In digging through our files for our commemorative WOTF book, we found
the following great advice from Fredrick Pohl:
"When unpublished writers ask for advice about how to get their careers
moving I always advise them to enter their stories in the Wotf contest.
It's easy enough to do. You go to a bookstore and ask them for a copy
of L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future. Each copy contains
an entry blank, with the contest's address, and a copy of the rules and
rewards. It's a good idea to read some of the winning stories. Type out
a nice clean copy of your best story and send it in to that address. Three
months later, do the same with your second best story. Three months
after that, your third best, and you keep on doing that until you run out
of stories. (Which actually you should never do. You're still writing,
"The reason for doing it that is is that the contest is organized on a
quarterly basis. Every three months, the staff gathers up all the stories
that have accumulated in that period and ships them out to judges. When
the judges have finished their deliberations, the winner gets $1,000.00,
with lesser amounts for the second and third place. Then, when the fourth
quarter has been dealt with, the four quarterly 1st place winners go to a
different set of judges, who pick the grand prize winner, who gets another
"The thing to remember is that each quarterly batch is separate. One
batch may be twice as good as the next. Or, through the luck of the draw,
may just have more or fewer good stories.
"That's why you try to be in as many quarters as possible."