Thursday, August 30, 2007
New Writers of the Future Volume 23 Book Trailer
Its pretty cool.
Be sure to share this with all your friends and tell them to send it to their friends! And be sure to vote.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Publishers Weekly had this to say...
A number of sci-fi artists and writers were honored in Pasadena, Calif., last week at the 23rd annual L. Ron Hubbard Achievement Awards. Pictured here are the evening’s winners joined by, at center, contest director Joni Labaqui and John Goodwin, president of Galaxy Press, Hubbard’s official publisher. Read more about the awards here »
The entire PW article follows:
Awards Honor Tomorrow’s Sci-Fi Stars
By Bridget Kinsella -- Publishers Weekly, 8/27/2007 9:01:00 AM
Sci-Fi author/editor Charles N. Brown won a Lifetime Achievement Award and 22 winners of the International Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contests were honored on August 24 at the 23rd L. Ron Hubbard Achievement Awards held at the Athenaeum Club on the CalTech campus in Pasadena, California.
In accepting his award, Brown, founder and editor of Locus magazine with 23 Hugo Awards to his credit and 60 years experience in the science fiction and fantasy genre, wanted to focus his attention on the winners of the contest that he has supported since Hubbard initiated it in 1983. "Yes, we always need new authors and new artists to replace us old, cynical ones," he said. "We say, ‘somebody did it 40 years ago,’ but they think somebody is going to do it new."
Illustrator Lorraine Schleter (an Indiana University student with her own comic strip) and writer Stephen Kotowych (member of a Toronto-based Fledglings writers group) won the Gold prizes in the contest and $5,000. Their work will appear alongside that of the 20 other winning writers and illustrators in L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume XXIII, an anthology of winners published by Galaxy Press.
Hubbard saw the contest as a means to give aspiring writers and illustrators a boost with recognition, some prize money and a way to get their work into print. The contests are run by a non-profit arm of Authors Services Inc., the literary agency that manages Hubbard’s literary assets.
John Goodwin, president and publisher of Galaxy Press, said that, for the first time, this year’s anthology will be available from Audible.com and will be featured in Doubleday’s Science Fiction Book Club.
Among this year’s group of contest winners, Jeff Carlson seemed to be getting an early start on pursuing his career. Ace published his first novel, Plague Year, this month and will publish its sequel, Plague War, in 2008.
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© 2007, Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Writers of the Future & Illustrators of the Future 23rd Annual Awards Celebration!
Just before the awards ceremony started I talked to illustrators Randall Ensley and Bryan Beus and they confided to me that their knees were wobbly and that butterflies had taken flight in their bellies.
I am going to cover the evening as it unfolded for the winners, judges and guests but will take it easy with photos so that the blog will load faster on your computer. However lateron I will include a link at the end of the blog to www.writersofthefuture.com, where I am putting up a webpage that will show a lot of photos of the event, the speakers and presenters, the winners and the special guests, so for all of you who liked to see lots of cool photos, you will still get to see them.
As a note, the entire event took place at The Caltech Athenaeum, located in beautiful Pasadena, California. This location at the California Institute of Technology was appropriate on more than one count. Not only is it the home of many of today's top minds who are planning and executing America's space program such as the Mars Pathfinder Mission and the Mars Global Surveyor Mission, but it just so happens that L. Ron Hubbard himself - or to be more accurate, Lieutenant Hubbard with US Naval Intelligence - was at this very location in 1945, the dawn of the Atomic Age. The reason for his meeting was to discuss the peace-time use of scientific discoveries with Caltech scientists and specifically ways and means of getting mankind into space and reaching the stars.
Thus with a setting for this memorable evening as fitting as the Athenaeum at Caltech, where no other than Albert Einstein had an office during his stay in Southern California, the place was brimming with expectation for what was to come.
First off, Joni Labaqui from Author Services (the literary agency for L. Ron Hubbard) as the Master of Ceremonies introduced John Goodwin, President of Galaxy Press which publishes the Writers of the Future anthology. John gave us insight into why L. Ron Hubbard was so intent on helping new writers and illustrators get published by giving a brief overview of Hubbard's own career as a writer in the 1930's and 40's. He had to break into a field that was dominated by writers the likes of Dashiel Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Tennessee Williams and Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Hubbard's advantage was that he was an adventurer at heart and thus could draw from exploits he himself had lived such as riding shotgun with a British secret agent in Peking, skirting typhoons off Borneo and hacking through Caribbean jungles.
