Cover art, “One of Our Robots is Missing,” for Writers of the Future 35

International Writers of the Future 35th Awards Ceremony Set for Live Worldwide Broadcast

Hollywood, CA—Mark your calendar to watch the Writers and Illustrators of the Future Achievement Awards Ceremony Friday, April 5, 7:30 PM (Pacific)

The L. Ron Hubbard Achievement Awards ceremony, celebrating its 35th anniversary of the internationally-acclaimed Writers of the Future Contest and its companion Illustrators of the Future Contest, will be broadcast on Friday, April 5, 7:30 PM (Pacific), to a worldwide audience via the Internet, it was announced today. Streaming will be live from where a countdown to the event can currently be seen.

Themed around the book cover art entitled “One of Our Robots Is Missing” painted by award-winning artist Bob Eggleton, the opening act will be performed by EMCirque and a Mars Rover prototype.

The evening ceremony will be held before a packed hall of invited guests, celebrities, and many of speculative fiction’s most popular writers and illustrators at The Taglyan Complex in Los Angeles, all gathered to find out who will win the Writers of the Future Golden Pen award and a $5,000 check and the Illustrators of the Future Golden Brush award and their $5,000 check.

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

As the top names in the science fiction and fantasy world, Contest judges will be on hand to present the annual awards to this year’s writer and illustrator winners as well as the grand prize winner for each Contest. Writer judges who will be attending include Kevin J. Anderson, Doug Beason, Gregory Benford, Orson Scott Card, David Farland, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Todd McCaffrey, Rebecca Moesta, Larry Niven, Jody Lynn Nye, Nnedi Okorafor, Tim Powers, Robert J. Sawyer, and Dean Wesley Smith. Illustrator judges will include Echo and Lazarus Chernik, Bob Eggleton, Larry Elmore, Val Lakey Lindahn, Sergey Poyarkov, and Rob Prior.

“This annual gala ceremony for new writers and illustrators of science fiction and fantasy is such a moving experience that we want all speculative fiction fans everywhere and the friends and families of this year’s winners to witness it,” said Joni Labaqui, the Contests’ director.

Every quarter, three writers and three illustrators are selected by a panel of leading authors and artists of science fiction and fantasy. With no entry fee and judging done on an anonymous basis, the criterion is strictly merit. Beside first time publication, benefits include over $30,000 in cash prizes and royalties, a week-long workshop with top professionals of the genre as well as book signings, radio, and TV interviews organized by the contest administrators to assist the winners in launching their careers.

Please note, this is a live broadcast, so check your time zone for when it will show in your location. You can follow the live countdown to the achievement awards at

For more information, on the Contests, go to

Winners of Worldwide L. Ron Hubbard Writers & Illustrators of the Future Contests Have Been Finalized for Year 35

US, British, Chinese, and Canadian Writers and Illustrators are chosen to be published in L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 35.

Writers of the Future emblemThe winners of the 35th annual and internationally-acclaimed L. Ron Hubbard Writers & Illustrators of the Future Contests have now been finalized.

They were selected out of thousands who entered the Contest and will be published in the 2019 edition of the national bestselling anthology, L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 35.

There are four quarters each year that entrants can submit a short story in the fantasy or science fiction genres. This Contest is for writers and illustrators looking to launch their career, not already established writers and artists.

Presentation of the Gold Awards for the year’s best story and illustration will be announced at the annual gala awards event in Hollywood, California in the spring of 2019.

Meet the talented group in the upcoming anthology.

The Writers:

Carrie Callahan from Kentucky
David Cleden from England
Preston Dennett from California
Christopher Baker from England
Andrew Dykstal from Virginia
John Haas from Canada
Kyle Kirrin from Colorado
Rustin Lovewell from Maryland
Wulf Moon from Washington
Mica Scotti Kole from Michigan
Elise Stephens from Washington
Kai Wolden from Minnesota

The Illustrators:

Aliya Chen from California
Alexander Gustafson from Washington
Yingying Jiang from England
Sam Kemp from England
Qianjiao Ma from China
Allen Morris from Washington
Jennifer Ober from New Mexico
Josh Pemberton from Washington
Emerson Rabbitt from Minnesota
Christine Rhee from California
Vytautas Vasiliauskas from England
Alice Wang from Washington

These are the writers and illustrators to look for. They are the future.

