Illustrators of the Future 2nd Quarter Winners

Illustrators of the Future 2nd Quarter Winners Announced for Volume 36


Illustrators of the Future 2nd Quarter Winners for 2019, Volume 36


This illustration contest list is the place to be!


And the winners are:

John Dale Javier from Maryland
Heather Laurence from Michigan
Phoebe Rothfeld from California



Grace Aldrich from Kansas
Andrew Burt from Florida
Thad Stalmack II from Minnesota
Abirami Sukumaran from Arizona
Kendra Yapyapan from New York


Lauren Arnott from Texas
Suiane Baptista from Florida
Maddie G. from California
Elizabeth Golobish from North Carolina
Alexandra Holland from Massachusetts
Jessica Lin from California
Shelly Pinder from Texas
April Robinson from Arkansas
Gilbert Rodriguez from Florida
Alejo Vina from Buenos Aires
Yidan Wang from New Jersey
Duoyi Dora Yao from California

Honorable Mentions:

Freyja Baileykaze from Washington
Reina Hudspeth from Virginia
Freya Lee from New York
Kayla Smith from Indiana
Emma Smith from North Carolina
Jaime Vado from Ohio


Writers of the Future 2nd Quarter Winners

Writers of the Future 2nd Quarter Winners Announced for Volume 36


Writers of the Future 2nd Quarter Standings for 2019, Volume 36


Of all the writing contests out there, this one launches careers!


And the winners are:

First Place – Katherine Livingston from Oklahoma
Second Place – Zack Be from Maryland
Third Place – Tim Boiteau from Michigan



Angela Clawson from Utah
Nathan Dodge from Texas
Austin Gragg from Missouri
James A. Hearn from Texas
Andrea Kriz from Massachusetts


T.E. Bradford from New York
Grant Gerwatowski from Michigan
Kevin P. Hallett from Texas
Jenica Jessen from California
M.H. Lee from Colorado
A.J. Lee from Oregon
Blazej Szpakowicz from British Columbia, Canada
Luke Wildman from Indiana
Michael J. Wyant Jr. from New York

Silver Honorable Mentions:

Robert Bagnall from United Kingdom
Christopher Baxter from Utah
M.K. Beutymhill from California
K.R. Borne from Pennsylvania
Matt Bosio from Florida
L. R. Braden from Colorado
Jennifer Bushroe from Arizona
Jack Calverley from United Kingdom
C.A. Carey from Oklahoma
D.C. Carlisle from Arizona
Erin Casey from Iowa
Chan Yuk Chi from Singapore
Cory Daignault from Minnesota
Michael DeCarolis from Florida
Max Dosser from North Carolina
Michael Duda from Ohio
Jason Fernandes from Pennsylvania
Kathryn Francia from New York
Robert Hawkins from Texas
Antoine J. Hayes from Maryland
Greg Hoover from Missouri
Aaron Horsager from Ohio
Nick King from New Mexico
Rachel LaDue from Connecticut
Jourdan Lamse from Michigan
Caroline Manley from Ohio
E.L. Ratliff from Washington
Spencer Sekulin from Ontario, Canada
Nathan Slemp from Michigan
Benjamin Tyler Smith from Pennsylvania
Gabrielle Thurman from Arkansas
Dan Thurot from Utah
Merethe Walther from Georgia
Helena White from Connecticut
Robert Luke Wilkins from California
Tannara Young from California

Honorable Mentions:

