John F. “J.T.” Thompson, a recently retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General and former Commander of the U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, will be the keynote speaker for the L. Ron Hubbard Writers & Illustrators of the Future Awards Ceremony this coming April 8 in Hollywood, CA. The event will also be broadcast live from WritersoftheFuture.com.
In his bio, Thompson stated that he “is a life-long science fiction and fantasy nerd who shockingly enjoys both the Star Trek and Star Wars franchises; and unfortunately still grapples with understanding ‘Inception’ and ‘Tenet.’ In addition to Mr. Hubbard, he has enjoyed reading Verne, Asimov, Clarke, and Heinlein … yes, he is ‘old school,’ but has an open mind. His favorite book by Mr. Hubbard is ‘Battlefield Earth;’ the only flaw being ‘Jonnie’ is not spelled ‘Johnny.’”
The relationship between Thompson and Author Services, Inc., custodian of the Writers and Illustrators of the Future, was built over the past several years where he was a guest participant as the representative for the United States Air Force at the Hollywood Christmas Parade of which Author Services is the green room. His love of science fiction and appreciation for the Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contests made for a solid friendship.
Following his recent retirement, he was invited to be this year’s keynote speaker. He enthusiastically responded, “Science fiction writers and illustrators of the future are really writers and illustrators of the past and present, who see into the future and want to expose the rest of us to it. They’ve put in the hard work, day in and day out, over and over, honing their skills and perfecting their artworks. Through this forum, they’re taking the critical—and bold—step of putting it out there for the world to review and judge, exposing their personal art to criticism or praise—perhaps a bit of both—and making us the better for it. What an incredible group of intrepid artists.”
About Writers of the Future
L. Ron Hubbard initiated the Writers of the Future Writing Contest in 1983 to provide “a means for new and budding writers to have a chance for their creative efforts to be seen and acknowledged.” Based on its success, its sister contest, Illustrators of the Future, was created five years later to provide that same opportunity for the aspiring artist.
The intensive mentoring process has proven very successful. The over 500 past winners and published finalists of the Writing Contest have published over 1,800 novels and nearly 6,200 short stories. In addition, they have produced 33 New York Times bestsellers, and their works have sold over 60 million copies.
The 370 past winners of the Illustrating Contest have produced over 6,000 illustrations, 360 comic books, graced 624 books and albums with their art, and visually contributed to 68 T.V. shows and 40 major movies.
John F. “J.T.” Thompson Bio
J.T. is a recently retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General and former Commander of the U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California; where he was responsible for approximately 6,000 employees nationwide and an annual budget of $9 billion.
As the Department of the Air Force Program Executive Officer for Space, General Thompson managed the research, design, development, acquisition, and sustainment of satellites and the associated command and control systems. His portfolio included military satellite communication, missile warning, navigation and timing, space-based weather, space launch and test ranges, certification for launch, space superiority, responsive space, and other emerging evolutionary space programs.
J.T. entered the Air Force in 1984 as a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and retired, after over 36 years of active service, in August 2021. During his career, he served in a variety of scientific, acquisition, and logistics-oriented capacities, including staff assignments at Air Force Systems Command, Air Force Materiel Command, and in the office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition.
The general served as Director of Propulsion, Tinker AFB, Oklahoma; and Chief of Staff, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson AFB. He commanded the 327th Aircraft Sustainment Wing, Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, and the 303rd Aeronautical Systems Wing, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, where he also served as Air Force Program Executive Officer for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance systems. J.T. served as Air Force Program Executive Officer for Strategic Systems, Deputy Program Executive Officer for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program, Air Force Program Executive Officer for Tankers/KC-46 Program Director, and Commander, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.
For more information on Writers of the Future and the Awards Ceremony, visit www.writersofthefuture.com