L. Ron Hubbard created the Writers of the Future Contest in 1983 to provide a means for aspiring writers of speculative fiction to get that much-needed break. Due to the success of the writing Contest, the companion Illustrators of the Future Contest was created in 1988.

The intensive mentoring process has proven very successful. 12 winners have become New York Times bestselling authors and winners’ works have sold over 50 million copies.

The Writers of the Future Award is the genre’s most prestigious of its kind and has now become the largest, most successful and demonstrably most influential vehicle for budding creative talent in the world of speculative fiction. Since inception, the Writers & Illustrators of the Future Contests have awarded over one million cumulatively in cash prizes and royalties to their winners.

Created in 1983 by L. Ron Hubbard, Writers of the Future is the longest running contest for SF and Fantasy novice writers in the world

Visit for more information.

Michael Michera on the red carpet with singer Joy Villa

Spotlight on artist Michael Michera

Michael Michera is a self-taught artist who found out about L. Ron Hubbard’s Illustrators of the Future Contest quite accidentally from a friend who then persuaded him to enter. That accidental encounter resulted in Michael winning the grand prize.

The contest, which is in its 28th year, costs nothing to enter. And thousands of artists enter every year from all over the world. The judging is done by top professionals and is anonymous, meaning the judging is done blind without reference to name, gender or nationality.

About Michael and His Art

Grand prize winner, Michael Michera

Grand prize winner, Michael Michera

Michael was born and raised in Poland where he currently resides. When it comes to art, he has been passionate about prehistoric animals since childhood, when he began drawing dinosaurs and creating his own creatures from his imagination. Later his interest expanded to include all animals and biology in general. He read many books on this topic and earned priceless knowledge for his current work as a concept artist.

As a youngster, Michael watched a lot of horror and sci-fi movies and it is those films, and most particularly the movie Alien, that has influenced his art.

Michael has always been fascinated by traditional drawing as well as comic art. He loves to experiment with art styles, though he most enjoys creating robots and futuristic designs of sci-fi technology. He uses digital painting and 3D sculpture in his creations.

Illustrators Workshop and Awards Celebration

As a winner of the Contest, Michael came to Los Angeles and attended the Illustrators of the Future Workshop the week prior to the awards celebration. The workshop is exclusively for the artist winners, and instructors include Coordinating Judge Echo Chernik along with judges Lazarus Chernik, Ciruelo, Larry Elmore, Sergey Poyarkov and a host of special guest artists and art directors.

Author C.L. Kagmi with the illustration Michael did for her story

Author C.L. Kagmi with the illustration Michael did for her story

During the seminars, the artists learn both the practical and business side of illustrating including how to put together their portfolio, how to brand and promote themselves, as well as practical experience on drawing. Each artist also has one-on-one time with professionals to get advice on their work.

During the week, the Writers Workshop is also taking place and so Michael met author C.L. Kagmi who wrote the story he illustrated, “The Drake Equation.”

For Michael, winning the grand prize was the best day of his life. In his acceptance speech, he talked about how artists and writers can together change the world and that he was glad to be shaping the future together with his fellow artists and writers.

He ended by saying, “Thank you for everything. This is a very important day for me and probably the best week in my life. If this is my American dream, I don’t want to wake up.”

We look forward to seeing much more of Michael and his creativity in the future.

Molly Elizabeth Atkins, author of “Obsidian Spire”

It seems to me that Molly Elizabeth Atkins is in the middle of a transition.

She’s a published finalist in the 33rd Annual Writers of the Future anthology, of course. It’s her first time in print. Her story is titled “Obsidian Spire” and tells the tale of a young swordfighter dealing with fables and trying to keep the people of her lands safe. In real life, Molly is a mom who spends her days working to keep two kids and a husband safe. Unlike the character in her story, she apparently manages to complete this job without the use of swords. She’s also been a consumer relations agent, another job that apparently required no blades with edges.

Having a love for fantasy and science fiction, however, calls for a different skillset.

She’s one of those people who get up in the wee hours of the morning to make it happen, though. “That’s the time I have right now,” she said to me. “So that’s the time it happens.”

