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crlisle
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Day #1 for Writers -- follow the link below to see photos

Enthusiastic writer winners from Volumes 36 & 37 in L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Contest arrived today at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, California. This iconic Hollywood hotel hosted the first Oscar Awards in one of its glamorous ballrooms back in 1929, honoring excellence in the motion picture industry. In 2021, the stars being honored for excellence this week are the up-and-coming science fiction and fantasy writers discovered by the biggest talent search for speculative fiction writers in the world.

Because of the pandemic, this year’s workshop is especially unique. For the first time in the Contest’s history, a double-volume workshop and awards gala is being held. Because of international travel restrictions, and health issues (like having a baby!), some winners will not be attending this year, but they have the option to attend the following year so that they don’t miss out. Strict protocols are in place to safeguard the winners, such as social distancing in the classroom, masks, and proof of vaccination.

The workshop kicked off with the Welcome Meeting Saturday evening with contest coordinator Joni Labaqui, coordinating judge and workshop instructor David Farland, contest judge and workshop instructor Tim Powers and the President of Galaxy Press John Goodwin. With the week’s schedule outlined and the vast hotel explored, the eager writers have been primed for an exciting event week to come. This includes podcast interviews with John Goodwin, photoshoots for author promotion, writing instruction and exercises like the famous 24-hour story, a tour of contest headquarters at Author Services, a private screening of Denis Villeneuve’s new Dune movie on its release day, tuxedo fittings, and award night rehearsals, the grand gala dinner and awards’ ceremony at the opulent Taglyan Ballroom, and to wrap it all up, the publicity seminar with special presentations by top industry professionals discussing the business side of writing. The winners have come thirsty for knowledge, and that’s a good thing—they’ll be drinking from a fire hose all week long.

Tune in for day-by-day reports, writing tips, and poolside fun and photos (there will be a garden party BBQ by the Roosevelt’s pool!) Don’t miss the live-streamed award ceremony for the 36th & 37th Annual Achievement Awards Gala on October 22, 2021, at 7:00 p.m. (PDT). Get your front row virtual seat right here at WritersoftheFuture.com!

Writers of the Future Volume 36 & 37 Workshop Week – Day 1 – Writers & Illustrators of the Future

2020 Quarters: 1st -- R, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- SHM
2021 Quarters: 1st -- HM, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- HM
2022 Quarters: 1st -- SHM, 2nd -- RWC, 3rd -- Pending, 4th -- WIP
To be published in: Martian Magazine
Published in: Galaxy's Edge magazine, Daily Science Fiction, LTUE Anthology Parliament of Wizards, Sci Fi Lampoon

 
Posted : October 20, 2021 6:47 pm
AliciaCay reacted
crlisle
(@crlisle)
Silver Star Member
Topic starter
 
Day 2 for Writers and Day 1 for Illustrators -- See link below for photos

Contributed by Wulf Moon

Day Two of the Writers of the Future Workshop began with brilliant California sunshine lighting up the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Contest coordinator Joni Labaqui led the winners on a brief walk down the Hollywood Walk of Fame for a group photo in front of the pillars of the Author Services building. Headquarters for the Contest is on the fourth floor, where winners were greeted with “bonjour” in a lovely French accent by receptionist Sophie Bartczak. Even wearing a mask, you could see by the sparkle in her eyes that she was smiling. “I’m so happy to see everybody,” she said. At long last, the workshop with its writers had returned.

Joni Labaqui led the winners into the L. Ron Hubbard Library, and Executive Director Gunhild Jacobs gave a warm welcoming speech. Joni followed with a tour of posters, displays, and awards won through the prolific writing history of the Contest’s founder.

The tour continued into the paneled Writers of the Future library itself, bookcases brimming with the published works of Contest winners and judges. Joni encouraged winners to send her any future publications for display in the library.

A wall displaying the images of past and present Contest judges was presented by Joni including photos of writer icons like Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, Anne McCaffrey, Patrick Rothfuss, Kevin J. Anderson, and Brandon Sanderson.

Another wall displayed moments from the Contest’s thirty-seven-year history, including a photo of the first awardee to walk across the Contest’s stage: Dean Wesley Smith, now a bestselling author and Contest judge himself! Joni pointed to another photo of a shuttle launch and related that she attended the event along with Contest judges and that year’s winners. After the rocket liftoff, Jack Williamson leaned over and said: “Joni, I’ve been writing about this all my life, but I’ve never imagined it like this.” After discussing photos from various Contest events featuring writers like Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury, Joni pointed to one with Mark Hamill and said: “Even Luke Skywalker himself has been to this event!”

The morning concluded with a video presentation in the L. Ron Hubbard Theater. The production featured recordings of Mr. Hubbard’s lectures on writing with period reenactments and photos from his travels. He said in his day, many professional writers were shunned by the literary world because they didn’t just talk about writing, they actually wrote. “It never occurred to professors that writers write,” Hubbard said. He stated that if you sold your stories, you were considered a pariah. He never let that atmosphere stop him, writing a phenomenal 100,000 words per month. The message of the presentation? Professional writers write.

As the bright-eyed writers returned to the Roosevelt, Author Services PR representative Claude Sandoz stated: “It’s always very inspiring. It’s beautiful to see the next crop of writers discovered by this Contest. They all come here with the desire to learn what’s next, and we want to help them. These are the writers that will create the future. They don’t know it yet, but their works will influence our society and its development.”

The afternoon workshop began in the hotel’s Academy Room with instructors David Farland (Runelords) and Tim Powers (On Stranger Tides) on a discussion of storytelling prompts for the upcoming 24-hour story exercise. David Farland stated that for a professional writer, writing on demand is part of the job. He related that most hobby writers wait for the muse to strike before they go to work on a story. In contrast, working writers go to work, knowing inspiration will come. He cited his own example where Dean Wesley Smith (Poker Boy series) called needing a story written overnight for one of his publications. David agreed. Dean said it’s an anthology about unicorns, so he needed a unicorn story. David said okay. It had to be SF. David said okay. Maybe cyberpunk. David said okay. With the theme of immortality. David said okay, and with no further stipulations (whew!), he went to work, turning in the story the next day as promised. Dean said, “Wow, this is amazing. You did this overnight?” Even Dean Wesley Smith was surprised, but as David said, writing on demand is part of the job.

Tim Powers gave three conditions to creating the 24-hour stories:

• Discuss the idea with your assigned writing buddy during the workshop.

• Research the idea on Google, farming ideas far from the original premise by exploring extended article links.

• They must use a physical object he would provide as their story prompt.

At that point, he drew items from a bag for each writer, including a matchbook, a token awarded for a period of sobriety, another item he said could have belonged to Phillip K. Dick (they were good friends), and other small items handed to each that might seem inconsequential, but were to be woven into the story.

Writers were told not to view this as a throw-away exercise—many winners from past workshops had sold their 24-hour stories.

The rest of the afternoon focused on a variety of writing advice, such as plotting stories, and basic story elements writers should be cognizant of as they write, including knowledge of “the hero’s journey.” Tim Powers advised writing a biography page for each character in a story. He said to ask them any trivial question one could think of, such as why the character is a vegetarian. Write down the answer, but he said the first answer is never the true answer. He said go back and ask, “No, why really?” Oftentimes, the pay dirt is there.

David Farland followed with one of the most important questions a writer needs to answer about their hero. “What does the hero care about so deeply that they would give their life for it?”

David ended the afternoon session with a quote by Algis Budrys (Rogue Moon), the Contest’s first Coordinating Judge. Algis recommended writing about characters confronted with problems, but that writers shouldn’t set out to feature a theme. David said it’s not a rule, but a prejudice of his, that writers shouldn’t blatantly create a story because “they have something to say.” Tim Powers agreed, adding: “If I see it developing on its own, great, it means it’s happening on its own organically.”

Stay tuned for writing lessons learned tomorrow before writers are launched to write their 24-hour stories!

Houston, we have lift-off!