It wasn't long before the name L. Ron Hubbard was emblazoned across a dozen pulp covers with his wealth of hard-won experience coupled with a rare eye for drama and ear for dialogue.
Thus before long Hubbard redesigned the keyborad of his typewriter to pound out copy at upwards of ninety words a minute, regularly churning out seventy to a hundred thousand words of saleable fiction a month - and that with only three working days a week.
Needless to say L. Ron Hubbard knew what it took to start out from scratch and work himself up into the ranks of highly regarded and sought-after writers.
After the presentation on Hubbard, Joni welcomed the judges and special guests who came to honor the winners and present them with their awards.
The names of the Writers of the Future judges are a literal who's who in the science fiction and fantasy field and here they are:
Kevin J. Anderson
Rebecca Moesta (who was also announced a brand-new judge for Writers of the Future)
Dr. Yoji Kondo a NASA astrophysicist who writes under pen name Eric Kotani
Dr. Laura Brodian Freas
Dr. Jerry Pournelle
Val Lakey Lindahn
Dr. Doug Beason
As special guests the following friends of the contest attended:
Lee Purcell, actress in TV shows and major motion pictures
Carina Rico, song-writer, singer and performer who just released her third album
Denice Duff, actress in science fiction and fantasy films
Beth Anderson, Senior Vice President of Audible.com
Rome Quezada, Editor in Chief of the Science Fiction Book Club
After this announcement, the California State Conference Director of the NAACP took the stage - Dr. Sandra E. Thomas - in her quest to ensure educational equality for all people. She stated that programs such as the Writers and Illustrators of the Future contest are vital for our future and presented the "Award of Excellence" to the L. Ron Hubbard Writers & Illustrators of the Future programs.
At this point, John Goodwin from Galaxy Press took the stage once more and released the anthology - Writers of the Future Volume XXIII - with a stunning video presentation that blew everybody's socks off. No, not literally but it was truly amazing and many guests commented on it after the ceremony. We will soon make it available on-line as well so all the fans of the book can see it.
He further stated that the new Writers of the Future Volume will be available as a Science Fiction Book Club selection very soon and that an audio book edition will be produced and published by Audible.com, so we are looking forward to seeing these editions come out.
The stage was now set for the winners to go up and accept their awards which started with the illustrators who were presented by the judges and the other special guests acting as presenters.
The L. Ron Hubbard Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts was the next point on the agenda and this really was very special considering that it was given to an icon in the science fiction and fantasy arena - Mr. Charles Brown, Editor of Locus Magazine which he not only founded in 1968 but for which he won 19 Hugo Awards as well. He has also covered the Writers of the Future Contest in Locus Magazine since its inception.
The acceptance speech of Charles Brown was very unique and extremely funny but heartfelt and appreciative. It was clear that he had lived and breathed science fiction and was utterly at home in the midst of the luminaries in attendance.
And if that wasn't enough, the next guest speaker to address the audience was a scientist who had won the NASA Exceptional Achievement Award for his work on the Mars Pathfinder - Mr. Allen Sirota, Lead Engineer of the Mars Pathfinder Rover. He paid tribute to the role science fiction plays in shaping the future of mankind, i.e. somebody has to come up with the ideas that provide the scientists with the material they draw from for new technological developments and advancements. That is the science fiction writer and appropriately they are the Writers of the Future. He thanked the science fiction authors for inspiring him and other scientists and encouraged them to keep the ideas coming.
Last but not least he quoted L. Ron Hubbard, who once said:
"Science fiction does not come after the fact of a scientific discovery or development. It is the herald of possibility... It is the dream that precedes the dawn when the inventor awakens and goes to his books or lab saying, 'I wonder whether I could make that dream come true in the world of real science."
It was now time for the writers to be presented with their awards which was a task undertaken by the Writers of the Future judges who proudly got up to present a new generation of science fiction and fantasy writers.
Almost at the end of the event, we came to the most important part - the presentation of the Gold Award to both the writer and the illustrator. None of the writers, nor the illustrators knew who would be the lucky recipient of this coveted award.
The illustrators sat with bated breath to see Carina Rico and Ron Lindahn pull out the envelope that concealed the name - Lorraine Schleter! A huge smile exploded on her face as she went up on stage to not only receive the award and the large trophy but also the check for $5,000 which was presented by Joni from Author Services.
Here are the photos of Lorraine getting her trophy and her check. I'd say she was happy!