I get the feeling there are a lot of things like that in Molly’s life these days. Decide and do. No complaining. Just make it happen. During the week I get the distinct pleasure of meeting much of her family. At one point, she’s in the chair getting her makeup done for the awards event and her parents are there and her husband and her kids. They share banter back and forth.

You can see where her strength comes from.

It’s a strength that shows up in her work, too. I don’t know if she sees that, or if her family sees that. But I do. Reading “Obsidian Spire” feels intimate like that banter does, even when the conversation is between people who don’t yet really know each other.

Like many of the contest winners, Molly’s been working to be a writer for several years. During her time at the workshop, she’s been asking questions that range from how to write to how to make more time for herself. Practical questions. No nonsense questions. They are questions that a professional writer asks of other professional writers, and I can see her absorbing ideas, processing, turning them into things that make sense for her. “I think I can do this now,” she said after one of the sessions. “It’s been a lot of learning, but now all these dreams I’ve had seem achievable.”

That’s the transition, you know? That’s the thing that makes a difference here.

“Obsidian Spire” is a fantastic fantasy story. As noted above, it represents Molly’s first publication.

I can’t wait to see her next … and her next … and …

Molly and fellow author, David VonAllmen, will be at the Barnes & Noble West County Mall in St. Louis on Saturday, April 15, signing copies of Writers of the Future Volume 33. If you are in the area, be sure to stop by and congratulate them and get a copy of their story. You are in for a great treat.

For information about author book signings, visit the Writers & Illustrators of the Future facebook page.


Ron Collins, guest blogger Guest blogger, Ron Collins.
Ron Collins was a Writers of the Future published finalist in 1998 and a prize winner in 1999. He has gone on to publish about 100 short stories in prominent magazines and anthologies. Each volume in his fantasy serial Saga of the God-Touched Mage, hit the top 10 on Amazon’s bestselling Dark Fantasy list in the US, UK, and Australia. His short story, “The White Game” was nominated for the Short Mystery Fiction Society’s 2016 Derringer Award. The first four books of his current SF series, Stealing the Sun, are available now. Find out more about Ron at

Author Andrew L. Roberts listening guest speaker, Kevin J. Anderson, at the Writers Workshop

Andrew L. Roberts, author of “Tears for Shulna”

It doesn’t take long after meeting Andrew L. Roberts to know that this is a man who looks for layers in life. He’s a man of gratitude, and a guy who can find meaning in everything that happens, and then be able to talk about it in a framework that makes sense. He knows people.

Andrew L. Roberts

Andrew L. Roberts

When you talk with him you get the feeling that he loves people, too, which gives color to the fact that he’s made his living working as a material manager in manufacturing environments—a place where dealing with people and the stresses of deadlines are vital. He’s also a die-hard fantasy fan with a science fiction underbelly.

He understands a lot of the history that’s gone on in our field.

I think I’m on to him, though.

Despite all that, after spending a full week together at the workshop I’ve determined that the truth that sits at the heart of Andrew L. Roberts is that he’s really an out-of-time bard, a musician and a poet with a passion for putting that essence into stories.

You can see this in “Tears for Shülna,” his short story published in the 33rd annual Writers of the Future anthology. Not to get into specifics here, but it’s a delicate tale told around hearty people that touches on sacrifice, eternal love, and well … more. It’s hard to get that kind of emotional content into such a short piece, but Andrew makes it work.

Reading it made me smile.

Scanning through it again on the plane ride home made me flash on conversations with him throughout the week. (Aside: If you see Andrew at a convention or a signing, ask him about how he learned to play the bagpipes by going to the cemetery!)

His next project is a fantasy set in seventeenth century Japan.

I’m completely going to read the heck out of that.

I think you should, too.

If you are going to be in the San Jose area this weekend, you can meet Andrew, shake his hand and also get him to autograph his story for you. Andrew, along with two of his writer winner friends from Vol 33 (Doug Souza and Sean Hazlett), will be at the Barnes & Noble on Stevens Creek Blvd in San Jose on April 15, between 1:00 and 4:00 pm, signing copies of Writers of the Future Volume 33. When you see him, be sure to ask about the bagpipes.

For information about author book signings, visit the Writers & Illustrators of the Future facebook page.


