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David Farland - In Memoriam

 
KD Julicher
(@kd-julicher)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 130

By now many of you have heard the news that David Farland/ Dave Wolverton, our beloved coordinating judge, has passed. I don't think I exaggerate if I say he touched the lives of thousands of writers, as a mentor, teacher, friend, and editor. I've heard so many, many stories about him, and they all say the same thing. Dave was one of the nicest, kindest, smartest people you will ever meet in this business.

 

It's all right if your reaction has some element of "what about the contest? What about my results?" The ongoing Writers of the Future Contest is part of his legacy. He was one of the earliest winners and was coordinating judge for so many years. But the Contest will go on. He wouldn't have it any other way. The next few quarter results are likely to be quite delayed, but don't let that stop you from entering. They'll be read eventually and winners will be picked.

 

I could go on about Dave all day. Or how we should honor him -- by writing, by helping each other, by paying it forward. 

 

I wouldn't be the writer I am without Dave. I'm going to miss him so very much.

WOTF: HM x 16, SHMx2, SF x 1, F V31 Q3, V32 Q2, V32 Q4, V34 Q3, V36 Q1
Baen Fantasy Award Winner 2014
V32 Published Finalist
3rd place V37 Q1!

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Topic starter Posted : January 14, 2022 1:17 pm
Disgruntled Peony, David K, JVAshley and 15 people liked
DoctorJest
(@doctorjest)
Silver Member
Posts: 450

I hadn't heard about this until now.

I learned a lot from things he wrote, and lessons he provided. I had hoped to have the chance to meet him eventually.

And even without that, it feels a strange absence. I think through the contest and his lessons, he feels like he was more a part of my life than most writers, even my favorite ones, ever were.

R: 0 / HM: 10 / SHM: 4 / SF: 0 / F: 1
Entered for Q1.V39 / Q2.V39 draft zero ~85%
Last result: HM for Q4.V38
Revised SHM ('Ashwright') at PodCastle

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Posted : January 14, 2022 1:32 pm
Disgruntled Peony, JVAshley, TimE and 5 people liked
Doc Honour
(@ehonour)
Advanced Member
Posts: 29

Most sorry to hear of the loss. Dave has done so much for so many, and his will be difficult shoes to fill.

Write so long as words keep flowing...
http://www.DocHonourBooks.com
2021 FWA RPLA: Fx2
V38 Q3:HM; Q4:HM

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Posted : January 14, 2022 2:04 pm
Disgruntled Peony, JVAshley, TimE and 4 people liked
JAbecker
(@jabecker)
Active Member
Posts: 6

Totally heart broken over this. Totally learned tons from his writings and instructions. Really sad he's gone.

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Posted : January 14, 2022 2:42 pm
Disgruntled Peony, JVAshley, TimE and 5 people liked
dommichaels
(@dommichaels)
Bronze Member
Posts: 56

I never met him, but this saddens me deeply. Done too soon, and a great loss. My heart goes out to his family.

V37 Q3-HM, Q4-HM, V38 Q1-HM, Q2-HM, Q3-HM, Q4-HM

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Posted : January 14, 2022 5:32 pm
Disgruntled Peony, JVAshley, TimE and 3 people liked
Cray Dimensional
(@craydimensional)
Silver Member
Posts: 290

When I took the WotF course online, Dave became one of my first speculative fiction teachers. Through Q&As and the forum, I got to learn more about Dave the writer and editor. Although I never met Dave in person, I felt as if I knew him. What impressed me most was his dedication to enhance the ability of aspiring writers. Dave was at the heart of this competition, and although I am sure WotF will find another great coordinating judge, I can't help but feel the loss of his passing. I will continue to improve my writing, and hope that one day I will have written a story that would have be worthy of Dave's approval.

 

Small steps add up to miles.
V38: R, R, HM, HM
V39: P

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Posted : January 14, 2022 7:40 pm
dommichaels
(@dommichaels)
Bronze Member
Posts: 56

"The doors to the rooms of memory slammed shut. The shutters to the windows fell. And in his mind there was a great moment of darkness, a keen sense of loss." David Farland in The Sum of All Men

We've lost a great writer and mentor.

V37 Q3-HM, Q4-HM, V38 Q1-HM, Q2-HM, Q3-HM, Q4-HM

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Posted : January 14, 2022 8:37 pm
Disgruntled Peony, JVAshley, NVHaskell and 6 people liked
Prate Gabble
(@kent)
Advanced Member
Posts: 25

Thank you for the announcement KD Julicher,

Dave picked up the torch of instructor and has lit a bright path. That path will not dim.

I offer my condolences to his immediate family and to the family of writers for whom he was a constant inspiration. Take care of yourselves and do your best to love and nurture those near you.

Kent A. Jones (Kentagions, Prate Gabble)

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Posted : January 14, 2022 9:36 pm
ajschultz6
(@ajschultz6)
Active Member
Posts: 22

The first novel I ever read as a little kid was a Dave Wolverton book. After that I was hooked on reading and stories forever. Seeing that he was the coordinating judge inspired me to enter this Contest. I'm very sorry to hear of his passing. 

v37: X, X, HM, X
v38: R, HM, HM, X
I’m available for critique exchanges of any length - just shoot me a PM.

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Posted : January 15, 2022 5:58 am
Disgruntled Peony, JVAshley, NVHaskell and 3 people liked
KD Julicher
(@kd-julicher)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 130

If you'll forgive my indulgence... something I posted on social media after days of wrestling with my feelings, that I think all of you will understand:

 

Dave Wolverton/ David Farland believed in me.