Illustrators of the Future Art Workshop: Day 1, Arrival

Contributed by Kary English

Aspiring illustrators from around the world arrived in Hollywood today for the annual L. Ron Hubbard Illustrators of the Future workshop. Each illustrator is a quarterly winner in the world’s largest contest for aspiring artists. They’ve already won a cash prize, a week-long workshop, and a spot in an awards ceremony that rivals the Oscars, but they’re not finished yet. There’s one prize left to win, and that’s the Golden Brush Award, which comes with a cash prize of $5,000.

Every illustrator has created a final piece for the competition, an illustration for one of the winning stories from the companion contest for writers. The judges for the Golden Brush Award are a Who’s Who of award-winning illustrators, including Echo Chernik, Lazarus Chernik, Ciruelo, Vincent Di Fate, Diane Dillon, Bob Eggleton, Craig Elliott, Larry Elmore, Laura Freas Beraha, Val Lakey Lindahn, Stephan Martiniere, Gary Meyer, Mike Perkins, Sergey Poyarkov, Rob Prior, Dan dos Santos, Shaun Tan, Stephen Youll, and Bea Jackson.

Now in its 32nd year, Illustrators of the Future workshop offers a combination of craft, business, and marketing skills aimed at taking the illustrators’ careers to the next level. Sample topics include color harmony, composition, professionalism, social media marketing, interview techniques, and how to think like an illustrator.

We’ll catch up with the illustrator workshop tomorrow for Day 2.

Writers of the Future Volume 36 & 37 Workshop Week – Day 2 – Writers & Illustrators of the Future

2020 Quarters: 1st -- R, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- SHM
2021 Quarters: 1st -- HM, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- HM
2022 Quarters: 1st -- SHM, 2nd -- RWC, 3rd -- Pending, 4th -- WIP
To be published in: Martian Magazine
Published in: Galaxy's Edge magazine, Daily Science Fiction, LTUE Anthology Parliament of Wizards, Sci Fi Lampoon

 
Posted : October 20, 2021 6:49 pm
AliciaCay reacted
crlisle
(@crlisle)
Silver Star Member
Topic starter
 
Day 3 for Writers and Day 2 for Illustrators-- see link below for photos

Contributed by Wulf Moon

Day Three of the Writers of the Future Workshop began with David Farland (Runelords) leading a discussion on marketing. He recalled his own experience years ago when he went through the workshop and read L Ron Hubbard’s article entitled “The Manuscript Factory.” The article contained pointed advice to aspiring authors to recognize that they are a factory, and the stories they produce are their product. For a factory to succeed, it must produce decent quality product, and it must have consistent production levels. Farland said thinking of his manuscripts as products was a foreign idea to him, but an essential idea for a new author to wrap their mind around. Farland said: “The point is, if you want to make a living as a writer, you have to produce.”

Farland said that from the view of New York publishers, you’re either a proven author or an unproven author. He said you might think you’ve established that you’re in the “proven” category by having ten sales to Weird Tales, but all you’ve proven is that you have a fan of one editor. Farland said: “But if you get published by four or five editors, other editors will say, ‘Okay, you’re being published in several magazines. Yeah, you’re one to watch.’” In speaking of the level of recognition the Contest provides for winning writers with editors, he said: “When you win Writers of the Future, you’ve gotten the nod. You’re already ahead of the game.”

Farland summed up the priority Contest winners need to have at this point in their writing careers: “Much of what you need to do now is to write and to keep sending your work out to be published.”

On income from novels, Farland listed many examples of how a novel might surprise a writer by paying off in many unique ways. Several examples of the potential diversity of results included audio rights, indie sales, and foreign sales. Farland cited his own results with his bestseller Runelords and how it earned him foreign rights from sixteen or seventeen countries. He recalled opening one envelope on Christmas day and finding a $100,000 check inside from Runelords’ sales in Japan. Farland added: “If you unleash your power—unleash your books upon the world—you don’t know where or when it’s going to pay off.”

Indie publishing was also discussed. Farland stated most indie writers don’t know how to effectively promote their own books, but there are several advantages unique to indie publishing that the Contest winners should take note of. First, while traditional publishers release one book a year for an author, indie allows writers to release books on their own schedule, at any rate they choose. If a writer has written a series of novels, they can release them thirty days apart. The advantage? Amazon maintains a Hot New Release list, and avid readers follow it. A boost of a novel’s sales on that list can help it get moved to their bestsellers’ list, boosting visibility, and sales.

Tim Powers (On Stranger Tides) spoke about getting your manuscript edited—which his publisher provides—and that his main objection to self-publishing on Kindle is you don’t get an editor to help you put forth your best work possible. “I know if I were to do my own editing,” Powers said, “I would be honor-bound to hire the very best editor I could find. My books are that important to me.”

Farland, who is himself a developmental editor, talked about the rates charged by professional freelance editors and why it’s a good idea to hire one. He also noted that some high-level writing groups include successful writers—some even have New York Times bestsellers—who know how to help you get your manuscript publishable. Powers added that he does want outside input on his manuscript, even with the editing services provided by his traditional publisher. He said: “When I get a book as perfect as I can make it, I do want eyes on it other than my own. I then have my wife read it because she’s widely read, but not a writer. I don’t want a writer to tell me what to fix, because they’re going to tell me how they would have written it.”

The morning wrapped up with counsel on getting an agent. Even if a newer writer could get representation by a top-level agent, those agents are too busy representing authors that generate most of the agent’s income. They don’t have the incentive to focus on promoting new, unproven writers. “You want an agent that doesn’t represent top writers like Neil Gaiman,” Tim Powers said. “The agent makes more money with that famous author, so he won’t have the time to represent you.”

Key questions to ask before signing with an agent were listed:

• How much money does the agent want?

• Talk to the agent’s clients. Are they satisfied with the agent?

• How do you separate if you no longer wish to use their services? Is it easy to be released?

Advice was given on how a new writer could find an agent at the start of their career. One of the best ways listed was to attend key writing conventions, especially those with industry award ceremonies. Publishers will send editors to these events to hold publisher parties. When the editor returns, the publisher will ask if the editor met any promising new authors. But how does a new writer gain access to these private, unpublicized parties at conventions? Workshop members were encouraged to find group tables at the bar where writers, editors, and agents socialize (this is known as “bar con”). Simply join the group, and in the course of the discussion, ask a good author where the publishing party is being held.

The instructors advised the workshop that if you meet an editor at the party, tell them you are a new writer, and give them a one-line pitch on your completed manuscript. The editor will either say they’ve already done that, or they’ll say they’re looking for that and will give you their card or email. This gets you past the restriction at most major publishing houses that say they do not take unsolicited manuscripts. Then you can send it to them and wait patiently for a response. If you get a contract, take it to an agent. It’s guaranteed money for an agent at this point, and it takes little time for them to look the contract over. Many new writers have made their first sales and obtained their agents in this manner. How do you shop for an agent? David Farland recommended researching sales records to find agents with respectable sales in www.publishersmarketplace.com.

The following afternoon session was short. This, because workshop members were about to be turned loose to create their 24-hour stories. Where writers formerly were sent into the streets of Hollywood to interview a stranger to enhance their stories, this year for safety’s sake, the writers were instructed to interview their assigned writing partners. Tim Powers jokingly said: “We may have been wrong about that. If so, we apologize.” Hobbies, funniest moments, most embarrassing moments, their greatest fear—all of these topics were questions to explore.

David Farland dismissed the class by saying: “There’s really only one sin in writing: don’t bore the editor, don’t bore the reader.” And they’re off!

Illustrator workshop, Day 2: Art as a Business

Contributed by Kary English

Cloudy Los Angeles skies could not dampen the spirits of the illustrators as Contest administrator Joni Labaqui led the artists down Hollywood’s Walk of Fame for a tour of the historic Author Services building. The artists’ destination was the building’s fourth floor, where the L. Ron Hubbard Library houses Hubbard’s works alongside artwork, books, and short stories from the careers of past contest winners. With its rich woodwork, leather, and velvet upholstery, the library oozes old Hollywood elegance.

While aspiring sci-fi and fantasy writers tend to be familiar with Hubbard’s prolific writing career, his work is often new to the illustrators. They were treated to a short documentary introducing them to the man whose life work included the Contest he founded to help discover the next generation of talented, creative professionals.