Ron Collins

Ron Collins

Guest blogger, Ron Collins.
Ron Collins was a Writers of the Future published finalist in 1998 and a prize winner in 1999. He has gone on to publish about 100 short stories in prominent magazines and anthologies. Each volume in his fantasy serial Saga of the God-Touched Mage, hit the top 10 on Amazon’s bestselling Dark Fantasy list in the US, UK, and Australia. His short story, “The White Game” was nominated for the Short Mystery Fiction Society’s 2016 Derringer Award. The first four books of his current SF series, Stealing the Sun, are available now. Find out more about Ron at

Writers & Illustrators of the Future Awards Event 2017

This is, of course, the day of the achievement awards ceremony. It’s held at the Wilshire Ebell Club Theatre, which is an amazingly cool place.

At one point, a little later in the night, I found myself standing in the big room where the final book signing would be held. The gala event was over, but the winners had not yet arrived. The room, therefore, was fairly quiet. Just a few people milling around. In an adjoining room, there were several tables covered with newly released copies of Writers and Illustrators of the Future, Volume 33 all waiting to be signed. Other tables had drinks on them, and still, other tables were covered with trays of food. But the tables I was looking at were a large collection in the middle of the room, each placed together to form a rectangle.

Inside the rectangle, there were fourteen chairs (five to each long side, and two to each short side), facing out. Each table was covered in a tablecloth of pale gold, and in front of each chair sat a blue pen. The pens seemed to be locked and loaded, lined up in perfectly regimented order. In just a few minutes the winners would arrive, take these seats, and begin to use these pens to sign books. But right then everything was quiet and stable. A calm before the storm.

This “calm before the storm” is how I’m feeling about this year’s class of winners. Their book is ready to launch, as—for many of them—are their writing careers. I can feel that storm brewing within this group. I can’t wait to see what this gang does.

In the meantime, I suppose I should go back in time a bit. (Everything about the Writers f the Future is focused on science fiction and fantasy, right? I figure I’ve got some leeway to let time travel happen here, so I’m going to take it).

Earlier this morning, the winners had been quiet and subdued. I walked over to ASI, to take in the hair and make-up process going on. Along the way, I spied three of the guys having a quiet conversation in the hotel lobby. Two others were at a Starbucks, sipping coffee and having a quiet conversation. They all had speeches to deal with, and in the end, they would all deal with those speeches beautifully. But in the morning, it seems to be a little stressful.

I watched Molly Atkins and C.L. Kagmi get their makeup done. I chatted with Ziporah Hildebrandt as she was waiting her time in the seat. Family members of Molly and Ziporah came into town, and I got to chat with them for a while. This was great fun. After a whole week of watching the winners go about their work, seeing their kids, parents, and other significant others was a special treat.

Before too long, it was time to travel to the Wilshire. We piled into a bus and headed off. Conversation throughout the ride was lively. Jake Marley and Stephen Lawson chatted up a storm. I asked about their previous experience with speaking in groups, both had some but Stephen took the lead due to his work in the military. When we arrive, the winners got their pictures taken, and made their way down the red carpet, and had a series of fantastic interviews.

The thematic element of the event this year is the red dragon, painted gloriously be renowned artist Larry Elmore. This means the red carpet is decorated with the head of a red dragon and patrolled by a knight in shining armor. Families and visitors took seats, and the event began.

Bottom line: this ceremony was huge when I was last here in the late 1990s. It was loud and raucous, and a lot of fun. Those events paled, however, in relationship to what it is now. This is a huge presentation. Contest judges Rob Prior and Larry Elmore kicked off the festivities by painting a dragon together as a trio of fire dancers kept the audience entertained. Then came an overview of L. Ron Hubbard and the contest itself.

Mike Resnick received a lifetime award and give a speech about his writer children and how he has always nurtured new writers. As one of his earlier writer children, I can completely confirm this…watching Mike get this award was a highlight of my week. Mike’s efforts to help new writers over the years dovetail perfectly with this contest, a fact that was represented by the rows of past winners I was sitting with who had all been published in or with him. Of course, his speech was fantastic.

Then Pat Henry, co-founder and President of Dragon Con gave a lively dissertation about fandom, the convention, the value of fantasy and science fiction, and dragons as a whole.

