American Idol for Writers and Illustrators


The end of the 31st year of Writers and Illustrators of the Future in just a few weeks has been compared to the finale of the American Idol

HOLLYWOOD — If you think the chance to win on a show like American Idol is steep, try writing or drawing. Each year, tens of thousands are turned away by the publishing industry. It’s a brutal weeding out process that causes many creatives to stop their dreams dead.

But there’s one entrant-friendly contest that’s been called the “American Idol” for writers and illustrators. That’s because it gives instant worldwide recognition, cash, and coaching to fledgling writers and illustrators. It’s the worldwide L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contest just completing its 31st successful year—a writing contest and illustrating contest that’s free for all entrants and age groups.

“Beginning writers and illustrators are driven by the same things that you see of the contestants on ‘American Idol’,” says Joni Labaqui, the Contests’ Director. “They’ve got passion, creative drive, and a dream: they just need a break.”

Last year’s winners came from around the globe including Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Portugal, UK, and throughout the United States.

“You could call the Writers of the Future Contest ‘The American Idol for Writers’—long before there ever was an American Idol,” said USA Today and New York Times best-selling author and Contest judge Kevin J. Anderson (Dune prequels, Saga of Seven Suns, Star Wars). “It’s amazing to me that a good 60 to 70 percent of the winners go on with successful careers in writing, and several have become best-selling authors themselves.”

Each year, Galaxy Press awards all winners with cash prizes, free travel and accommodations, week-long professional workshop, and guaranteed publication in their best-selling annual speculative fiction anthology, L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers and Illustrators of the Future.

Throughout the Contest’s 30-year history, the intensive mentoring process has proven very successful.  The 348 past winners of the Writing Contest have published 838 novels and nearly 4,000 short stories. They have produced 27 New York Times bestsellers and their works have sold over 50 million copies.

Former writing contest winners with works listed on the New York Times best-seller’s list include Stephen Baxter, Jo Beverly, Leonard Carpenter, Nancy Farmer, Karen Joy Fowler, Robert Reed, Patrick Rothfuss, Dean Wesley Smith, Sean Williams, Dave Wolverton and David Zindell.  In addition to Kevin J. Anderson, well-known contest judges include national best-selling authors such as Orson Scott Card, Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, Tim Powers, Robert Sawyer, Robert Silverberg and Dave Wolverton.

The 276 past winners of the Illustrating Contest have produced over 4,500 illustrations, 356 comic books, graced 594 books and albums with their art and visually contributed to 36 TV shows and 46 major movies.

Inspired by best-selling author L. Ron Hubbard, the merit-based Writers of the Future writing contest was initiated 31 years ago to discover and encourage talented beginning writers of science fiction and fantasy. The Contest was later expanded to include illustrators whose winners have also gone on to successful illustration and design careers. Writers of the Future Volume 30 (Galaxy Press) is now available in bookstores.

For information on how to enter the contests, go to

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