Writers & Illustrators of the Future Podcast

Amazing life stories and proven tips for both writing and illustrating, listen to Contest judges, winners, and industry pros in these personal interviews on the Writers & Illustrators of the Future Podcast.

201. Thomas P. Vitale has produced over 350 movies discusses successful pitches

Thomas Vital was Exec VP of SciFi Channel and produced over 350 movies. He now has gone independent, making his own movies. We discuss a movie he is producing a movie called 57 Seconds starring Morgan Freeman and Josh Hutcherson, based on a short story he read called Lucifer by E.C. Tubb. We discuss what TV and movie series buyers are looking for in Intellectual Property. Original work is great, but books, short stories, and graphic novels are better. Then we discuss how a script is created from the story.

200. Celebrating With: The Professor Was a Thief

Today is a very special show in celebration of episode #200. During the Writers of the Future Volume 38 workshop week, a live performance of L. Ron Hubbard’s “The Professor Was a Thief” was presented to the Contest winners and judges. Why “The Professor Was a Thief?” Because it is the L. Ron Hubbard story included in Writers of the Future volume 38. So sit back and enjoy the performance. It’s only 30 minutes, and it will be followed by a Q&A with actors R.F. Daley, Travis Oates, and Roger Scott.

Click here to listen>>

199. Elizabeth Wein from Contest winner to #1 New York Times bestselling author

Elizabeth Wein was a Writers of the Future Volume 9 and later a #1 New York Times bestselling author of Code Name Verity and discusses her career as an author and her trajectory to success. She transitioned from Arthurian legend to science fiction—including a Star Wars novel—and thrilling adventure. Her storytelling is character driven and she explains how she goes about doing this. She became a pilot using her royalty advance from her second book to pay for it. Her knowledge as a pilot played a key role in Code Name Verity.

Click here to listen>>

198. Science to Science Fiction: Jeffrey A. Carver, Edward M. Lerner, Alan Smale, Edward Willett

From science to science fiction: Jeffrey A. Carver, Edward M. Lerner, Alan Smale, Edward Willett discuss their journey from aspiring writers to award-winning and bestselling authors. We cover how they transitioned technical careers to hard sci-fi, alternate history, and space opera.

Click here to listen>>

197. SLC FanX Illustrators of the Future: How to make it as an artist

The Illustrators of the Future Panel was held at the Salt Lake City FanX Convention in a packed hall and is now turned into a podcast. The panel pictured from l to r: Xiaomeng Zhang, Nick Jizba, Emily Jones-Goodwin, and Brian C. Hailes. The first half of the panel was discussions on how to create a career as an artist, and the second half was open mic Q&A. Enjoy!!

Click here to listen>>

196. SLX FanX Panel: Judges Brandon Sanderson, Todd McCaffrey, and Writers of the Future winners

The Writers of the Future Panel was held at the Salt Lake City FanX Convention in a very packed hall. The panel pictured from l to r: Darci Stone, Eric James Stone, Todd McCaffrey, Brandon Sanderson, John Goodwin, Wulf Moon, Kary English, Z. T. Bright, and Martin Shoemaker. Plus, a 5-minute video from Anne McCaffrey on Writers of the Future and her tips to writers. The first half of the panel was discussions on creating short stories, and the second half was open mic Q&A. We almost got through every question. Enjoy!!

Click here to listen>>

195. Evan Leikam TikToker Book Reviews Kill

Evan Leikam, perhaps better known by the handle “Book Reviews Kill,” is a pioneer TikToker with around 150k followers. In this podcast, we discuss how to create a TikTok brand and the value of BookTok.

Click here to listen>>

194. Crystal Crawford introduces Amazon Vella episodic publishing platform

In this episode, Crystal Crawford discusses the new Amazon episodic publishing platform—Vella. Crystal has been involved with Vella since its implementation a year ago and answers many questions regarding the platform. Vella is one of the fastest-growing publishing platforms and is very much worth checking out as a reader and author. It provides a new revenue stream for authors who can make a very sizable income monthly.