Back at the Roosevelt Hotel, Coordinating Judge Echo Chernik kicked off the illustrators’ workshop with a brief introduction. Echo started her career doing black and white illustrations for role-playing games. Her first corporate piece was produced for a Lance Armstrong event, and she later moved into advertising art while developing her signature, art nouveau-inspired style. Echo’s career spans thirty years and includes a gallery located in Bellingham, WA. She has worked on projects for Celestial Seasonings, multiple opera companies, Shadowrun, and she designed the Tak boards for a Patrick Rothfuss project.

Moving on to the business side of art, Echo talked to the illustrators about the importance of professionalism and business practices, about the nitty-gritty of being able to make a living doing what they love. Chernik started with a discussion of different paths to an art career—commercial art, fine art, popular arts and crafts, and art-related trades such as animation, architecture, fashion, and industrial design. She then covered topics such as business cards, crowd-funding, agents, how to find clients, and how to negotiate contracts.

Creative Director Lazarus Chernik rounded out the afternoon via Zoom with a presentation on portfolios. Lazarus spoke to the illustrators about which images to put in their portfolios and how to group them, how a website differs from a physical portfolio, what a portfolio review entails, and how to talk to a prospective client about their portfolio.

After dinner, the illustrators returned to the workshop for a special presentation by illustrator Bea Jackson. Jackson is a two-time New York Times bestseller known for her children’s books Parker Looks Up and Hair Like Mine. Jackson introduced herself and told the story of how art and determination took her from a background of hardship growing up to her current position as an award-winning illustrator.

With introductions out of the way, Jackson walked the illustrators through her individual process as a digital artist, from ideas to sketches, from comps and layouts to the tools she uses to make art-making more convenient, to the finished piece. Jackson rounded out the evening by taking questions about her work, her tools, and her techniques.

Tomorrow’s workshop will cover more business aspects of illustration and will feature an artist’s salon along with the “big reveal,” where the contest’s writer winners get their first chance to see the artwork created for each of their stories.

Writers of the Future Volume 36 & 37 Workshop Week – Day 3 – Writers & Illustrators of the Future

 

2020 Quarters: 1st -- R, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- SHM
2021 Quarters: 1st -- HM, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- HM
2022 Quarters: 1st -- SHM, 2nd -- RWC, 3rd -- Pending, 4th -- WIP
To be published in: Martian Magazine
Published in: Galaxy's Edge magazine, Daily Science Fiction, LTUE Anthology Parliament of Wizards, Sci Fi Lampoon

 
Posted : October 20, 2021 6:54 pm
AliciaCay and Yelena reacted
crlisle
(@crlisle)
Silver Star Member
Topic starter
 
Day 4 for Writers and Day 3 for Illustrators -- see link below for photos

Contributed by Wulf Moon

Day Four of the Writers of the Future Workshop began at 2 p.m. This was not so that the writers could sleep in, but to give them the full amount of time to complete their 24-hour stories! How did they do? Looking out over the group of tired but relieved writers, it was obvious they had successfully completed their task.

“I made it with five minutes to spare,” Leah Ning said.

“I wrote my last line ten minutes ago,” Brittany Rainsdon added.

Luke Wildman stated: “It forces you to go with your instincts. There’s no time to overthink it.”

Mission accomplished. The exercise proved to the writers that they have undiscovered potential to create stories under extremely tight deadlines. They had been warned not to view these as throw-away stories—many past winners have had their 24-hour stories published. We look forward to discovering whose stories will be published next.

After three stories were randomly selected for future critique in the workshop, more discussion on writing craft began. Tim Powers (On Stranger Tides) led it off with a reminder to the writers not to become self-assured in their abilities. “Never figure now I can coast,” Powers said. He recalled teaching the Clarion workshop and noted the overconfidence of some writers as they turned in their stories and proclaimed them good. New writers normally get feedback from friends and family, which can give them an inflated view of their abilities. Powers said: “It’s like Schrödinger’s cat. A story is like a waveform. It doesn’t exist until an editor opens the box and looks at it. Your friends don’t count.”

Powers continued discussing other issues he noted in stories from Clarion. “Too often, I saw stories where the appalling thing happened, or the supernatural, and the characters just looked at one another and said, ‘Yeah, that happens.’ There is what should be an affecting event, but characters should not go about like nothing incredible happened.”

Powers warned about the current trend of writing “snarky stories.” He said: “Don’t be flippant, ironic, sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek. Nothing kills a story faster than a tongue-in-cheek tone. Unless you’re Robert Sheckley.”

David Farland (Runelords) encouraged these writers to reject the view that speculative fiction is unimportant. “The greatest writers of all time have always been fantasists,” Farland said. “Homer, Shakespeare, Milton, all were fantasists. Ray Bradbury’s writing was too good to be considered science fiction. His speaking fee was $50,000, and universities were glad to pay it. But they didn’t classify him as a science fiction writer.”

Powers swept back in with another warning. “It’s a mistake to entertain the reader with how clever are you, the writer. It’s the equivalent in a movie of having a character look at the camera and wink. Don’t do that! I’m trying to get into your story. I don’t want to know the writer is there.”

After advising the group to study classic works, such as those of Robert Heinlein and Ted Sturgeon, the workshop was dismissed for tuxedo and gown fittings for Friday’s formal gala.

Then came the Big Reveal. This is the event every winner looks forward to—seeing the full-color commissioned illustration of their story for the first time. It is rare for most publications to commission art for a story—cost is prohibitive. But the Contest does it for each of the winners’ stories, commissioned from each artist that won the illustrators’ side of the Contest. It’s an exciting moment for the writers to enter the room where prints of their illustrations are displayed. The artists stand behind their work, hoping the writers will be pleased. It’s an emotional moment as writers circle the room and identify the illustration that belongs to their story. Cries of delight ring out, tears are spilled, compliments are made, and discussion ensues on what portions of the story inspired the illustration.

Illustrator winner Daniel Bitton spoke to Brittany Rainsdon about the illustration created for “Half-Breed.” He said: “The story had rich imagery. As I read it through, I knew the scene I would work with. It had elements of nature and magic, things I’m passionate about, so it was easy to find a real connection to the story. I spent a lot of time studying tree trunks and gnarled branches, making certain the work was accurate.” Bitton revealed he had also won a second award with the illustration in the Artrepreneur contest.

On winning the Contest, illustrator winner Arthur Bowling said: “I’m still kind of processing it. It’s a bit of a shock. I honestly didn’t expect to place this far.” As to the overall experience of the workshop, Bowling said: “It’s been a fantastic experience so far, being with other artists and the instructors. I’m looking forward to the rest of the week to learn from and with them.”

The day ended with illustrators and writers meeting together for acceptance speech rehearsals with President of Galaxy Press, John Goodwin, and a final meeting with the writers to verify all had received the three 24-hour stories to read and critique. Tim Powers finished the day with a wild story about an adventure he had with his friend, P.K. Dick. . . . Sorry, you had to be a winner to hear it. Membership does have its privileges.

Illustrators Workshop, Day 3:
Guest Instructors, Drawing Salon, and the Big Art Reveal

Contributed by Kary English

Day three began with a presentation by Dr. Laura Brodian Freas Beraha, doctor of music education. Beraha took art classes while she was at music school, and so met noted illustrator Frank Kelly Freas, who was known as the “Dean of Science Fiction Artists.” Freas’s work extended beyond science fiction to things like NASA posters and album covers for Queen.

Beraha told the illustrators that she’s subscribed toAnalog,Asimov’s,and other speculative fiction magazines in college. She’d read the stories, see images in her head, and think about how the stories should be illustrated. Sometimes she had different, and possibly better ideas than what she saw in the magazines. When she talked about this with Freas, the two struck up a friendship that led to more than three decades of marriage and artistic collaboration. Through his guidance and mentorship, Beraha learned the principles, the “how do you do it” of professional illustration.

Beraha’s illustration work began in earnest when she and Freas received a call from the publisher ofWeird Tales. The magazine wanted a reprise of a cover from 1953, along with several interior and spot illustrations. Beraha worked on the spot pieces. She then began illustrating forAnalog,TSR, theArms and Equipment Guidein addition to joint work with Freas.

