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, July 27, 2007

Winner News Keeps on Flooding In

Dear All,

The past/upcoming winner news and comments keep on pouring in and here are several for you:

Eric James Stone (WOTF XX & XXI), has just made his tenth professional fiction sale. Analog magazine accepted his short story The Ashes of His Fathers. This is Eric's third sale to Analog.

Eldar Zakirov from Uzbekistan (WOTF XXII), is now working as a designer of advertising and promotion in animation and 3D art. On the Internet you can find his work at http://dartheldarious.deviantart.com.

Melanie Tregonning (WOTF XII), "Things have been pretty good over here (she lives in Australia), I just bought a skeleton to study from (she is an illustrator).

The most significant moment for me from last year, was realizing pretty early on in the competition that I wasn't going to win (grand prize). The whole experience made it crystal clear just how much further I need to go, how much more I need to learn. But it also reminded me that the only thing really standing between me and that goal is a whole lot of hard work to make it happen."

Stay tuned tomorrow. Lots of photos and event information coming your way! - Joni

Monday, July 23, 2007

Jeff Carlson -- On A Roll

Jeff Carlson (WOTF XIII) recently appeared on the nationally-syndicated program Sci Fi Overdrive, talking about his upcoming debut novel and the Writers of the Future contest.

The interview is now available as a podcast. You can find it at http://www.scifioverdrive.com/ by clicking on the link "What's On" and then scrolling down to the July 14th show.

Jeff also has an author interview up at the Penguin USA web site about his writing, himself, his heroes and so forth. You can check this out at penguingroup.com/static/html/scifi-fantasy/carlson.html.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Tulsa Convention Has a Writers and Illustrators of the Future Panel

Any of you who live near Tulsa should stop by the Writers and Illustrators of the Future panel which will be at the Tulsa Science Fiction Con. at the Tulsa Radisson Hotel located at 41st Street and Garnett. It is being held tomorrow (Sunday). Coordinating Judge K.D. Wentworth will be there along with John Moore, Matt Champine, Paul Batteiger, Amanda Anderson Gannon, Ray Roberts and Eric Flint. They will talk about their experiences and give tips on how to improve your chances of winning the contest. The panel starts at 3:00pm. Be there!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Writing Time Per Week Average

Dear All,

So far the survey shows that the majority of you spend approximately 10 hours per week writing.

I'll looking for other feedback on the survey as for your inspiration.

Those who did not respond, go ahead and drop me a line at:


Looking forward to hearing from the rest of you.

Best, Joni

Monday, July 16, 2007

Writer Survey

Dear Writer Bloggers,

Here is a quick survey for you.

Please respond here or at contests@authorservicesinc.com

1) What or who inspired you to be a writer?

2) How much time per week do you devote to writing?

Best, Joni

Thursday, July 12, 2007

More Hints for Illustrators Entering the Contest by Val Lakey Lindahn

1. Action. How do you add dynamic motion to an illustration? You may have a single interesting but stagnant figure, so why not have several characters interacting with each other or environment? You can add wind to hair, fur, clothing, and blur part of the figure into the background, but why not go one step further? Watch people and animals constantly for their body language so you can add this to the mood of your piece. Our pets do this every moment checking chances for a snack.

2. Point of View. Most illustrations are at eye level. As earthlings, that's an average 4' 10" to 6 feet high. If you move that to a child's point of view, (2 or 3 feet) hero's and villain's appear to be stronger, bigger than life, and more menacing! Conversely, if our view is looking down on a character, they are perceived as defenseless, weaker, or more delicate and frail.

3. Compelling. Our job as illustrators is to grab the reader by the lapels, and shake them up to attract their attention to the story or book. The old Masters and Classical painters created a sense of wonder and magic with color, lighting, and form to their compositions to compel the viewer to take a second look. We want the reader to be curious what will happen next. It is useful to study old black and white films to see how depth was achieved with lighting and atmosphere without the
use of color, and we will cover more on this later.

As a professional illustrator, we can make our subject more dynamic and compelling by changing point of view and creating motion and action.

good luck and more later, Val.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Another Winner -- First Story Published!

Andrea Kail - Script Coordinator for Late Night With Conan O'Brien and
one of our winners in Volume XIII has just made her first story sale. "Soft Like a Rabbit" is now available in Fantasy magazine #6. They also interviewed her for the issue.

To check it out go to http://wildsidepress.3dcartstores.com/Fantasy-Magazine-6_p_38-121.html.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Inspiration gave Jeff Carlson his idea for his winning story, The Frozen Sky, in upcoming WOTF Volume XXIII.

"In this case, the notion was born on my honeymoon! We were in Austria at "Giant Ice World - a massive network of caverns in Austria. Fifty miles deep! It is an ancient subterranean rive bed, and the catacombs are swollen with hills, pillars, standing waves and blobs of ice. I knew before we'd gone ten steps that I would write about it."

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

How to Win The L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest

Here is another tip from K.D. Wentworth on how to win:

"Using correct format shows the editor that you take yourself seriously as a professional and have gone to the trouble of learning the rules. When an editor pulls a manuscript out of the envelope and it looks like it is supposed to look, she is already predisposed to like it and give it more of a chance than a story with no indentations, blank lines between paragraphs, fanciful borders or icons, illustrations, colored paper, or bizarre fonts. If you are not sure what the correct format is, go to www.sfwa.org and click on the link to Resources, then read Vonda McIntyre's file on Format. It's free to the public and invaluable.

Monday, July 2, 2007

The Top Five Disqualification Points During the First Reading

Dear All,

Last week I asked you all for questions regarding the contest. This is the answer to the last question, which will be very helpful to all of you. If you haven't visited the blog recently you should not only read this page but several days prior as there have been writing tips and information that will help you as a contestant.

K.D. Wentworth, our coordinating judge, has provided below, the top 5 disqualification points during that first read. They are:

1. Poor spelling and copious grammatical errors

2. No sign that this is a science fiction or fantasy story by the end of
the first page

3. Inability to tell what's going on by the end of the first page because
the writer is withholding critical information from the reader in order
to create suspense.

4. Overused tropes such as vampires, elves, witches, ghosts, trolls, dwarves
and dragons, without an original take on the subject.

5. Massive information dumps at the very beginning of the story where the
writer is telling the reader background information instead of working
it into the story.