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

Sunday, September 30, 2007

3rd Winner from the First Quarter Illustrators Contest

Here is the winning art from Alexandra Szweryn of Brisbane, Australia:

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Another First Quarter Illustrator Winner

This is the art of Robert Hall of Gilbertsville New York:

Friday, September 28, 2007

First Quarter Winners Art

Dear All,

In the first quarter of this year we did not show you the actual winning art. Today we start with Stephen Stanley's 3 winning art pieces. Tomorrow you will see Robert Hall's 3 winning pieces and Sunday you'll see Alexandra Szweryn's work.

First Quarter Illustrator winner Stephen Stanley - from Eugene Oregon

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Helpful Hints for Contestants

Dear All,

The 4th Quarter is soon ending (this Sunday) and the entries are pouring in. A few notes for you all: Make sure you send a separate "cover letter" that includes your name, full address, e-mail address and the name of your story.

Do not place your name anywhere on the first page (or any page) of the actual story, or your artwork (for illustrators).

Also, as a note, I am always looking for news of your successes. Send them in and they will be posted.

Best, Joni

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

We Hit #1 on Amazon.com!!!!!

Dear All,

Great news! Read on..... and spread the word.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

4 More Days Left to Send In Entries for the 4th Quarter

Dear All,

Just a reminder that the 4th Quarter ends on the 30th of September (this Sunday). You need to get to the post office this coming Saturday to have it post-marked in time.


After only one week of sales, L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 23 has topped Amazon.com’s SF bestseller list for anthologies. (It also topped the list for SF short fiction and hit #10 in overall SF new releases!)

The writing and illustrating contests, now in their 24th year, were created by L. Ron Hubbard to provide a means for the aspiring writer and artist to have a chance for their creative efforts to be seen and acknowledged. Hitting bestseller lists bears testament to that desire to see these new careers take off.

This news makes what Publishers Weekly said in their review all the more accurate: “Those looking for a new group of classic, hard science fiction writers need look no further than the latest volume of Galaxy’s always reliable original anthology series.”

For those of you who have gotten your copy of volume 23 already, thank you. For those of you who haven't, thank you in advance!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

2nd Quarter Illustrator Winners - Winning Art

Below is the art from our three winners for the Second Quarter of the Contest.

Robert Castillo from Jersey City New Jersey

Brittany Jackson of Detroit Michigan

Stephen Knox of Philadelphia Pennsylvania

Monday, September 17, 2007

Jeff Carlson's Take On The Recent Awards Ceremony

Jeff Carlson Receives Award from Contest Judge Larry Niven

Writers of the Future insider report, Part III

I was a first-place winner in this year’s Writers of the Future short story contest. I survived their week-long “boot camp” writing workshops and the black-tie awards ceremony in Pasadena, California, and my life is gradually getting back to normal enough that I’m journaling the experience. Here, finally, is Part Three of my insider report on what has been the most prestigious short fiction contest in science fiction and fantasy for twenty-three years.


As we arrived at Caltech for the WOTF black-tie awards ceremony, everyone gathered inside a dark, ornate, wood-paneled hall beside the Athenaeum, enjoying the air conditioning and the novelty of our company. In the space of twenty minutes, I introduced my wife to two of my favorite writers, Doug Beason and Jerry Pournelle, and we also spoke with one of the JPL engineers again, a young über­-genius named Arin Morfopoulos.

Dinner was unreal. Everyone was in their best and Galaxy Press had made certain to seat a celebrity at every table. Diana and I happened to find ourselves with Dr. Pournelle again, who, not surprisingly, is an entertaining story teller. Most of our talk was about writing, of course, and publishing and the contest. Meanwhile we were served a topnotch, four-course meal straight out of Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous.

And my adrenaline continued to pick up.

We were ushered out into the night. I squeezed my hands into fists just to redirect my excitement. Despite the ample seating, it was standing room only, with many guests on their feet to the sides and rear of the rows upon rows of chairs provided for 400 people.