“What,” Beraha asked, “is the difference between a fine artist and an illustrator? Both can draw paint well. A fine artist draws inspiration from their own head. An illustrator finds inspiration in the written words of an author. An illustrator’s job is to turn words on the page into an immediately potent, evocative visual image.”

“An image,” said Beraha, “should raise questions, but answer nothing.” For answers, the reader must buy the book or read the story.

Beraha told the illustrators to read their source material three times: once for the pleasure of reading, a second time with a sketch pad to take notes, make sketches and generate ideas, and finally, after making thumbnails and choosing a final approach, to read the piece a third time for details.

Beraha coached the illustrators to “make it beautiful.” Even when illustrating an ugly concept, beautiful art encourages the viewer to look at the art longer, to engage with the concepts that inspired the piece. She also discussed circularity, the use of artistic techniques and design elements that lead the eye through the piece in a circular, unending fashion. This technique gives the viewer more time to contemplate the visual work and to engage more deeply with the ideas it portrays.

Beraha distributed the short storyHit and Runby Jerry Oltion, and gave the illustrators time to read and sketch. The illustrators showed their sketches, then, with Beraha coaching, they discussed the scenes they’d chosen to portray and the choices they’d made. Beraha noted that a straight-on view can be static and boring. Changing the angle adds interest, so Beraha coached one illustrator to “move the POV up 6 feet, rotate by 45 degrees, and focus on the shadows.”

After lunch, Echo Chernik shared a client management tip. Clients and art directors, especially committees, want to have input on your work. Sometimes, as the artist, you can make a strategic decision by offering the client a choice—such as “do you want a bronze sword or a silver one?—in an easy-to-change layer. This often prevents the client from requesting a change in a different area of the work that might be especially complicated or difficult to modify.

Chernik also stressed the importance of using photographic references in illustration. Chernik says that using reference is perfectly acceptable, even expected in professional art, and she demonstrated side-by-side comparisons of reference and finished work by Alphonse Mucha and Norman Rockwell. In her own work, Chernik said she sometimes shoots up to 400 photos, only to use 10 or 11 in the final work.

Chernik suggested that the illustrators assemble a library of reference photos they’ve taken themselves, supplemented with images they like from books, magazines, and stock photo sites. Illustrators can turn to friends and family as models, they can use themselves, or they can hire models for reference shoots. In addition to photos, artists should also be on the lookout for props and costumes that suit their work, anything from hats, swords, and jewelry, to interesting rocks, branches, plants, textures, etc.

The workshop finished with salon time—live drawing with two costumed models. After a series of 5-minute poses for warm-ups, the illustrators settled in for an hour and a half of serious drawing.

The final item for the day was the Big Reveal. Each winning illustrator had been commissioned to illustrate one of the winning stories. For the writers, it’s usually the first time they’ve ever seen their work brought to life in a visual medium. For the illustrators, it’s often the first time they get to meet an author and discuss the work in person.

The illustrators are nervous. What if the author doesn’t like the work, or can’t figure out which artwork goes with their story? Will the author understand what the artist was trying to show? It’s an emotional night for artists and authors alike, resulting in gasps, excited squeals, and more than a few tears.

Writers of the Future Volume 36 & 37 Workshop Week – Day 4 – Writers & Illustrators of the Future

2020 Quarters: 1st -- R, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- SHM
2021 Quarters: 1st -- HM, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- HM
2022 Quarters: 1st -- SHM, 2nd -- RWC, 3rd -- Pending, 4th -- WIP
To be published in: Martian Magazine
Published in: Galaxy's Edge magazine, Daily Science Fiction, LTUE Anthology Parliament of Wizards, Sci Fi Lampoon

 
Posted : October 20, 2021 6:56 pm
crlisle
(@crlisle)
Silver Star Member
Topic starter
 
Day 5 for Writers and Day 4 for Illustrators -- see link below for photos

Contributed by Wulf Moon

Day Five of the Writers of the Future Workshop began with critiques on the three randomly selected 24-hour stories that the winners read overnight. At the end, Tim Powers (On Stranger Tides) and David Farland (Runelords) made their comments. The final advice from Powers: “I do think when you’re writing, don’t kill the dog, don’t kill the kid. My wife won’t read a book that has a dog that’s killed in it. I wrote a book where I killed the dog, and I had to bring him back to life in the sequel. For my wife.”

The afternoon began with guest instructors. Leading off were Contest judges and husband-and-wife team Kevin J. Anderson (Dune sequels) and Rebecca Moesta (Star Wars: Young Jedi Knights). Their theme centered on being professionals and a professional image. Anderson said: “You are always, always, always on stage. You can’t be really nice on a panel and be really snarky off the panel.” Moesta followed with one of the ways a writer could be snarky. “When somebody else is successful, never whine about somebody else’s success. You do not know the work and what they went through to get there.”

Next came Larry Niven (Ringworld), outlining his rules for collaboration. Two key points were never enter into a collaboration with a writer you don’t trust and be aware that collaborations are always more work, not less. Niven said, “Research is fun. You’ll find it generates stories. You don’t get lucky if you don’t research for fun.”

Following that came a joint presentation with Dean Wesley Smith (Poker Boy series) and Todd McCaffrey (Dragonsblood). While McCaffrey has had much experience in traditional publishing working in collaboration with his mother, Anne McCaffrey, he focused on indie publishing and getting a manuscript publication-ready. “If we write a series,” McCaffrey said, “it’s been my experience that every new book in a series increases sales for all the other books as well.”

Dean Wesley Smith presented his approach to indie publishing as a pulp writer, citing that twenty-seven million people have bought his books. He warned the writers not to *fix* things after they’ve written them. “Chances are, you’re cutting out your voice,” Smith said. “If you polish something like a rock polisher does, it’s going to look like everybody else’s.” He said you don’t want your story to look the same. Same is death. “That’s why you don’t rewrite.”

Next came the reveal of L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volumes 36 & 37. The drape was lifted off beautifully stacked volumes to the delight of everyone in the room. Writers, illustrators, and Contest judges signed hundreds of books for bookstore publicity purposes and for one another. Many said they felt like real authors now, and indeed they are.

A special barbecue for all followed in the Roosevelt Hotel’s Garden area, where winners enjoyed socializing with the judges. United Public Radio interviews began, where winners had the opportunity to talk about their experiences with the Contest to the network’s global listeners. Joe Montaldo was their host.

The packed day of instruction and activities ended in the hotel’s posh theater with the showing of L. Ron Hubbard’s story, “They Killed Him Dead” as a short film. The gumshoe detective movie concluded with a thunder of applause. Volume 37 winner Eric Lynd said: “It was fun. It made me want to go read the story!” A good sign of any production—emotionally satisfying but leaving the audience longing for more. With over 200 stories written by L. Ron Hubbard, there will be much more to come. But no more this night. The action-packed day had ended.

Illustrator workshop, Day 4:
Guest Instructors, Tom Wood and Craig Elliott

Contributed by Kary English

Wednesday’s Illustrator workshop hit the ground running with a presentation on color depth given by Meliva Koch, Editorial Director at Author Services, Inc. She shared some of L. Ron Hubbard’s art direction notes for the cover of Battlefield Earth including the use of color and perspective techniques to direct the eye through the artwork, emphasizing certain elements over others, making key elements pop into the foreground or recede—all with the intent of creating a strong cover image that would sell the book.

Koch’s presentation was followed by illustrator Tom Wood, known for his fantasy and sports illustration, and his extensive work with Insane Clown Posse. Wood grew up in a tiny town in Arkansas, with little access to the internet, computers, or even other artists. Today, in addition to his art career, he manages a 300-acre family farm with 200 head of cattle.

Wood grew up reading Robert Howard’s Savage Sword of Conan, and once he discovered the artwork of Frank Frazetta, the die was cast. Wood wanted to be an artist, but he had to figure out how to make a living at it. When the local screen-printing shop offered him an Assistant Art Director job right out of high school, Wood took it. Over the next few years, he became an Art Director, and then Creative Director, staying largely within the realm of sportswear, mascots, and other sports-related images. Wood said sports clients often asked him to tone down his mascot work because sometimes the images looked “too sinister.” This would later provide the perfect opportunity when a friend and colleague introduced him to Psychopathic Records and Insane Clown Posse. Wood has since become the primary illustrator for ICP.

