders. The story will appear in the July- Sept 2007 edition. Another story, Internal Affairs, will be appearing in an upcoming issue of the new horror magazine, Withersin.

Brad Beaulieu Volume XX) has been very busy. Since his publication in WOTF Brad has done the following:

In the Eyes of the Empress's Cat was the cover story for Issue 2 of Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show, and it has since been voted a Notable Stories of 2006 by the Million Writers Award, conducted by storySouth. It has also been selected for inclusion in an anthology of stories from the first four issues of IGMS. due out sometime in 2008. I have also sold another story to IGMS. He has also sold another story to IGMS called How Peacefully the Desert Sleeps. which will appear in Issue 6 of the magazine later this year.

He has a new story coming out in early July in DAW's Man vs. Machine anthology.

Two more stoies have sold to DAW antologies, Cirque du Lumiere to Fellowship Fantastic and Shadows in the Mirrors, to Dimensions Next Door, which are due out late in 2007 and 2008 respectively.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Hints For Entering L. Ron Hubbard's Illustrators Contest by Val Lakey Lindahn

Early in my career I entered many contests. Today, this is the only one that I endorse, because of the quality, integrity, and fairness of the contest.

Here are a few suggestions to help give your submission the best possible chance of making it into the finals.

1. You will receive a higher score if all 3 illustrations are consistent in style and technique. Just as an Art Director looks for this quality so that they will know what they're getting when they assign a project. Choose your best style, only submit your very best work.

2. Tell a story. Look at a copy of L. Ron Hubbard's Writers & Illustrators Annual Anthology or visit the WOTF website. You will see that the illustrations tell a story. They are engaging and make you want to read the writers story. They have backgrounds that give the reader a clue where the story takes place. The illustrations are not just pretty portraits.

3. Be persistent. If you are not selected as a finalist, enter again the next quarter.

Be sure and come back to this site next week when I will have more tips for you. And Good Luck!


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I Haven't Heard From Some Of You!

Dear All,

A few weeks back I put up a quiz on the blog. There were 7 of you who got the answer correct. I wrote to all of you asking you to send me your address so I could forward your prize. I only had one response, and of course that book was delivered.

So, any of you who guessed correctly but did not reply, please do so. I want to send the book out to you!!

Write me at contests@authorservicesinc.com

Best, Joni

Monday, June 11, 2007

2nd Quarter Illustrators of the Future Finalists and Semi-Finalists Announced

The 2nd Quarter Finalists and Semi-Finalists of the Illustrators of the Future
contest are as follows:


Robert Castillo of Jersey City, New Jersey
Brittany J. Jackson of Detroit, Michigan
Lawrence Keaty of Gambier, Ohio
Stephen Knox of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The above finalists art will now be sent to 4 of our judges who will determine the winners. The final results will be in a month from now.


Chantal Bennett of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
David Boyce of Dallas, Texas
Leo Dasso of Greensboro, North Carolina
Christina Pierce of Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania
Heidi Thompson of Mt. Clemens, Michigan
Ryan Whalen of Queensbury, New York

Semi-finalists have a critique on the way (in the mail) from our coordinating judge, Ron Lindahn. We look forward to your next entry.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Writers of the Future Judge Robert Sawyer Was Honored This Week

Writers of the Future Judge Robert J. Sawyer received an Honorary Doctorate from Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario on the 2nd of June.

You can watch the ceremony at http://tinyurl.com/2hr5xf.

He is 27 minutes and 30 seconds into the video.

Congratulations Robert!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Former Winner Mentors New Writers

Tobias Buckell (Volume XVI) who was also a finalist for the Campbell Award for Best New SF Writer is now mentoring other new writers at Seton Hill University. The course is called the Writing Popular Fiction Graduate Program. Congratulations Tobias!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Semi-Finalists Announced

The semi-finalists for the 2nd quarter of the Writers of the Future Contest are:

John Derderian of Torrance, California
Matthew Herreshoff of Detroit, Michigan
Jordan Lapp of British Columbia, Canada
Francine P. Lewis of Ontario, Canada
J.P. Raab of Machias, New York
J. Dean Randall of Battle Creek, Michigan
Mike Rimar of Ontario Canada (former published finalist)
Jim Stewart of Brooklyn, New York
Kevin Veale of Auckland, New Zealand
Joel Walsh of Lowell, Massachusetts

Congratulations to all of you!

We look forward to your next entry.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Winner Has Art Exhibit in New York City

Dear All,

This just in from one of the winners for this year. If you are in the New York area, stop by and see Artem Mirolevich's art.

A SPACE GALLERY PRESENTS "SPIRIT"A Group Exhibition featuring works by Tenjin IKEDA, Artem MIROLEVICH and Sarah VALERI.

SHOW DATES: June 1 - June 24 GALLERY HOURS: Saturday and Sunday, 1-5pm


A Space Gallery is pleased to announce "SPIRIT," a group exhibition featuring works by Tenjin Ikeda, Artem Mirolevich and Sarah Valeri, on view from June 1 through June 24, 2007. A Space Gallery -- 1138 Broadway Brooklyn, NY 11221

Note - Tomorrow the announcement of our semi-finalists for the 2nd quarter will be on the blog. All names will be posted.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Writer Finalists Announced!

The finalists for the 2nd quarter of the 2007 Writers Contest have been determined their names, without their story names, are listed below. (to keep the contest entries anonymous as our judges read this blog too)

T.L. Morganfield of Thornton, Colorado
Paula Stiles of Van Couver, Canada
Jemma EveryHope of Bellingham, Washington
Krista Hoeppner Leahy of Brooklyn, New York
Stephen F. Foster of Georgetown, Texas
Caroline M. Yoachim of Kenmore, Washington
Sarah L. Edwards of Rathdrum, Idaho
J.C. Geiger of Eugene, Oregon

The stories now go out to our finalist judges (there will be 4) and those results will be tabulated and 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will be announced. This news will be forthcoming around the 1st of July.

Congratulations to all of you, and GOOD LUCK! -- Joni