Click here to listen>>

193. Brian D. Meeks discusses the top 5 most powerful words in copywriting

Brian D. Meeks, author of Mastering Amazon Descriptions, on the Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contest Podcast.

Click here to listen>>

192. Author Z. T. Bright uses fantasy to explore issues with social media

Z. T. Bright is a Writers of the Future winner with his story “The Magic Book of Accidental City Destruction: A Book Wizard’s Guide.” He was the winner of the inaugural Mike Resnick Memorial Award and was published in Galaxy’s Edge magazine in 2021. He writes anything speculative, ranging from sci-fi short stories to middle-grade fantasy novels. Writers of the Future was his second sale.

Click here to listen>>

191. Ken Liu AMC Pantheon based on his stories in The Hidden Girl

Ken Liu is a multiple Hugo Award-winning American author of science fiction and fantasy. AMC’s Pantheon was created around the Singularity-based stories in The Hidden Girl, a collection of short stories by Ken. His story, “The Paper Menagerie,” is the first piece of fiction to win three literary genre awards: the Hugo, the Nebula, and the World Fantasy Award. He was a Writers of the Future Published finalist in 2003 with the story “Gossamer.” He also consults and speaks publicly on various subjects such as cryptocurrency, futurism, implications of new technologies, science fiction, virtual reality, and sustainable storytelling.

Click here to listen>>

190. N.V. Haskell from occupational therapist to award winning author

N.V. Haskell is a winner published in L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 38 with her story, “The Mystical Farrago.” Nicole has been in healthcare for 30 years as an occupational therapist and loves people and has developed an understanding that translates into amazing character development in her award-winning storytelling.

Click here to listen>>

189. Echo Chernik shares hard won advice to survive as an artist

Echo Chernik is one of the most diverse and successful artists you will ever meet. In this interview, she will discuss the business of illustration and art, including how to charge for one’s work. She attended Pratt Institute and has been a working artist all of her adult life and has built a very successful career, and wants to share her hard-won advice.

Click here to listen>>

188. Em Dupre and Jim Zacarria: author and artist

Writers of the Future winner Em Dupre and Illustrators of the Future winner Jim Zacarria discuss working together for L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 38. We also discuss their journey to winning the Contests and what they plan for their future.

Click here to listen>>

187. Scott Dickey, CEO of Podium Audio, on a new business model for audiobooks

Scott Dickey is the CEO of Podium Audio. Podium is probably the fastest growing audio publisher globally, mainly focusing on Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Romance. The company gained international notice for turning once unknown author Andy Weir’s e-book The Martian into one of the most successful audiobooks in the world. In this podcast, we discuss the Podium model and how authors can potentially take advantage of this to get their books made into audiobooks.

Click here to listen>>

186. Jody Lynn Nye, the roll of SF&F on the future of civilization

Jody Lynn Nye is a New York Times bestselling author and the Writers of the Future Coordinating judge and discusses her vision of the future of science fiction and fantasy and the role and value it can have in forming the future of civilization. She also gives what she is looking for in stories for the Contest.

Click here to listen>>

185. Desmond Astaire is career military and Grand Prize writer winner

Desmond Astaire is the Gold Award winner for Writers of the Future Volume 38. He is career Air Force who also aspires to a career as an author.

Click here to listen>>

184. Craig Alanson turned the alien invasion trope on its head

Craig Alanson publishes 3 novels a year. He went from being a paid accountant writing code to a full-time author making 6 figures after only 6 months—as a self-published author! He created Expeditionary Force as a reaction to the “plucky band of soldiers with rifles defeat an alien invasion” trope. These stories are so serious, straight ahead, and unrealistic—how can human soldiers on the ground defeat an alien assault, when the aliens can nuke us from orbit? “I set out to write a military space opera that was a hell of a lot more fun. Enjoy.”

Click here to listen>>

183. Elizabeth Ticknor & Rebecca Treasure making their dreams happen

M. Elizabeth Ticknor and Rebecca E. Treasure discuss the importance of friendship in writing and making their dream of being authors happen. We discuss their journeys, overcoming self-doubt, and persevering to win the Contest.

Click here to listen>>

182. Larry Elmore Dungeons & Dragons and Dragonlance artist

Larry Elmore become an Illustrators of the Future judge in 2012 and is routinely a highlight anytime he attends the annual workshop. Larry discusses how the original D&D art came to be and, following this, Dragonlance art. Larry talks about how he can just look at something, duplicate the shape, and draw it from memory.

Click here to listen>>

181. Dean Wesley Smith discusses the brand new world of publishing

Dean Wesley Smith is one of the most prolific authors today, a master of selling the first draft of his stories. He was the first Writers of the Future winner to be awarded in the history of the Contest. In this podcast, he covers writing what you want to write, what you have fun with. He discusses what today are called “guidelines.” In L. Ron Hubbard’s day, these were called taboos, which he discusses in his how-to article called “Boos and Taboos.” In addition to creating his own worlds, Dean has written Star Trek, Spider-Man, X-Men, Iron Man, and Men in Black novels and ghostwritten dozens of others.

Click here to listen>>

180. Nancy Cartwright, voice of Bart Simpson, provides 6 steps to survival

The UK is very important to Writers and Illustrators of the Future! Illustrator grand prize winner volume 37 Dan Watson (top), writer winner volume 36 J. L. George (center), and writer winner volume 38 Michael Panter (bottom) were interviewed during the workshop week where we discussed their individual journeys to winner and what they plan to do in the future.

Click here to listen>>

179. Meet 3 amazing winners from the United Kingdom

Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson, wrote and did her own voice-over for her book, I’m Still a 10-Year Old Boy and she is also an artist and sculptor. We discuss her growth and subsequent influence as an artist which includes my favorite chapter, “Six Salient Steps to Successful Survival,” which is very applicable to the aspiring writer and artist … and we talk about all 6 steps!

Click here to listen>>

178. Michael Talbot from Jamaica to Boston on being a pro artist

Growing up in Jamaica, Michael Talbot had always had a strong desire to inspire and speak to others through art. In 2012 he left his home country to live in the US and began pursuing his artistic dreams. He earned his BFA in illustration and graphic design with a minor in animation at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, and has since been working as a Boston-based freelance artist on a wide range of projects, exhibitions, and showcases. Michael believes that all art is interconnected in some facet; informing, complimenting and/or enhancing each other. And although his passion and interest for storytelling is forefront in his practice and craft, he tends to draw from his knowledge in as many areas of study as possible to help strengthen this process. Whenever possible, he uses his rich cultural background from his early life in Jamaica to infuse, improve, and “season” whatever project he tackles, often mixing both digital and traditional media.

Click here to listen>>

177. Martin Shoemaker on Kickstarter book publishing strategies

Martin L. Shoemaker, a winner in Writers of the Future Volume 31, announces a new book, Ulla, based on The War of the Worlds storyline, and the use of Kickstarter to help with the book’s release.

Click here to listen>>

176. Kevin J. Anderson co-authoring with Rush lead drummer Neil Peart

International bestselling author and Writers of the Future Contest Judge, Kevin J. Anderson never wanted to be anything but an author his entire life. We discuss the conclusion of the Clockwork Angels Trilogy, Clockwork Destiny, which Kevin considers to be the best book he has ever written out of his 175 published books. We also discuss the importance of storytellers and the importance of transparency in storytelling, that you are so absorbed in the story that you can just enjoy and be involved in the story.

Click here to listen>>

175. How James Rosone became an Amazon Top 100 Author

James Rosone is the Amazon Top 100 bestselling author of the Red Storm Series and World War III military thriller series. He’s an Iraq War veteran who served 3.5 years in a combat zone as a military interrogator and contractor. You can write the best book in the world and no one reads it. Or you can write a garbage book and everyone reads it. It comes down to marketing. And how to do that is what we discuss.

Click here to listen>>