Though Wood advocates taking corporate work whenever it’s offered or needed, he still finds time for his first love, fantasy art. Wood talked to the illustrators about the world of licensing, discussing his experiences that have generated much income. One thing that helped Wood in his mid-career days was landing an agent. Wood recommends working with an agent because “none of us are really good at going out and saying how awesome we are—but they are.”

After a short lunch break, the illustrators returned for a Zoom meeting with Craig Elliot, illustrator, concept artist, production designer, and creative director at Disney. Elliot graduated from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. He likes to think of himself as both a fine artist and an illustrator. He got his start in purely traditional media—oils and acrylics—and he still believes there’s magic in working with your hands, a special connection between the artist and physical media. “When you see a Degas, and he’s left a thumbprint on it, there’s just this je ne sais quoi about a real painting.” And Elliot should know. Elliot’s work includes sculptures, maquettes, blacksmithing, blade-making, and wax jewelry casting. “Expanding your knowledge is never a bad thing,” says Elliot, “It always comes back.”

Elliot got hired by Disney right out of college. He worked on a comic book for Dark Horse and also did work for Wizards of the Coast and Blizzard’s World of Warcraft. At Disney, Elliot has worked on an amazing list of animated and live-action films including Mulan, The Princess and the Frog, and Treasure Planet.

In particular, Elliot spoke to the illustrators about the role of the visual development artist or production designer. The task of the visual developer is to explore the mood and look of the film as a whole, and for specific scenes and locations. What do the rooftops look like in the Treasure Planet spaceport? What’s the layout of the village in The Lorax? Even though this kind of work doesn’t produce the sort of finished image we think of as “artwork,” it’s absolutely vital to the look, feel, and success of a film.

Writers of the Future Volume 36 & 37 Workshop Week – Day 5 – Writers & Illustrators of the Future

 

2020 Quarters: 1st -- R, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- SHM
2021 Quarters: 1st -- HM, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- HM
2022 Quarters: 1st -- SHM, 2nd -- RWC, 3rd -- Pending, 4th -- WIP
To be published in: Martian Magazine
Published in: Galaxy's Edge magazine, Daily Science Fiction, LTUE Anthology Parliament of Wizards, Sci Fi Lampoon

 
Posted : October 21, 2021 8:11 pm
AliciaCay reacted
crlisle
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Workshop Day 6 -- for photos see the link below

All-Star Guest Lectures

Contributed by Wulf Moon

The morning launched with John Goodwin, president of Galaxy Press, reminding the writers why L. Ron Hubbard founded the Contest. He was passionate about storytelling and wrote fiction in all genres. Goodwin opened the bookL. Ron Hubbard: The Shaping of Popular Fictionand unfolded its four-page interior spread showing all the pulp magazines that contained L Ron Hubbard’s stories during the Pulp Fiction Era. Magazine covers includeAstounding Science Fiction,Western Story,Argosy, andDetective Fiction Weekly. He published over two hundred short stories between 1929–1951.

Hubbard was so prolific he sold under fifteen pen names in addition to his own. Goodwin recalled speaking some years ago at an AARP convention about Hubbard’s many pen names. Then a woman approached him and asked: “Mr. Hubbard was Winchester Remington Colt? I love Winchester Remington Colt!”

The morning program shifted to hour-long presentations by the Contest judges and guest speakers.Jody Lynn Nye(Mythology series) talked about brand. “Your brand is you.” She looked out over the room. “Wulf Moon is your brand. Nina Kiriki Hoffman is your brand. Tim Powers is your brand. These are all good brands.”

Nina Kiriki Hoffman(The Thread That Binds the Bones) followed by handing each in the group the gift of a 20-sided die and a set of worksheets. It wasn’t D&D. Hoffman proved to be a different kind of dungeon master, but monsters (and more!) were still created through her worksheets and rolls of the die.

Next wasLezli Robyn, editor ofGalaxy’s Edgemagazine. She stated that she owed her career to being mentored by Mike Resnick (Kirinyaga), a late judge of this Contest, and how she mentors others as an editor. I am certain the winners were happy to hear Lezli say they had an open door to submit toGalaxy’s Edgemagazine.

Nancy Kress(Beggars in Spain) spoke on the subject “Things I Wish I had Known 45 Years Ago.” She advised to do worldbuilding before writing and recalled strong counsel from a writer friend on one of her works. He said, “It doesn’t hang together for me because it doesn’t have economic underpinnings.” After licking her wounds for a few weeks, Kress said she agreed he was right and wrote her next book,Beggars in Spain.

S.M. Stirling(Draka series) said talent is relatively cheap, and that persistence is key to a publishing career. Stirling warned of the danger of many writing groups when they don’t include professionally published writers.

Eric Flint (Ring of Fire) echoed those words. “Writers’ groups—most writers’ groups—have people in them that have never actually published anything, and yet they’re telling you what you’re doing wrong.”

Toni Weisskopf, publisher ofBaen Books, did a Q&A session. The writers asked questions about how the submission process works and the type of novels she buys. However, my favorite question was from John Goodwin: “Why did you choose to be the guest speaker at our gala?” Weisskopf listed two reasons. “First, because my friend, A.J. Budrys, was a founding judge. I got to see this Contest happen when it was just a gleam in L. Ron Hubbard’s eyes, and he got AJ involved. Second, I’ve published a lot of your writers, and I get to meet them while being here. We also work with a lot of your judges and Contest coaches.”

The workshop ended with a Q&A session with former winners Eric James Stone, Darci Stone, Martin Shoemaker, Kary English, Steve Pantazis, and myself. It was interesting to see how many different directions each had gone, from traditional publishing, indie publishing, hybrid, voice-over work, nonfiction books on writing, teaching writing workshops, and more. We were asked for advice on how the winners could best leverage their win at Writers of the Future to advance their careers. The Stones talked about selling movie rights; English shared the value of selling stories on Amazon after the initial sale; Shoemaker advised that all take advantage of “bar con” to get to know the judges; Pantazis spoke on book bundles and rapid release of novels; and I advised them on how to sell books at book signings. We closed by wishing them Godspeed on their careers.

Winners were dismissed for dinner and then whisked away to the Taglyan Center’s grand ballroom for award ceremony rehearsals. The ballroom and its stage rival the grandeur of the Oscars, and there’s a reason for that. If any doubted their accomplishment before this event, none will now. The winners are indeed worthy of celebration and honor.

We invite all to celebrate with them by watching the live-streamed event Friday, October 22, 2021, at 7 p.m. (PDT), right here at WritersoftheFuture.com!

Illustrators Workshop, Day 5:
Guest Instructors and Baen Books Art Director

Contributed by Kary English

The workshop’s goal is to give the illustrators the skills they need to thrive in the world of professional illustration, and that means knowing how to curate a portfolio and present it to a client. With Echo and Lazarus Chernik playing the role of the clients, the illustrators started their day with mock interviews. Each illustrator presented their work and received coaching not only on their artwork but also on their interview and presentation skills.

The mock interviews became immediately useful onceToni Weisskopf, publisher and art director for Baen Books, arrived. Weisskopf believes that art is integral to speculative fiction. “It’s a necessary part of presenting the literature,” she said. A book cover must make the reader think, “Wow, that looks like fun. I want to read that!” Her job as publisher and art director is to facilitate that process because the cover forms the primary sales piece for the book.

Weisskopf showed the illustrators several slides of cover art with and without type. She commented on things like color harmony, tone, and text placement. After reviewing what Baen looks for in covers and cover artists, Weisskopf sat for portfolio reviews with every illustrator interested in doing cover art.

The artists returned from lunch for a video of contest judgeRob Prior. Prior used to be a photorealist, but burned on the hyper-realistic style. Now his work is loose, vibrant, and immediate, using mixed media, inks, airbrush, Windex, and splatter techniques to pull evocative, realistic faces out of abstract backgrounds.

Prior, who paints with both hands at the same time, painted characters fromStar Wars,Game of Thronesas well as several big-name hip-hop artists, and frequently paints live, on-stage with the rapper Tech N9ne.