Nicholes P. Adams from Utah
Marek Frederick Alfrey from United Kingdom
Mads Alvey from Kentucky
Sara Amis from Georgia
Michael Anderson from Michigan
Jennie Anderson from Idaho
Jasmine Arch from Belgium
Steve Arensberg from Texas
Brandon Argetsinger from New York
Julia V. Ashley from Mississippi
I.R. Astorga from Spain
T.L. Bainter from Missouri
Brendan Ball from Russia
Hope Barajas from Colorado
C. A. Barrett from Kentucky
J.I. Baydoun from Michigan
Hilda Beal from Virginia
Amitai Ben-Abba from California
John Biggs from Oklahoma
Justin A.W. Blair from Florida
James Blakey from Pennsylvania
A. Branham from Texas
Marlin Bressi from Pennsylvania
Michael D. Britton from Utah
Jane Brolf from British Columbia, Canada
Jonathan Bronico from Massachusetts
Nathan Buckingham from Arizona
Brian Alan Carlson from Alabama
Logan Cason from North Carolina
K.J. Chaves from Oregon
Dennis Chen from California
Jean-Francois Chenier from British Columbia, Canada
Dantzel Cherry from Texas
Rachel Chimits from Colorado
David Christiansen from Utah
Jeremiah Christie from Paraguay
Carrie Clickard from Florida
Cary S. Collins from Georgia
Mike Core Tez from Ontario, Canada
Danielle Coty from Michigan
Krishan Coupland from Scotland
E.A. Crawley from Washington
Sarina Dahlan from California
Emily Dauvin from Saskatchewan, Canada
L. H. Davis from Florida
Lance Dean from California
Alya Demina from Germany
Andy Dibble from Wisconsin
Russell Dillingham from Washington
Mira Dover from Virginia
Arthur Doweyko from Florida
Alexander Duhamel from Canada
Frank Dutkiewicz from Michigan
Claire Ellis from Texas
Mason Engel from Indiana
Robert Mitchell Evans from California
R.G. Everly from Virginia
Kaitlin Felix from Switerland
Suzanne Ferguson from Texas
Jonathan Fesmire from California
Neil Wesley Flinchbaugh from Illinois
Zanna Fong from Ontario, Canada
S.C.A. Fontaine from France
Tim Fox from Oregon
Rhyanne Fritz from Arizona
John A. Frochio from Pennsylvania
Michael Gardner from Australia
PK Gardner from North Carolina
Sergey Gerasimov from Ukraine
Katharina Gerlach from Germany
Rebecca Giansante from California
Melva Gifford from Utah
Nate Givens from Virginia
Barry M. Goldsmith from Arizona
Ilyssa Goldsmith from Arizona
Ian Gonzales from Washington
Les Gould from Virginia
Carl Grafe from Idaho
G. Gray from Northern Ireland
Jordyn Grist from Illinois
Jon Gunnarsson from Germany
Maryann Elizabeth Haaser from Indiana
Pam Hage from Netherlands
Doug Hamilton from Ohio
Laura Handley from Virginia
Alex Harford from United Kingdom
JJ Harlan from Washington
DW Harvey from California
Russell Hemmell from Scotland
Peggy Hendry from Arizona
Michelle Henrie from Utah
R.W. Hodgson from Ontario, Canada
R. J. Howell from Illinois
Scott Hughey from Idaho
Cathy Humble from Oregon
Lynde Iozzo from Colorado
Jared Allen Jackson from Utah
Matthew J. Jarvis from British Columbia, Canada
A. Jennings Meyer from United Kingdom
Sean Jones from Colorado
Kent Alan Jones from Minnesota
K.D. Julicher from Nevada
Brandie June from California
Isabelle Jurasz from Illinois
Breelyn Karno from Massachusetts
Carolyn Kay from Colorado
Simone Kern from Texas
Kari Kilgore from Virginia
Jace Killian from Arizona
David Kilman from Colorado
Michael Kingswood from California
Shawn Kobb from Virginia
TJ Koker from California
Jeffrey Kremer from Ohio
M. Kuriel from Virginia
Jason Lairamore from Oklahoma
A. Humphrey Lanham from Oregon
Alon Lankri from Israel
Alexis Lantgen from Texas
Morag Lewis from United Kingdom
Justin Li from Singapore
Kelly Lindell from Connecticut
Bonner Litchfield from North Carolina
Barbara Lund from Utah
Hank Lyne from Netherlands
Jeremy Mallory from Virginia
E.H. Mann from Victoria, Australia
Karl Mann from Alberta, Canada
Charlie Marsh from Minnesota
Robert J. McCarter from Arizona
Shea McCollum from California
Andrew McCormick from California
Sylvia Mcivers from New York
Lynn Michals from Virginia
McKenna Miller from New York
Devin Miller from North Carolina
Dennis Mombauer from Sri Lanka
G.H. Morgan from South Carolina
Aaron Moskalik from Michigan
Soumya Sundar Mukherjee from India
John OConnell from Kentucky
Alex Olson from New York
Mike Olson from Wisconsin
V.L. Percy from Arizona
Peter Philleo from Florida
Zach Poulter from Utah
Mihica Anushree Prashant from Dubai
Helen Qian from Maryland
Milana Quezada from California
Jordan Radford from Illinois
Brittany Rainsdon from Idaho
Jake Reed from California
Angela Rega from Australia
N. Reilly from Oregon
Timothy Reynolds from Alberta, Canada
William Joseph Roberts from Georgia
Noah Ronquillo from Louisiana
Edward Sammons from Florida
Eric Schieber from North Carolina
M.M. Schill from Florida
Cody Schroeder from Missouri
Madd Shaddox from Arkansas
Sandra Siegienski from Oregon
S.W. Smith from Florida
Ariel Smith from South Carolina
Rebecca Smith from Tennessee
Taliyah St. James from New Mexico
Andrea St. Pierre from Idaho
Jessica Staricka from Minnesota
Viktor Steele from Utah
E.C. Stever from Idaho
Brooklyn Stewart from North Carolina
Lillian Sturhahn from Colorado
Xariffa Suarez from Texas
Liviu Surugiu from Romania
Jesse Swafford from Oregon
Nick Sweeney from United Kingdom
Katie Tally from North Carolina
M.R. Tevebaugh from Colorado
M. Elizabeth Ticknor from Michigan
Julianna Totten from Nevada
Rebecca E. Treasure from Texas
Roderick D. Turner from Ontario, Canada
Paul Douglas Waddell from Tennessee
Krista Wallace from British Columbia, Canada
Susan Watkins from Oregon
Jesse Weiner from Colorado
Esther Eleanna Weissman from Maryland
CE White from Georgia
JM Williams from Korea
Chris Winspear from Australia
Nick Wisseman from Michigan
Thomas Woodward from Minnesota
Ramez Yoakeim from Georgia
Neil Young from California
Vivi from Illinois