The celebration began with a “book trailer” for the anthology that would not have been out of place in any movie theater, with stunning graphics and music displayed on the twelve-foot video screen. It was a thrill to see my story included in the machine gun burst of imagery, FX, teasers, and enthusiastic endorsements from Kevin J. Anderson, Orson Scott Card, and Locus Magazine.

“Hot New Talent.” You gotta love that.

The illustrators accepted their awards first, and I was nervous for them as one by one they made their thank-yous at the podium. I could only imagine what it must be like up there in the lights before the crowd... and too soon I would find out.

Each winner was first introduced and then welcomed onto the stage by a contest judge. I drew Larry Niven, which was a huge pleasure, since I’d grown up absorbed with books like Ringworld and Lucifer’s Hammer.

When I walked to the podium, my mind went blank in a white nuclear flash. So many faces! The applause was dazzling and I was very aware of the camera crew kneeling at the edge of the stage. Beyond the crowd, on a raised platform, was another camera aimed at me like an artillery cannon. Somehow I got through my speech with exactly the gratitude and excitement I’d wanted to convey.

L. Ron Hubbard’s foresight and generosity in establishing the contest have had a profound effect in keeping science fiction alive and thriving. WOTF is exactly what the field needs to give new writers a shot in the arm. The workshops are unmatched and the anthology puts each year’s stories exactly where this work needs to be, on the book racks and in people’s hands.

It’s a life-changing event.

After the lights came down, the writers and illustrators gathered around a long table to autograph Vol. XXIII for the hundreds of guests, shaking hands, taking pictures, and laughing now that the tension of being on stage was done.

There were photos and interviews, and Diana and I didn’t get back to the hotel until 2:30 in the morning...

...and we promptly rose just six hours later for a hot shower, hot coffee, and a shuttle ride to the downtown Borders, where Galaxy Press had organized a public launch of the anthology. Many of the instructors and judges also came along to sign their own books, and I was deeply pleased see this incredible line-up include my own first novel, an end-of-the-world thriller entitled Plague Year.

The event was a success by any reckoning. We sold hundreds of books, and the Borders manager said afterward that it had been the most profitable book signing in their history.

And we still weren’t done! Some of the writer winners went off to a late lunch with the editorial staff of Abyss & Apex, a successful online magazine, while others hurried to do interviews with the web & podcast program Adventures In SF.

That evening was bittersweet. We’d been through the fire together. We were close for it. Day after day, the entire week at WOTF had been a heady and sometimes overwhelming experience. Now we had to say goodbye. It was over.

It was just beginning!!!

John Goodwin had already secured a television appearance for writer winner Steve Gaskell, I was set for an interview with the nationally-syndicated radio show Sci Fi Overdrive, and many of us were already booked for our own autographings at stores and military bases.

The reality is that the workshops, the awards ceremony and other mind-croggling events at WOTF are by no means intended to be the peak of your career. It’s a launch pad. It’s rocket fuel.

If you want to write, enter the contest.


PLAGUE YEAR, from Ace Books in August 2007
“The Frozen Sky” in WOTF XXIII in September
and WAR DAY, from Ace in Summer 2008

Tags: awards ceremony, book signing, wotf contest, writers of the future
Current Mood: excited

Friday, September 14, 2007

More Good News from our Winners and Judges

Winner News:

Sarah Totton - WOTF XXII, wrote in to let us know that she sold a novelette, "The Stone Man" to Adromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Issue #33. This is in the Australian market.
Judge News:

Robert J. Sawyer - WOTF judge won China's top science-fiction award, the Galaxy Award (no relation to us) in the category "Most Popular Foreign Author of the Year". The award, voted on by Chinese readers, was presented at the Chengdu International Science Fiction and Fantasy Festival, the largest science-fiction conference ever held in China.