IllustratorBrian C. Hailes(Contest winner from 2002) has been writing and illustrating for 20 years. A graduate of the Academy of Art in San Francisco, Hailes believes that his education was a means to an end. “I wasn’t taking art classes to get a grade. I was taking art classes to get published.” He told the illustrators to “do your own thing. With the art world, you need a name, and you get the name by doing your own thing.”

Hailes also recommended that the illustrators learn graphic design. Graphic design work can lead to a good living, but the principles of design also contribute to stronger illustrations.

Dan dos Santosgave a master class in composing with color and light. For Dos Santos, the heart of composition comes down to contrast, to discrepancies between different elements of the illustration. Bigger vs. smaller, blacker vs. grayer, warm colors vs. cool colors—the mind is constantly making comparisons and measurements, so discrepancies attract attention.

Dos Santos started his presentation with the concept of value contrast, how light or dark something is. He used simple slides, followed by finished artworks, to demonstrate how manipulation of relative lights and darks can move elements into the foreground, push them into the background, or create a focal point.

Dos Santos applied the same techniques to size, shape, color, and complexity. Big things contrast with small things, organic shapes contrast with rectilinear shapes, warm colors contrast with cool colors, and simple, open areas contrast with dense, detailed areas. Compelling images use all of these together.

Dos Santos says that when a piece isn’t working for him, he stops and looks at the piece in black and white. If the values don’t work, the piece doesn’t work. Most of the time, that alone solves the problem.

Writers of the Future Volume 36 & 37 Workshop Week – Day 6 – Writers & Illustrators of the Future

2020 Quarters: 1st -- R, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- SHM
2021 Quarters: 1st -- HM, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- HM
2022 Quarters: 1st -- SHM, 2nd -- RWC, 3rd -- Pending, 4th -- WIP
To be published in: Martian Magazine
Published in: Galaxy's Edge magazine, Daily Science Fiction, LTUE Anthology Parliament of Wizards, Sci Fi Lampoon

 
Posted : October 22, 2021 9:47 pm
AliciaCay reacted
crlisle
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Day 7 -- see link below for photos

The Gala and Awards Ceremony

Contributed by Wulf Moon

Hello, I’m Wulf Moon. I love this Contest. I havealwaysloved this Contest. Wait! That was my acceptance speech at the Writers & Illustrators of the Future Awards for Volume 35. This is two-and-a-half years later! Guess what? Nothing has changed. In fact, as I look out upon this year’s winners in their crisp black tuxedos and fabulous flowing gowns, I love this contest even more. Why? For what this Contest did for me, for what this Contest is about to do for them.

It’s going to make thembelieve.

John Goodwin, President of Galaxy Press, asked me to take a different approach to this year’s annual awards gala blog: to share the experience from the perspective of a prior winner. It’s been a different couple of years to say the least, so a different type of blog is in order.

George Mallory, the first person to climb to the summit of Mt. Everest, was asked by a reporter, “Why did you want to climb it?” His answer? “Because it’s there.” But I believe the true answer remained unspoken, and it was this:Because I knew I could.Everest was not the first mountain Mallory had climbed. Each mountain he had summited gave Mallory the skills and confidence necessary to conquer the next, until eventually, he conquered the highest in the world.Belief determines reality.

When you’re an aspiring writer, winning Writers of the Future can seem like climbing Everest. Because the Contest is there, many seek the summit. In doing so, they build up their skills and confidence, and when they reach the top, they have indeed accomplished a monumental task, worthy of celebration and honor. That’s the gift bequeathed by L. Ron Hubbard to aspiring writers of speculative fiction. His creation and endowment of the Contest was designed to pay it forward for generations to come, to bring writers and illustrators that succeeded in reaching its summit experts in the field to help them learn how to climb the next. The grand award ceremony that rivals the Oscars is the icing on the cake, but it’s just as important. It tells the winners that they have accomplished something that’s monumental. Reaching a summit so grand makes you believe anything is possible.

Belief determines reality. From experience, I can tell you that this Contest makes you BELIEVE.

The day began getting dressed in tuxedos and formal gowns. Most of the winners had never been to a formal black-tie event like this before. That in itself makes you feel special. As Mark Twain said, clothes make the man—naked people have little or no influence on society. Everyone looked special as they gathered in the hotel lobby, and making you feel special is what this day is all about.

I helped usher the groups into the Hummer stretch limos. They’re impressive vehicles even if you’ve never been in one before. At my event, I remember thinking we’d get shuttled to the banquet hall in vans and was floored to see the limos lined up. As we road to the Taglyan Complex that day, I sang Dolly Parton’s “White Limozeen” in my head. Here we were on the iconic Hollywood Boulevard, riding behind tinted windows like all the stars, people on the street taking pictures as we passed. You think, “This can’t be real, can it?” But it is real, and I’m sure this year’s winners had that same feeling. The cliché of pinching yourself does not come near to describing the feeling. It’s more a feeling of “Who am I and why do I deserve this?” Aspiring writers and artists often take flack for choosing to create, and in more than a few families, there’s someone in it that feels obligated to tell you that you’ll never amount to anything being a writer or artist. And here you are, cruising down the streets of Hollywood, in a white limousine.

When you step out of the limos at the gardens of the Taglyan center, the red carpet stretches before you. I remember thinking, “Oh, it’s real. They really do roll out the red carpet.” Photographers and reporters are everywhere, and you feel starstruck by the photo shoots and asides with reporters for interviews. It’s a scene out of a Hollywood movie, and you get what my former mentor Dean Wesley Smith calls the “gosh-wows.” All this for little ol’ me? I just wrote a story. Was it reallythatimportant?

But you didn’t just write a story or create an illustration. Most spent years and even decades at the process, submitting their creations to the Contest and elsewhere, licking their wounds after each rejection, and then dusting themselves off to repeat the process again. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. And yet that’s what creatives do. They lower their heads and bang against that wall over and over again as people look on and say they’re crazy. It doesn’t matter. Writers write, artists art, as L. Ron Hubbard said. And if they keep at it and keep improving, they’re going to get recognized. But nobody told you recognition would be like this, and the feeling of victory over what seemed impossible odds makes you feel like a hero at the end of your own quest. You have conquered. All of this hullabaloo is trying to tell you that. Perhaps some of the words of those naysayers bled away at this point for these winners. It certainly helped me.

One thing that floored me, and I bet it did this group, is the giant statue they create for you from the cover story of your anthology. Mine was a giant iron robot, based on an illustration by Bob Eggleton. Theirs looked like a towering centurion guard, based on an illustration by Echo Chernik. At both events the sculptures were so big you could get your pictures taken within the creation’s arms, and as the cameras flash you think, “What publisher would take the time and expense to create this just for my event?” To have a creation of such magnitude come to life from the cover of your book? It’s a combination of mystery, marvel, and magic. As I watched winners get their pictures taken with friends and family that had arrived to celebrate along with them, I smiled. If their families had had their doubts, belief was growing in them as well.

When you are ushered into the Taglyan’s ballroom, there are always cries of “Oh my god! Oh wow! It’sbeautiful.” I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’ve never been to the Oscars, but I’ve watched them every year. This ballroom surpasses that venue in grandeur. With its backlit ceiling, glittering chandeliers, and opulent stage with outstretched golden Phoenix wings, it takes your breath away. For me, it’s seeing that stage for the first time that stole my breath. I had visualized walking up to it to receive an award since the 90s. At last, the vision had materialized into reality. My belief that I belonged here had not failed me, though I had been through more than a fewdark nightsalong the way. I know at least one writer this year that must have felt the same—he too had been submitting since the 90s. Proof that persistence yields rewards. In fact, that was the binding thread through virtually every presentation the winners heard this week. It’s the main ingredient to become a professional writer.

The banquet meal is at its culinary peak at the Taglyan. Larry Niven (Ringworld) proclaimed at ours it was the finest meal he had ever eaten, and that was impressive considering all the award banquets that man has been to. Filling our bodies with delicious nourishment in the delightful company of creatives bubbles up an atmosphere of happy satisfaction. The Contest nourished us in body, mind, and spirit by bringing us under its wings. Even music is celebrated, as the night began with a welcome from Gunhild Jacobs, Executive Director of Author Services. Because of the pandemic, she spoke of the uniqueness of this celebration. Two years’ worth of winners had gathered at one event, but she promised that would only create double the magic, and Author Services delivered.