And here is Stephen Kotowych, receiving the Gold Award from Tim Powers and Lee Purcell for his story Saturn in G Minor. The second shot is of Stephen trying to get his wits around saying something intelligent in the spur of the moment, not having prepared for this victory at all. In fact he told me afterwards that an hour before the ceremony, judges Jerry Pournelle and Yoji Kondo had told him that he wasn't the winner of the Gold award, so not even to worry about it!!
That's it for now. I hope I was able to give some insight into the awards ceremony for all those who could not attend and a bunch more photos will be put up on writersofthefuture.com and the link will be posted on the blog, so check back within the next day or two and you'll be able to see them!
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Illustrator Workshop - 1st & 2nd Day
The workshop instructors are Ron Lindahn and Val Lakey-Lindahn. Ron is of course the coordinating judge of the illustrators contest and both Ron and Val have served as judges for Illustrators of the Future for 19 years. They welcomed the winners and gave them an overview of what was to come for the rest of the week.
Standing is Ron Lindahn and next to him to the left and around the table are:
Yuliya Kostyuk (from Russia), Lorraine Schleter, Marcus Collins, Artem Mirolevich, Geir Lanesskog, Randall Ensley, Amelia Mammoliti, Bryan Beus and Lars Edwards.
Ron and Val are covering different techniques of illustrating with the winners.
Illustrators of the Future judge, Stephen Hickman who has been illustrating science fiction and fantasy for three decades addressed the illustrators at the workshop.
Stephen's illustrations have been used as cover work for many contemporary writers: Stephen Brust, Hal Colbatch, Tom Cool, Gordon Dickson, David Drake, Harlan Ellison, Robert Heinlein, Anne McCaffrey, Larry Niven, Andre Norton, Jerry Pournelle, and Steve Stirling among others. Several of these of course are Writers of the Future judges.
Hickman’s work has earned him critical acclaim, including a World Science Fiction Convention's Hugo Award and 5 Chesley Awards from the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists.
Since 1976 Hickman has illustrated over 400 covers for Ace, Baen, Ballantine, Bantam, Berkeley, Dell, Del Rey, Doubleday, Phage Press, Tor, Warren Publications and others. The illustrator winners soaked the advice up, eager to start using it in their own careers.
Another judge for the contest, Judith Miller, gave further insight into the craft from her experience as an illustrator. She has a master’s degree in fine arts from Rutgers University and has gained experience in many aspects of illustration, with works published in numerous books and magazines. Her award-winning and coveted paintings can be found in private collections around the country. Here is Judith in action at the workshop.
And if that wasn't enough, the illustrators were treated with another talk by industry professional Cliff Nielsen, who is producing awesome art for book covers such as the Chronicles of Narnia series and who has worked in the business as a professional illustrator for many years.
Cliff covered the 4 C's of illustration. They are:
He also talked to them about the business aspect of being an illustrator, the different markets and how to best approach them to sell and make money.
All in all the illustrators were thrilled with all the presentations from these professionals who took the time and the care to help them get a grip on how to launch their careers.
At the end of Day 3, there was another talk given to both the illustrators and the writers by three staff from Galaxy Press. First we had Kimberley Catalano who runs the Sales Department at Galaxy as the Senior Vice President for Operations. She talked about how to set up, promote and hold a successful bookstore signing event and how the writers and illustrators should work with the staff at Galaxy Press to make them as successful as possible. Here is Kim during her presentation.
Then I as the Senior Vice President for Administration talked about venues of marketing on the internet, specifically through blogs and how a new author just starting out should proceed in the blogosphere including how to get listed in the various blog directories. Additionally I gave them information on how to make themselves known through articles about their writing projects as well as how these articles are distributed online to reach their target audience and bring people to their website or blog. Here I am at the workshop.
Concluding the evening, we had John Goodwin, President of Galaxy Press, going through the procedure of how to conduct an interview on radio and TV, covering pitfalls and things to be avoided as well as specific guidelines to keep in mind when being interviewed by the press, all the while forwarding the intended message about the book they are promoting. I heard several comments afterwards from winners that these presentations were very much liked, but that they would have liked to cover these subjects in even greater detail. What I can say on that is that all the writer and illustrator winners are welcome to contact any of us at Galaxy Press and we can help you with questions and guidance and provide you with whatever you need in these areas.
John also took this opportunity to show the winners a real treasure. He actually gathered up original pulp magazines which contained fiction stories by L. Ron Hubbard that had been published throughout the 30's, 40's and 50's and these were passed around so everybody could see them close up! This was a special treat and elicited rave responses especially due to the spectacular pulp art that is featured on these magazines. Here is John doing this presentation.
Okay, this takes us through Wednesday night at which point we have had 3 days of writer workshop activities and 2 days of workshop for the illustrators who started on Tuesday.
I will cover Thursday and Friday in the next posting which will have awesome photos from the awards ceremony featuring the Gold Award winners for both the writers and illustrator contest, showing them during the award acceptance speech. It was an incredible moment which Stephen Kotowych, the Gold Award winner of the Writers Contest encapsulated on his blog and you can find it here at this link:
Stephen wrote the story "Saturn in G Minor" which is sci-fi with an interesting and very original twist.
The Illustrator Gold Award winner was likewise speechless when she found out at the ceremony that she had won and I'll have some great shots posted on that too. Her name is Lorraine Schleter and she did the illustration for the story "Mask Glass Magic".
See you soon for the posting on the final 2 days!
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Writers Workshop 2nd & 3rd Day
I know I am quite late with this posting but the last few days have been a whirlwind of activity which I am just now winding down from.
On Friday night we had the awards ceremony which was just spectacular and yesterday we had the book signing with all the winners and a lot of the judges at Borders in Pasadena - but more of that later. We are still sorting through all the photos from these 2 memorable events but will have them ready for posting tomorrow.
Right now I am going to catch up on what happened on Tuesday and Wednesday with lots of great shots from those 2 days.
Well, on Tuesday we had the 2nd day for the writers and we had the workshop for the illustrators starting as well, so it was a packed day as was Wednesday.
I'll start with the writer's workshop which continued on Tuesday with Tim Powers and K.D. Wentworth gathering the writer's in the lobby of the hotel in Pasadena to send them off for their next task which was to find a complete stranger and strike up a conversation with them with the idea to find out whatever they can about them and use what they learned about this stranger in the story they are to write. Here is Tim and K.D. sending off the writers:
And here we have Stephen Kotowych from Toronto eating lunch with his stranger. I am not sure if Stephen invited the stranger to lunch or the other way around.
They also went to the local library to do research on the subject they have decided to write about based on the object they received on Monday. If they aren't able to come up with any story ideas based on the object they are encouraged to read up on something, anything; perhaps penguins or albatrosses. It's really up to them. Here they are gathered in front of the library.
From left to right, we have: Andrea Kail, Jeff Carlson, Kim Zimring, Douglas Texter, Stephen Gaskell, Aliette de Bodard, John Burridge, Tony Pi, Stephen Kotowych, K.D. Wentworth, Joseph Jordan, Tim Powers, Damon Kaswell and Edward Sevcik.
Stephen Gaskell from England has his object - a red and white striped star of all things - right next to him as a reminder. Looks like he is straining to make a connection with something or other.
Andrea Kail in the library, doing serious research for a story that is starting to take shape.
After completing their research and talking to a stranger the actual challenge begins. They now have 24 hours to write a story which they are to turn in by Wednesday before dinner and these stories will be read by their fellow writers, so nobody wants to turn in some schlock piece. The writers are laboring hard burning the midnight oil to develop their characters and come up with a plausible plot line that somehow ties in with the object they received and the stranger they interviewed earlier.
Check out these 2 shots of Aliette from Paris, France and Stephen Kotowych from Toronto:
The writing of the stories was completed on the 3rd day and at the end of the 3rd day the writers and illustrators got presentations from Galaxy Press on how to set up bookstore signing events to sell the book, how to sell the book online through blogging and distribution of online content and they further learned how to do media interviews for print, radio and TV. Check the next blog posting for further details on how that went!
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
23rd Writers of the Future Workshop Started
Next, K.D. is passing out various randomly picked objects which the winners must use to come up with a plot for a story they will write within 24 hours. Depending on how fast they can write, some of them might stay up into the wee hours to finish it, but that's up to them.
It seems like they are very happy with the objects they have received!
Here we have in the front row: Jeff Carlson, Kim Zimring, second row: Andrea Kail and Joseph Jordan, third row: Aliette deBoudard and Stephen Gaskell.
On the other side of the room are in the front row: Stephen Kotowych, Tony Pi, second row: Doug Texter and John Burridge, third row: Damon Kaswell and Edward Sevcik.
Stephen Kotowych was heard saying, ""My head is already full, and its only the first day!"
Final words from the workshop instructors to the winners, before they are sent off to the 24 hour story-telling marathon!
Stay tuned for more updates on the workshop in Pasadena, California.
Today all the illustrators arrived and we'll have news from them tomorrow.