So, yeah, the early part of the show was great fun, but the time had now come for the presentation of the awards. I could easily put myself in the winner’s shoes and realize that they were probably getting more nervous as time went by. As David VonAllmen said, there may well have been 1200 people in the building, but there were millions more looking in on the Internet. No pressure, right?

Anyway…the winners’ talks may well have taken forever to get here, but they started off with a bang when Anton Rose gave a fantastic speech for his story “A Glowing Heart.” From this point on, winner after winner came to the stage and made brilliant moments. Perhaps the most powerful speech came from a writer who wasn’t even here. Walter Dinjos, a Nigerian winner (for “The Woodcutter’s Diety”) sent a beautiful video from his home in which he thanked L. Ron Hubbard and the contest and went on to note how he missed being with his writer class and would be looking forward to finding them as their careers unwound. Afterward, Larry Elmore, who was presenting the illustrator’s award, paused, looked out at the audience, and said “That was a moving video. You can tell he has the same heart as the rest of us.”

Yes, indeed you could.

And, yes, there was moment after moment for the winners, culminating in the announcement of the illustrious “Golden Pen Award,” the top achievement in the contest in which the judges selected a grand prize winner from the top four winners of each quarter. This year the candidates were Dustin Steinacker’s “Envoy on the Ice,” Doug Souza’s “The Armor Embrace,” Andrew Peery’s “Useless Magic,” and Jake Marley’s “Acquisition.”

When Jake’s name was called, pandemonium broke out. There was screaming and laughing and joyous crying—and that was just from Jake! The rest of the crowd, including this fantastic set off on a round of thunderous applause as he bounded down the aisle, hugging his friends and receiving big claps on the back. To say the least, this was a very popular winner. Jake gave a beautiful acceptance speech. At one point the screen flash on his beautiful wife and daughter smiling, with tears in their eyes, literally unable to hold still. Later I would speak with one of them and she was effervescent. “I’m so proud of him!” she would say, literally glowing as she held a copy of the book to her chest. “He’s been gone at the Writers of the Future for so long and I haven’t seen him or hugged him until today and I’m so proud of him I can hardly even finish my sentences and I’m so ready to burst.”

Which brings us full circle to the book signing.

The winners arrive and take their seats. Books are purchased, and the signing commences. I wander around in the background, watching as the lines of people walk through and the writers talk to each of them as they personalize the books. It’s a long process. Past winners Megan O’Keefe and Laurie Tom are there, making sure the writers always have water, which is considerably more important than they might have thought before going through this. It’s hot there, you know? The lights are on, and the people move by, and you’re talking all the time, which means your voice gets dry. Water is a big deal at a signing. Consider this lesson number 10,058 of the Writers of the Future week.

Then it’s done.

The winners pile into busses, get back to the hotel, put on their everyday duds, and head to the after-party to chat, sign each other’s books, have a little snack, and basically just decompress.

It’s nearly 3:00 by the time I get back to the room and shut off the light.

But, who is minding the clock, right? This Writers of the Future thing is all about fantasy and science fiction.

Time is our plaything, and tonight it’s on the side of these 14 amazing winners.

For a glimpse of how the day transpired, click HERE.


Ron Collins

Ron Collins

Guest blogger, Ron Collins.
Ron Collins was a Writers of the Future published finalist in 1998 and a prize winner in 1999. He has gone on to publish about 100 short stories in prominent magazines and anthologies. Each volume in his fantasy serial Saga of the God-Touched Mage, hit the top 10 on Amazon’s bestselling Dark Fantasy list in the US, UK, and Australia. His short story, “The White Game” was nominated for the Short Mystery Fiction Society’s 2016 Derringer Award. The first four books of his current SF series, Stealing the Sun, are available now. Find out more about Ron at

Jessica Tung Chi Lee

The Journey to Win

It was in the late summer of 2011 when I first found Illustrator of the Future Contest. I was in a great stress caused by not being able to find a decent place to live less than a month before my years-long master program started and trying to adapt to a whole new environment and American culture which was the first foreign country I had ever traveled to.

It is an exaggeration, but I felt like an immigrant worker in the Gold Rush era; confused, scared, and hopeful but hopeless. I didn’t submit any work at that moment, because I had nothing. However, the contest was imprinted on my mind.

After a couple years of struggling with my art education in the Academy of Art, I finally had something I felt good enough to submit. Nothing came back.

Same quietness in the next year.

In my last semester, when I felt entirely hopeless with the competition, and honestly convinced that I would never receive anything back from the contest, I submitted my work as my last try. “It doesn’t hurt to just try the last time.” I told myself. I forgot about the contest completely after that submission.

Jessica with her illustration for Writers of the Future Vol 31 and bestseller list

Jessica with her illustration for Writers of the Future Vol 31 and bestseller list

It was after I had started working in the industry for quite a while, I received a phone call from a woman with an energetic yet smooth voice. “Hey Tung Chi! Congratulations! You won the first quarter of the contest!” Joni Labaqui said over the phone, excitedly. I was at a complete lost. “What was that?” I asked uncertainly.

“The Illustrator Of the Future contest! You won the first quarter!” Her cheerful voice resonated in my head.

I was thrilled, but it was not until the request for the final piece came in, did I realize how big a deal this contest was. There were renowned judges who were professionally established experts, and there was even an equally established Art Director (Bob Eggleton) I needed to work with to complete the final piece. It was a truly professional and top-standard competition and commission. I finished an illustration that was an obvious breakthrough in the body of my works.

Then I was flown to Los Angeles to participate in the informative week-long workshops, in which we met legendary artists such Larry Elmore, Dave Dorman, Nathan Fowkes, Cliff Nielsen, Ron and Val Lindahn and Sergey Poyarkov. After the packed yet fulfilling week, for the first time in my life, I was dressed up like a movie star in order to attend a ceremony as grand and formal as the Oscar Award.

Wining this contest not only brought me unforgettable memories, but also feature opportunities on magazines such as ImagineFX and Fantasy Scroll Mag, and tutorial requests from 3DTotal, and online features on DeviantArt groups, and many other exposure opportunities.

Most importantly, it made me one of the contributors of a national bestseller!

The award was not simply an assertion of my artistic ability and a proof of my achievement in the field, but also an incredible booster for the business side of my career. Now I look back, I feel immensely grateful to everyone who has been involved in my art journey so far, and also the young me, discouraged yet resilient, who decided to keep pursuing her passion and goal despite all the road blocks.

Jessica Tung Chi Lee

Jessica Tung Chi Lee

Guest Writer post by Jessica Tung Chi Lee
Illustrators of the Future Contest Winner
Illustrator for “Unrefined,”
Writers of the Future Volume 31

Tom Doherty, founder of Tor Books, on stage at the annual Writers & Illustrators of the Future Awards Ceremony accepting the L. Ron Hubbard Lifetime Achievement Award.

Tom Doherty

Few casual readers may know of Tor Books, but almost anyone who has ever read a science fiction or fantasy book will have held one of Tor’s innumerable novels, which have been published since its inception in 1980. And who was the founder of what has become one of the most—if not the most—impressive powerhouse of speculative fiction in the modern world? That would be Tom Doherty!

Tom has deep roots when it comes to books, having been a book salesman through the 1950s and 60s, until he became the publisher at Tempo Books in 1972. A few years later, he also joined Grosset & Dunlap as publisher of their science fiction imprint, Ace Books. After all that time in the trenches of the publishing industry, Tom launched out on his own to create Tor Books and realize his own vision for science fiction and fantasy stories that would go on to inspire countless millions (if not billions) in the years since.

Nowadays, Tom is both president and publisher of Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, which is associated with the Tor, Forge, Orb, Starscape, and Tor Teen imprints. It’s almost as if he can’t get enough of publishing books that embody powerful and life-changing imagination! And his dedication to the industry has certainly shone through with the quality of the tales these imprints tell and the amazing authors they bring to the world.

Tom has been long lauded for his contributions to publishing and speculative fiction. For starters, in 2005, he received the Lifetime Achievement World Fantasy Award at the World Fantasy Convention. Most recently, Tom attended this year’s Writers of the Future celebration week, where he acted as a guest lecturer on the history of publishing and its current role in society. To top that off, he attended the award ceremony where he was honored by the L. Ron Hubbard Lifetime Achievement Award.