We were launched into a music and dance performance by Crystal Starr and Emcirque. I confess I was so nervous about my speech in my year (I’ve won many awards in public speaking, but this is a speech in front of a live-streamed global audience!) that all I absorbed wasrobot rover, flashy dancers. I hope this years’ winners got more from their wonderful performance than I did.

The president of Galaxy Press, John Goodwin, announced the release of Volume 37, and reminded the audience Volume 36 had already been released and they could get both copies signed by the writers and artists at the conclusion of the ceremony. Each year a beautiful release video is played to a dramatic musical score. I was thrilled to see our trailer on the huge screens to each side of the stage with an animation of a giant iron robot moving through the sea. Theirs had a special feature—two volumes portrayed in one video, united by complimentary illustrations by one master artist—the Illustrators of the Future Coordinating Judge, Echo Chernik. Never before had two volumes been united by a sequel cover story. Contest judge Jodi Lynn Nye delivered, and master artist Chernik united both anthologies with her exciting blend of covers. Double the magic indeed!

I loved this quote in Goodwin’s presentation. TheMidwest Book Reviewnoted in their most recent review: “Writers of the Future is the gold standard of emerging talent into the field of science fiction fantasy that has contributed more to the genre than any other source.” Knowing the aspiring writers and illustrators that have emerged from this Contest in its 37-year history, I couldn’t agree more.

Awards and speeches ensued—more on that in a moment. At the halfway point came the keynote speaker’s address, and the audience cheered with delight as Toni Weisskopf, publisher of Baen Books, walked across the stage. She opened with a quote by C.S. Lewis: “Since it is so likely that (children) will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage. Otherwise, you are making their destiny not brighter but darker.”

Let me go on the record right here and say I hope her speech gets published immediately and gets read by everyone that’s involved in the creation and enjoyment of speculative fiction and art. Weisskopf embodies what we all believe in—everyone is important in this industry, from geeky fangirl cutting vegetables and cheese at publisher parties, to those that preside over large publishing empires. We are family, admitted into this club by one commonality—we love science fiction and all that it represents. That’s all it takes to be admitted, and Weisskopf said there is so much to be celebrated by that fact. Let me quote her words.

“So understand that when I say ‘SF’ that this is a large umbrella, and it covers multitudes. There is room for everybody here. That’s not an accident. The people who make up the community of science fiction have always been inclusive, and have always been generous of spirit.

“One of the things we do as a community is pay it forward. This whole contest is one big way for those who love L. Ron Hubbard’s work to pay it forward.

“Our culture was one of inclusion: the only criteria needed to join? Enjoy science fiction. Boom, there’s the secret handshake. And I’ve seen that in action for over 40 years.”

As the audience cheered and applauded, I felt proud to be a member of such a warm and inclusive group of human beings. May such positivity and camaraderie keep rising to the top!

After the keynote address, the winners’ speeches resumed. Some were brief, some were detailed, but all showed deep gratitude for Hubbard’s founding and endowment of the Contest; the support of the entire staff of Author Services and Galaxy Press; love and thanks to Contest Administrator Joni Labaqui for always reminding them to get another story submitted; and of course all the family, friends, writing groups and mentors that had helped them reach this pinnacle of achievements for creators of speculative fiction and art. Some shared elements of their journey that led up to this event, and others shared details behind the creation of their stories. One said he wrote his story a month after his father died to work through his feelings. Many said their spouses’ and partners’ support was the only reason they were standing on the stage. I heartily agreed with that sentiment. Our families make many sacrifices to allow us to do what we do.

One of the Golden Brush winners—the highest achievement award that includes a $5,000 cash prize—added to his sentiments in his acceptance speech when I spoke to him after. Anh Le from Vietnam, the artist for the illustration for “Stolen Sky,” said: “I was overwhelmed. My parents sacrificed so much to come to this country to help me achieve my dreams. When I saw them jumping up and down with joy when it was announced that I had won the grand prize, it made me so proud. That was the reason I was overwhelmed.” He choked up a little when he spoke those words, and I did, too. We are not the only ones that make sacrifices for our art.

The ceremony ended with many cheers and rounds of applause. You breathe a sigh of relief at the end. It’s a feeling of deep satisfaction at what just took place, but in addition, a feeling of solemnity settles over you. You know it’s unlikely anyone will spend this much fuss over one of your stories for a long, long time to come. That’s okay because you feel empowered with a mission. To keep bringing your art forth in any of its forms for the world to experience and be moved by, and to embody the spirit of the Contest and its founder by paying it forward. We all have knowledge and power someone just behind us does not have. I felt deeply moved to use that knowledge to help ease the trials of others struggling on their writer journey. I trust the winners attending this ceremony felt the same and will help othersbelievewith the knowledge they just gained.

The signing at the end is special. For many, this is the first time they have autographed books with their stories in it to happy fans. We’ve all attended author signings, wondering if our day would come. As you ask people handing you a book “Who should I sign this to?” a tingling feeling comes over you.

Belief has become reality. You are now not only a writer; you are now not only an illustrator. You are anauthor. You are aprofessionally publishedillustrator.

Congratulations to all the winners of this special double-year event. As you use the power and knowledge gained from the blessings of this week, may you always believe, may you climb that next mountain, and may your futures be ever bright!

Godspeed.

Writers of the Future Volume 36 & 37 Workshop Week – Day 7 – Writers & Illustrators of the Future

2020 Quarters: 1st -- R, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- SHM
2021 Quarters: 1st -- HM, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- HM
2022 Quarters: 1st -- SHM, 2nd -- RWC, 3rd -- Pending, 4th -- WIP
To be published in: Martian Magazine
Published in: Galaxy's Edge magazine, Daily Science Fiction, LTUE Anthology Parliament of Wizards, Sci Fi Lampoon

 
Posted : October 25, 2021 2:03 pm
AliciaCay reacted
crlisle
(@crlisle)
Silver Star Member
Topic starter
 
Listen to Leah, Brittany, and other winners as they meet their story illustrators. https://soundcloud.com/writersofthefuture/147-the-big-art-reveal (edited)
 
SoundCloud
Image

2020 Quarters: 1st -- R, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- SHM
2021 Quarters: 1st -- HM, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- HM
2022 Quarters: 1st -- SHM, 2nd -- RWC, 3rd -- Pending, 4th -- WIP
To be published in: Martian Magazine
Published in: Galaxy's Edge magazine, Daily Science Fiction, LTUE Anthology Parliament of Wizards, Sci Fi Lampoon

 
Posted : October 25, 2021 2:56 pm
AliciaCay and Wulf Moon reacted
crlisle
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Topic starter
 

I'm listening to it right now and there is a ZOOM with Kate Julicher!

2020 Quarters: 1st -- R, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- SHM
2021 Quarters: 1st -- HM, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- HM
2022 Quarters: 1st -- SHM, 2nd -- RWC, 3rd -- Pending, 4th -- WIP
To be published in: Martian Magazine
Published in: Galaxy's Edge magazine, Daily Science Fiction, LTUE Anthology Parliament of Wizards, Sci Fi Lampoon

 
Posted : October 25, 2021 3:14 pm
Wulf Moon reacted
Wulf Moon
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@crlisle Thank you so much for posting these, Candice! It should give everyone a good feel for what it’s like to be there. And there’s important tips!

Dont forget there’s one more, Day 8!

Thanks again!

Wulf Moon

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"Muzik Man" won Best SFF Story of 2020! Read it in Best of Deep Magic Anthology Two!
You know WotF Workshop's 24-hour story exercise? Want to see what I wrote? Just awarded Best All Other Short Stories of 2021! Read in THINGS WITH FEATHERS. Order HERE!
Enjoy my award-winning SUPER SECRETS of Writing articles! FREE to read in every issue of DreamForge Anvil! Don't miss Best Positive Future Story of 2021: "Shaken, Not Stirred." FREE! Click HERE!