Part of Robert's acceptance speech was as follows: "the great thing about science fiction is that it transcends national boundaries. It's wonderful to be at a conference along with writers from the United States, England, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Russia, New Zealand, and Canada. Science fiction really is the literature of Planet Earth."

Thursday, September 13, 2007

3rd Quarter Finalists Announced!

The third quarter finalists are hereby announced for both the Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contests. They are:


Ian McHugh of Hackett Australia
Stephanie Henderson of Irvine California
Brent Knowles of Edmonton Canada
Spencer Ellsworth of Bothell Washington
Kim Gillett of Rochester New York
KJ Kabza of Somerville Massachusetts
Al Bogdan of Huntington Woods Michigan
Dr. Philip Kaldon of Allendale Michigan


Sean Smith of Thousand Oaks California
Ilya Shkipin of Fremont, California
Vera Vladimirovna Gaskri of San Diego California
Damian Zari of Portland Oregon
Ryan Winch of Clovis California
James Wysochanski of Lockport New York
James Galindo of Palm Springs California
Sean Kibbe of South Bend Indiana

There will be three winners for each contest. Congratulations to you all and good luck! -- Joni

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Contest is Making News!!!

Dear All,

Since our annual event was held in late August we have been making the news in many of the local areas where winners live as well as nationally.

We've been on TV in Pasadena with Marcus Collins, our illustrator winner currently attending art school there.

Over a dozen TV stations across the country have included event articles on their daily website.

Lorraine Schleter (grand prize illustrator winner) has become big news in her state. The Governor of Indiana will be making her an Honorary Distinguished Hoosier in the State of Indiana!

TV has already been scheduled for several more of our winners and we will keep you posted as they appear.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

2nd Quarter Winners Announced!

Dear All,

Now that the awards event is over the contest judging has been completed, the judges results are in and, after contacting these winners personally, here are the results:

Writers of the Future Contest winners

1st Place - J.D. EveryHope from Bellingham WA - for her story Circuit

2nd Place - Sarah Edwards from Rathdrum Idaho for her story
The Simulacrum's Children

3rd Place - Paula Styles of Vancouver Canada for her story Snakes and Ladders

This is a first in contest history that we have 3 women winners in a single quarter of the contest.

The Three Illustrators of the Future Contest winners are:

Stephen Knox of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Brittany Jackson of Detroit Michigan
Robert Castillo of Jersey City, New Jersey

These six winners will join us next year for the workshops and awards event.
Time and location will be announced early next year.

Congratulations to you all!!

Best, Joni

Monday, September 3, 2007

Publishers Weekly Review for Volume XXIII Well Done to ALL Published in the Book

Edited by Algis Budrys. Galaxy, $7.99 (554p) ISBN 978-1592123988

Those looking for a new group of classic, hard science fiction writers need look no further than the latest volume of Galaxy's always-reliable original anthology series. A distinguished panel of judges, including Orson Scott Card, Larry Niven and Jack Williamson, selected 13 quality stories by relative newcomers touched with imagination and inventive plotting. The standout is Jeff Carlson's "The Frozen Sky," a pulse-pounding account of an encounter with extraterrestrial life beneath the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa, but several others will linger in the reader's mind. Fresh names worth watching include Tony Pi, who presents a chilling story of the world's end, and Douglas Texter, whose vision of reality television's future features time-traveling lensmen sent to capture historic events. Also included are essays by Hubbard and artist Judith Miller, and illustrations from a number of different artists, a mixed collection marked by occasional brilliance. While readers will relish these short pieces, many of the ideas explored in them would likely work well in a longer format, auguring well for the future of these talented up-and-comers. (Sept.)

Go to PublishersWeekly.com for location on PW site of the review.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Our Gold Award Winners!

Here is a short video of Stephen Kotowych accepting his Gold award and being interviewed after the event:

Here is a short video of Lorraine Schleter accepting her Gold award and being interviewed after the event: