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Mike Resnick (left) with writer winner Jonathan Ficke and his wife

Mike Resnick – Paying It Forward to New Writers

We recently had a chance to chat with Mike Resnick who was a guest speaker at the Writers Workshop and presenter for the 34th Annual Writers and Illustrators of the Future awards celebration here in Los Angeles.

Mike has been a full-time writer and editor for more than half a century. A prolific author, he has published 74 novels, over 260 stories, and 3 screenplays, not to mention being the editor of 42 anthologies. On top of that, he holds the distinction of being the all-time leading award winner, living or dead, for short fiction, a five-time Hugo winner (with a record 35 nominations), Nebula award winner plus a host of international awards.

Given his track record, and on behalf of struggling writers everywhere, we put forward the million-dollar question: How do you get the inspiration for your story ideas? His classic reply: “A pile of bills sitting on my table.”

Now, for anyone who knows Mike, you can appreciate both his candor and his sense of humor. Luckily for the writer winners who get to attend the exclusive yearly Writers Workshop, they are privy to much more from Mike as he explains.

Author and editor Mike Resnick giving hard-won advice to the writer winners.

“I enjoyed Writers of the Future this year, as I always do. It’s encouraging to meet the next generation of writers, and to guess which ones will eventually emerge as superstars.

“I figured that most of the judges would speak about the art and craft of writing, so this year—as per usual—I spoke about the business end of it: contracts, foreign sales, agents, killer clauses, the whole nine yards. Got some startled and troubled expressions from the audience but hopefully, almost all their questions were answered by the time I was done.

“Another thing I enjoy about these WotF weekends is that every night we gather in the lobby or the bar, and answer dozens of more questions. And, of course, the ceremony itself is always a class act, and this year featured some truly remarkable magicians.

“I try to keep in touch with a number of each year’s WotF finalists. I’ve bought from a couple of dozen of them for my magazines and anthologies, and have even collaborated with a handful of them. It’s good to know where my successors are coming from.”

As a judge for the Writers of the Future Contest since 2010, Mike takes pride in helping the newly published authors featured in L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future, get a leg up in the business. And this goes beyond just providing advice as Mike describes here:

Now that’s paying it forward!

Meet this year’s winners and the next generation of writers setting the trends with their diverse stories and visions here in L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 34.

 

Judges and Winners at the 34th Annual Awards Ceremony

34th Annual Writers & Illustrators of the Future Winners Announced

Darci Stone, a writer from Orem, UT and Kyna Tek, an illustrator from Gilbert, AZ were this year’s Grand Prize Winners at the 34th Annual L. Ron Hubbard Achievement Awards for Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contests in Science Fiction and Fantasy held at The MacArthur in Los Angeles, California. The gala event, presented by Author Services, Inc. and Galaxy Press was held on Sunday evening, April 8, 2018. A capacity crowd of 450 people attended the black-tie event, which had a theme of “Magic and Wizardry.”

We’ve experienced that history sometimes has a way of repeating itself. Thirteen years ago in 2005, Darci Stone’s husband, Eric James Stone stood on stage as a Quarterly Award Winner of the Writer’s Contest. And now his wife, Darci, who started dabbling in writing speculative fiction while dating and attending Eric’s weekly writing group sessions, has walked off with the Grand Prize as Writer of the Year.

For illustrator Kyna Tek, who was born in a refugee camp in Thailand and whose family later immigrated to America, winning the Illustrators of the Future Grand Prize is a dream come true.

In keeping with the evening’s “Magic and Wizardry” theme, the gala celebration opened with magician/mentalist Spidey and magician/illusionist Joel Meyers performing a visually stunning dueling wizards routine with floating objects appearing in mid-air. Later in the evening, they performed a very interactive routine with the participation of celebrities and audience members.

Coordinating Writer Judge David Farland and fellow Writer Judge Brandon Sanderson announced writer Darci Stone as the Golden Pen Award winner while presenting her a check for $5,000. Darci’s story entitled “Mara’s Shadow,” was illustrated by artist Quintin Gleam.

Coordinating Judge Echo Chernik and actress Marisol Nichols announced illustrator Kyna Tek as the Golden Brush Award winner while also presenting him with a check for $5,000. Kyna illustrated writer Erin Cairns’ story, “A Smokeless and Scorching Fire.”

Over the years, submissions for the Writer and Illustrator Contests have come in from over 175 countries. And this year we received entries from three new countries: Andorra, Seychelles and Benin. Selecting the two Grand Prize Winners from the thousands of contest entries submitted every year was not an easy process.

In her acceptance speech, Darci Stone commented, “My husband won a Nebula Award. I am fairly certain that this is a much bigger trophy. I would like to thank my artist, Quintin Gleim, for illustrating my words into an image. I hope one day that all of us will see our names, stories and artwork in best-selling books.”

Kyna Tek, who was visibly in shock when he heard his name called out said, “When I saw everyone else’s illustrations in this Contest I never imagined I had a chance. Thank you for this moment. I’m never going to forget it. I will cherish it forever.”

The awards show was held in the Elks Hall of The MacArthur, a historic Los Angeles landmark conceived in a visually opulent Gothic Revival architectural style with cathedral-like ceilings. The book signing and reception, which followed the awards event, was held in the equally well-appointed Grand Ballroom.

The keynote speaker was Ruben Padilla, a magician and founder of Narrative Strategies. In his address, Ruben delivered a heartfelt presentation to the winners and guests and stated, “The entire purpose of tonight is to celebrate, in all its fantastical forms, the creation of words and illustrations. Something magical happens to you when you write something down.”

Artist and Illustrators of the Future Judge Larry Elmore was presented with the L. Ron Hubbard Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Arts. Larry has been an inspiration for countless artists over the years including this year’s winners Kyna Tek and Anthony Moravian who thanked him from the stage. It was Larry who told Kyna to enter the Contest after seeing Kyna’s artwork at a convention—and the rest is history.

Actress Judy Norton sang “My Father’s Song” written by composer/lyricist Pauline Frechette as part of an In Memoriam tribute to two of our esteemed Contest Judges who passed away over the last year, Jerry Pournelle and Yoji Kondo.

Galaxy Press’ President John Goodwin unveiled the print and audiobook editions of L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 34. The book was edited by David Farland and features artwork by artist Ciruelo on the cover. It includes stories and essays by well-known authors and artists Orson Scott Card, Brandon Sanderson, Jody Lynn Nye, Jerry Pournelle, Ciruelo and Echo Chernik.

For a complete listing of the contents of the book and the names of all the winners, go here.

Awards for each of the Quarterly Finalists of the Writers and Illustrators Contests were presented by actors Nancy Cartwright, Jade Pettyjohn, Sean Cameron Michael, Catherine Bell and Lee Purcell, along with judges from the Contests. Photos from the event are posted below.

All in all, a very magical evening for all this year’s Writer and Illustrators of the Future winners.