 
Posted : October 28, 2021 7:50 am
crlisle
(@crlisle)
Silver Star Member
Topic starter
 

Day 8 -- for photos please see link below

“Promoting Yourself in This Day and Age”

Contributed by Wulf Moon

Day Eight’s theme featured “Promoting Yourself in This Day and Age.” The workshop’s start was set later, to 1:30 p.m. We’re certain this was in no way influenced by the afterparty that continued for some until 3:30 a.m. Really. Pure coincidence.

For the first time in the week, writers and artists gathered in a combined workshop, as promotion is vital in both the domain of the writer and the artist. Some of the highlights:

Owner ofKindlepreneur, Dave Chesson, addressed the group on social media and email lists. He said it takes five to seven digital handshakes before a reader or viewer will decide if they like what you create. Chesson said some creatives try to represent themselves on every social media platform they can find. He recommended picking one or two that you’re comfortable with and enjoy working in. “Don’t do them all,” was his advice.

Jody Lynn Nyespoke on elevator pitches, which are short 15-second pitches designed to be shared quickly when an editor asks about the novel you are writing, or when a consumer asks about your art. They’re short because if you’re on an elevator making the pitch, you have little time to get an editor interested in your story (or a consumer interested in your art). Nye stated the pitch should have two sentences maximum, but one sentence is best. Choose dynamic elements and include the name of the protagonist.

Emily Goodwin reviewed the marketing kit being provided to help writers and illustrators promote their work. This is a rolling suitcase given to each winner with their trophies, posters, bookmarks, and complimentary author copies packed inside. Winners are now loaded for bear … not that we saw any in L.A.

David Farlandreturned with sage advice on getting write-ups in local newspapers. He said there’s one story that always does well in local communities. “Local boy or girl does good.” He also recommended leading with your art in social media posts. A graphic is more attractive than a block of text with no pictures. A bonus to the winners is that many of the recent volumes have hit #1 in large categories like Science Fiction Anthology. He said when you sell a novel, it allows you to say #1 bestselling author in science fiction, and that readers pay attention to that. Another great bonus of winning this Contest!

A former winners’ presentation returned with Kary English, Martin Shoemaker, and myself. English advised the winners to view promotion as making friends; Shoemaker encouraged winners to work hard at meeting people even if they’re shy; and I encouraged all to support the Contest that did so much this week to support them.

John Goodwin returned with advice on avoiding flame wars in social media posts. This comment seemed especially pertinent in view of recent headlines: “Be careful what you post. It can and will be used against you in the court of social media.”

ThenJoe Montaldodid a presentation on how to get radio interviews and how to guide the host to ask questions you’d like to answer.

After a break for dinner,Kevin J. Anderson(Dune: House Atreides) hosted a private screening ofDuneon Hollywood Boulevard. He welcomed all the winners and spoke about his involvement with the movie as a consultant, and then the lights went down. I won’t spoil the movie for you, but sinceDuneis my favorite science fiction novel, I will simply say one word … SANDWORMS! What a privilege for all of us to conclude a week of knowledge and celebration by enjoying a great science fiction movie with Kevin.

The magical week had come to an end. Winners said goodbye with happy smiles, giving thanks to all the staff that had made the event possible. Me? As I watched the farewells, I sang to myself a play on an REM song: “Shiny Happy People Bumping Elbows.”

Despite the pandemic, we all made it work. Miracles do happen. See you next year.

Writers of the Future Volume 36 & 37 Workshop Week – Day 8 – Writers & Illustrators of the Future

2020 Quarters: 1st -- R, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- SHM
2021 Quarters: 1st -- HM, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- HM
2022 Quarters: 1st -- SHM, 2nd -- RWC, 3rd -- Pending, 4th -- WIP
To be published in: Martian Magazine
Published in: Galaxy's Edge magazine, Daily Science Fiction, LTUE Anthology Parliament of Wizards, Sci Fi Lampoon

 
Posted : October 28, 2021 1:58 pm
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Moderator
 

Thank you, crlisle, for posting all of these! I included lots of the writing tips given in the workshop by the instructors and judges to help all of you craft stories that have the potential to sell and be published. They do know what they’re talking about, and provide excellent guidelines that can help you in your writing and careers. 

Day 7 was special. John Goodwin asked me to craft the gala day from a former winner’s perspective. May it help each of you get the feeling of what it’s like to finally make it there, so you can fashion your own vision, and make it become reality! 

Cheers!

Click here to JOIN THE WULF PACK!
"Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler" won Best SFF Story of 2019! Read it in WotF, Volume 35. Order HERE!
"Muzik Man" won Best SFF Story of 2020! Read it in Best of Deep Magic Anthology Two!
You know WotF Workshop's 24-hour story exercise? Want to see what I wrote? Just awarded Best All Other Short Stories of 2021! Read in THINGS WITH FEATHERS. Order HERE!
Enjoy my award-winning SUPER SECRETS of Writing articles! FREE to read in every issue of DreamForge Anvil! Don't miss Best Positive Future Story of 2021: "Shaken, Not Stirred." FREE! Click HERE!

 
Posted : November 9, 2021 7:10 pm
crlisle reacted
crlisle
(@crlisle)
Silver Star Member
Topic starter
 

Happy to do it. Posting let me read them again. The posts are wonderful! I felt like I was there! Magic!!

Starry Eyes

2020 Quarters: 1st -- R, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- SHM
2021 Quarters: 1st -- HM, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- HM
2022 Quarters: 1st -- SHM, 2nd -- RWC, 3rd -- Pending, 4th -- WIP
To be published in: Martian Magazine
Published in: Galaxy's Edge magazine, Daily Science Fiction, LTUE Anthology Parliament of Wizards, Sci Fi Lampoon

 
Posted : November 9, 2021 7:14 pm
Wulf Moon reacted
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Moderator
 
Posted by: @crlisle

Happy to do it. Posting let me read them again. The posts are wonderful! I felt like I was there! Magic!!

Starry Eyes

Nice! Mission accomplished. Elizabeth Chatsworth wrote last night and said the same thing. She couldn’t make it this year, but we’re looking forward to seeing each other next spring. Joni called a few days ago and invited me back to blog, and to teach on Promotion Day once again.

I can think of no other place I’d rather be. I LOVE THIS CONTEST!

Click here to JOIN THE WULF PACK!
"Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler" won Best SFF Story of 2019! Read it in WotF, Volume 35. Order HERE!
"Muzik Man" won Best SFF Story of 2020! Read it in Best of Deep Magic Anthology Two!
You know WotF Workshop's 24-hour story exercise? Want to see what I wrote? Just awarded Best All Other Short Stories of 2021! Read in THINGS WITH FEATHERS. Order HERE!
Enjoy my award-winning SUPER SECRETS of Writing articles! FREE to read in every issue of DreamForge Anvil! Don't miss Best Positive Future Story of 2021: "Shaken, Not Stirred." FREE! Click HERE!

 
Posted : November 9, 2021 7:22 pm
crlisle
(@crlisle)
Silver Star Member
Topic starter
 

So when I win and then beg Joni to let you hand me my trophy, it won't be a weird request.

That's a good thing.

2020 Quarters: 1st -- R, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- SHM
2021 Quarters: 1st -- HM, 2nd -- HM, 3rd -- HM, 4th -- HM
2022 Quarters: 1st -- SHM, 2nd -- RWC, 3rd -- Pending, 4th -- WIP
To be published in: Martian Magazine
Published in: Galaxy's Edge magazine, Daily Science Fiction, LTUE Anthology Parliament of Wizards, Sci Fi Lampoon

 
Posted : November 9, 2021 7:48 pm
Doyle Ramos
(@doyleramos)
New Member
 

Thanks for sharing them with us.

Stay happy always.

 
Posted : May 2, 2022 10:14 am
storysinger reacted
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Platinum Member
 

Welcome to the forum (@doyleramos). This is what's so cool about this place. We share info to promote upward mobility. Enjoy.

Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality-D.R.Sweeney
HM-V32/Q3
HM-V36/Q4
HM-V38/Q1
HM-V38/Q4
HM-V39/Q2
Published Poetry
2012 Stars in Our Hearts Notions
Silver Ships

 
Posted : May 2, 2022 10:00 pm
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