Here’s what he had to say on receiving this award: “To be given an award for what I’d do for play, what could be better.”  He concluded by saying, “Thank you again to the Writers of the Future and its late founder, L. Ron Hubbard for having the vision and the foresight to make dreams come true. Together we build new tomorrows.”

Thank you, Tom Doherty, for publishing books that not only act as cornerstones of speculative fiction, but will live on to inspire future generations.

Kevin J. Anderson (center) on stage with Illustrator Judge Sergey Poyarkov (left), and author winner Steve Pantazis (right)

Kevin J. Anderson — A Powerful and Prolific Legacy

Few people’s works span so far and wide as Kevin J. Anderson’s. Having written over 120 books (almost half being national or international bestsellers), he’s known by millions for his work on major properties such as The X-Files, Batman and Superman, Star Wars, and Dune, to say nothing of his independent titles.

Having won or been nominated for everything from the Nebula Award to the Bram Stoker Award to the SFX Reader’s Choice Award to the New York Times Notable Book, Kevin has now received yet another nomination: the Hugo Award for Best Novel!

Kevin became a guest instructor in 1993 and a judge in 1996. He had this to say about Writers of the Future:

“When I was starting out, the Contest gave me a goal to shoot for: prize money, trophy, recognition and most of all the chance to participate in a marvelous writing workshop. The quarterly deadlines gave me goals, and I improved so much that I started making sales. I am now honored to be one of the judges for the Contest, and I enjoy sharing my knowledge and experience with each year’s winners.”

 Kevin and Rebecca Moesta at the Writers of the Future awards ceremony.

Kevin and Rebecca Moesta at the Writers of the Future awards ceremony.

Kevin has edited seven anthologies, and even established his own publishing company, WordFire Press, which he presides over with his wife, Rebecca Moesta—an author, editor, and Writers of the Future judge as well. Through WordFire Press, Kevin and Rebecca continue to foster a legacy of powerful storytelling while spotlighting both new and established authors.

But writing isn’t the only challenge Kevin has embraced. Colorado has constantly called to him with its rearing mountains and winding trails. Over the years, he’s summited all 54 of the state’s 14ers (peaks higher than 14,000 feet) and, over the course of 8 years, has completed the entire 485 miles of the Colorado Trail. Quite the feat.

Thank you for your long-lasting support, Kevin, and best wishes at this year’s Hugo Awards!

Zachary Chapman on stage accepting his award.

Zach Chapman & Trevor Smith – Creating Across Reality

Zach Chapman comes from a pastoral background—by that, we mean he grew up on a ranch, seeing cows outside his childhood bedroom window and camping many nights during the summer. However, rather than spend all his time watching cud get chewed, Zach often turned his attention to books, and soon developed a love of stories brewed in the minds of notables such as Alan Moore, Garth Ennis, Philip K. Dick, Neil Gaiman, among others.

Orson Scott Card congratulating Zachary Chapman

Orson Scott Card congratulating Zachary Chapman

Over the years, he played in numerous sports, such as football and wrestling, and delved into video games, but never lost that underlying love of writing. So he eventually attended the University of Incarnate Word and graduated with an English degree, while also winning the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences English Award for creative writing. No. He didn’t decide to start small.

His story, “Between Screens,” is a reality-bending jaunt into the life of a teenage boy who becomes increasingly unmoored by slap-dash jaunts across the galaxy.

Trevor Smith accepting the 2014 Golden Brush Award

Trevor Smith accepting the 2014 Golden Brush Award

Trevor Smith fantastically illustrated “Between Screens,” giving it a visual soul that capture’s the main character’s longing and aches. Trevor is actually in the Writers of the Future Volume 30 as well, having won the Golden Brush Award in 2014! He graduated from the San Francisco Academy of Art University and has been a freelance artist, often dedicating his time to producing unique pieces for self-publishing authors.

Trevor explains his approach to art in this manner: “I explore imaginative worlds of characters and creatures. I can cross boundaries of normal life and tell stories about fantastic things. I reach out and grab people and I tell an entire story in one single image.”

He not only switches between digital illustrations and oil paintings, but also often exchanges monsters, robots, and dragons for butterflies, birds, and landscapes.

Zach and Trevor have one thing in common – their creative works are uniquely out of the box, shaping new realities.