 

I didn’t know anything when I started on my journey to being a published writer, but I knew I wanted to win Writers of the Future. I’d heard about it as a teen and it was a goal along my way. The third time I entered, I made finalist. I didn’t win, but Joni told me that “Dave said your story was the best traditional fantasy this quarter”. That’s when I realized that out of hundreds, maybe thousands, of stories entered he thought mine was in the top eight. Was publishable.

 

He picked my entry again twice before we met for the first time, and he’d chosen me as Published Finalist, but I was still amazed that the first thing he said after I introduced myself was how much he liked my writing. That was at a Superstars seminar, back in 2016. Then I got to attend Writers of the Future and spend a whole week learning from him. I went to other conferences and seminars he taught and I learned so very much every time.

 

It took six times as a finalist before I won Writers of the Future. Six times that he thought I was in the very very top of the contest. Some quarters the only reason I entered was because I knew Dave wanted me to enter, wanted me to win. Then I did, and the only thing better than winning was hearing from him that he thought my story was the very best entry that whole quarter, even if I ended up taking third.

 

I didn’t get to attend the award ceremony and workshop this fall, because I was having a baby. That was ok. I was going to see Dave again at Superstars, and attend the next Writers of the Future in April. And Dave was about to start editing at Baen, and wanted exactly the kind of story I told. I knew I had the perfect piece for him. I just had to get it edited to meet the bar he’d set out. It was a challenge, a delight. I was crafting the best novel I’ve ever written out of a pile of really good scraps. I couldn’t wait to share it with him.

 

I never got the chance. I’m not going to get to see him in February or April. He’s been more influential on my writing than anyone except my husband, and I never get to submit something to Dave again.

 

But I’m going to keep writing. And I’m going to make damn sure every story is something Dave would love.  

WOTF: HM x 16, SHMx2, SF x 1, F V31 Q3, V32 Q2, V32 Q4, V34 Q3, V36 Q1
Baen Fantasy Award Winner 2014
V32 Published Finalist
3rd place V37 Q1!

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Topic starter Posted : January 15, 2022 7:43 pm
Dustin Adams
(@axeminister)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1032

My first experience with Dave was a rejection of my "best story ever". You know, the first one after my finalist (with KD Wentworth), the one I'd spent six months crafting, and waited six months for results during that interminable Q1 V.29...

So when I met Dave at a masters class in Kissimmee, FL, I expected an ogre, a giant hulking man with a magical red pen that only knew how to draw the letter R.

I was late for the first class, and everyone was already seated in desks slid into a horseshoe shape with Dave in the open middle. Right there at the same level as everyone else. I remember my first thought being, "Oh, of course, he's a writer, too."

And unassuming... I don't mean that in a negative way, but when you picture an ogre, and you get a Dave, well, you can imagine my surprise. You ever see a Youtube video of him sitting in that giant chair? 😉

During our first break I made the announcement I was taking everyone out to dinner at my favorite local restaurant. Kissimmee is an old haunt of mine. Everyone easily agreed, and I got to take David Farland out to dinner. Oh, and shake his hand, of course, because awesome...

I only wish, as many of us certainly do, that we could have gone to the workshop in LA. Lord knows I've had my chances to win, but always came up short. That's on me.

Sorry if my Dave story isn't so great. I made the classic mistake of thinking I'd have time. Funny thing, time. There's always more, until there isn't.

2x Finalist
2x Semi
7x Silver
10x HM
Finalist #2 ** KICKSTARTER ** Funded! (Booyah)

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Posted : January 16, 2022 4:36 am
Wulf Moon, PenMark, KD Julicher and 4 people liked
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1017
Posted by: @kd-julicher

But I’m going to keep writing. And I’m going to make damn sure every story is something Dave would love.

I haven't achieved the level of success you have KD, but I never thought I would get an HM. I have read every email Dave sent, some more than once. I'm going to miss reading his advice.

At least you won during his watch.

Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality-D.R.Sweeney
HM-V32/Q3
HM-V36/Q4
HM-V38/Q1
HM-V38/Q4

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Posted : January 16, 2022 8:02 am
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1017
Posted by: @axeminister

Sorry if my Dave story isn't so great. I made the classic mistake of thinking I'd have time. Funny thing, time. There's always more, until there isn't.

I think your story is great Dustin. I enjoyed reading that slice of your history.

I too would have loved to have been invited to the gala and workshop.

Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality-D.R.Sweeney
HM-V32/Q3
HM-V36/Q4
HM-V38/Q1
HM-V38/Q4

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Posted : January 16, 2022 8:10 am
KD Julicher
(@kd-julicher)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 130

 

Posted by: @storysinger

At least you won during his watch.

That has been one comfort during this time. I have plenty of regrets but that's not one of them, at least.

WOTF: HM x 16, SHMx2, SF x 1, F V31 Q3, V32 Q2, V32 Q4, V34 Q3, V36 Q1
Baen Fantasy Award Winner 2014
V32 Published Finalist
3rd place V37 Q1!

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Topic starter Posted : January 16, 2022 8:16 am
czing
(@czing)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 237

I'm curious if anyone knows whether he changed things about the contest (other than obviously being a different person than the previous judge) - like did the categories of rejection change or did he trigger any rule changes or workshop changes etc etc etc.

I haven't been involved here or entering long enough to have any sense of this and while he obviously made his mark on so many of the people that participate in this forum in so many ways I wanted to know what other kinds of marks he might leave behind on the contest itself. Not that there needs to be any giant transformations at his hands for him to have had an impact.

No matter what else I imagine the next judge(s) will have some pretty big shoes to fill but also an excellent foundation to build from.

v36 Q1, Q3 - HM; Q4 - R
v37 Q1 - R; Q2 - SHM; Q4 - HM
v38 Q1 - HM; Q2 -SHM; Q3 - HM; Q4 - HM
v39 Q1 - P

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Posted : January 16, 2022 1:46 pm
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