Preston Dennett on stage

24 Things

I’m still excited after winning the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future competition

When I got the call that I won 2nd place in the Writers of the Future Contest, I screamed, I cried, I laughed, I did my happy dance. I had entered 47 times. I finally did it!

From 1988–1992, I did my best to become a sci-fi writer. But I couldn’t do it. All the magazines, and of course, the Writers of the Future Contest, rejected my stories. I gave up on my dream. Then, starting in 2009, I decided to give it another try. I had wandered the desolate plains of total rejection before, and I was terrified. Could I do it?

I began getting lots of rejections, including four from the WOTF Contest. Then I got my first honorable mention, followed by another. Soon I earned more, but I just couldn’t get past the honorable mention status. I wanted a silver HM, or a semi-finalist, or finalist! I started to get discouraged.

Meet Topanga Canyon

But I didn’t give up. Especially when I found out that I had a secret identity. Some of you may have heard of “Topanga Canyon,” the subject of a cautionary tale taught by Dean Wesley Smith, who appeared in Volume 1 of the WOTF volumes and is today one of the judges. In his workshop, Dean talked about a promising young writer who the editors were excited about. Everyone was wondering who was going to be the first to publish his stories. Even book editors showed interest. Then suddenly, he disappeared, never to be seen again.

Well, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Topanga Canyon, and I’m not giving up again. I discovered my secret identity on the WOTF forum. If you want to win this Contest, you are making a huge mistake if you don’t check out the forum! It was there that I got the encouragement, knowledge, and advice to keep entering.

Interview with Preston Dennett & Dean Wesley Smith, The Topanga Canyon Never Give Up Story

Getting that call from Joni Labaqui will forever be one of the best moments of my life. I had read all the WOTF volumes several times. I loved all the stories in them. And now, mine was one of them! I was so excited, I couldn’t contain myself. So, I did what I always do, I decided to write about it. I quickly discovered that there were 24 things that I was stupidly, insanely, and obsessively excited about. I wrote each thing down and braced myself for all of them to happen.

I was also able to talk about the realization of my dream on the first day of the workshop.

My 24 Things

Fast-forward several months later, and now that I’ve experienced all of them, I can say that I was right to be excited about every single one of them. Here they are, in some inexplicable order:

  1. Seeing my name on the WOTF website blog showing the list of winners. Amazing! Must stop clicking on it! I admit it’s been over a year since it appeared, and I occasionally still take a peek at it, just to make sure I’m not dreaming.
  2. Reading my story (and the others, of course) in the book. I’ve read all the volumes. Now my story will be in there. Wow! Now that I have read the new volume, I’m once again delighted. The stories are amazing. They’ve all got that quirky, original and creative twist that makes the WOTF stories so unique.
  3. The weeklong workshop taught by the best in the field. I bow humbly and am ready to learn. This turned out to be so much more than I expected. Having lunch with Dean Wesley Smith at the local burger joint, having a cocktail with Tim Powers at the hotel bar, a long list of guest speakers, all powerhouses in the field. I could go on! My notebook is filled, and my brain is trying to contain it all.
  4. The generous prize money. Always nice. So nice. (PS: Got it! It was nice.) And then I got paid pro-rates for the story itself too. Wow!
  5. The trophy. I seriously can’t wait. So, I’ve got my trophy now. It sits in the center of my dining room table, at least for now! You should see how it bends the sunlight.
  6. Meeting the judges. Very nervous, many questions. Okay, I’ve met them. All the judges were incredibly humble and welcoming. They were very knowledgeable and answered all your questions, and others you didn’t even think of asking.
  7. Meeting fellow winners. Always room for more lifelong friends. OMG, this was perhaps my favorite part! Hanging out in the hotel room, going to the local bar, lounging by the pool, talking about our speeches, trying to find a place in Hollywood to eat lunch, I will remember them always. What a great group of friends!
  8. Reading the stories in my quarter. I got second place. What story beat mine? What story got third place? So, fast-forward again. I’ve read the story that beat mine. And I can see why it won first place. And I’ve read the story that placed third in my quarter, and I have to admit, it’s one of my favorites of the entire volume. I loved it.
  9. Seeing the artwork for my story. Please have tissues ready. Lots of tissues. This turned out to be sooo amazing. And yes, I needed the tissues. I’ll just leave it at that.
  10. Giving my speech on stage. I’ve spent years on this one … not even kidding. I attended the WOTF awards nine times, always in the audience. Now I walked on stage as a winner. I was nervous, but I couldn’t have been happier. My main problem was, I was one of the last to give their speech, and all the other speeches before mine were starting to make me cry.
  11. Reading my bio. Yeah, I already know about me, but this is different. Seeing my bio in the WOTF, wow! I’ve always loved that the WOTF books include not only stories but bios and essays from the judges. It’s so amazing to be a part of a contest that has helped launch so many monumental careers.
  12. Seeing the cover of Volume 35. Haven’t seen it yet. Pretty darn excited about it. Saw it. Love it!
  13. Meeting Joni Labaqui, the long-time Contest Director. I couldn’t believe it when she called me telling me I had won second place. Still can’t believe it. I had met her briefly attending the ceremonies before, but now as a winner, it was different. All the people who run the Contest were truly incredible. They made me feel like a real writer, in a good way!
  14. The autograph session after the ceremony. So many times, I’ve gotten the autographs. Now I shall be giving Surreal! And ***coughs*** just the beginning. So, yeah, this happened. There were so many people, I actually got cramps in my hand. And who do I see before me, smiling, and holding a book for me to sign? Tim Powers! No kidding. I have the photo.
  15. Staying in a hotel in … wait for it! Hollywood! Hollywood! ***Cue the singing!*** So yeah, this was truly amazing. What a contest!
  16. Reading reviews of the book. Already bracing myself. So, the reviews are coming in. And they are quite favorable, thank you, humbly. I’m not sure why, but my favorite review is from an Amazon reader who said that my story was their favorite! And I didn’t even have to pay them! (Much … just kidding!)
  17. Being able to put “I won the Writers of the Future Contest” on my resume and cover letters. Slush pile? What slush pile? So yeah, this actually works. I even got a personal congratulation from the editor of a long enduring, pro-level magazine.
  18. Recognition! By winning the Contest, I got an invitation-only opportunity to submit to a pro-level publication. It happened! And my story has been accepted! Fourth pro-level story!
  19. Telling my family, friends and co-workers and fellow writers that I won. This was so much fun. Get ready for some hugs and congratulations! And do not tell them what your story is about. Let them read it in the book. Stay strong, do not give in!
  20. Reading the blurb for my story in the front of the book. I’ve read them for other stories. What will they say about mine? I know, it seems like a little thing, but when I saw it, I felt those tears again. It’s just one small sentence, but it captures my story perfectly. I won’t give it away here. Buy the book. You won’t be disappointed.
  21. Finding out what order my story is in the book. A weird thing to wonder, I admit, but what can I say? I’m weird. I might be first, yeah! I might be last? Yeah! Anywhere in the middle, which is fine with me. I don’t know why I even think of this, but I’m looking forward to seeing it. So, now I’ve got the book. My story is last! And I’m so happy! My words will the last words that the reader sees.
  22. Seeing how many pages my story takes up in the actual book. I already have a rough idea, of course, but I want to know exactly. So, my story occupies thirteen pages — really a very small section of the entire book. There are shorter stories, and some much longer. It’s one of the things I love about the WOTF volumes, they take all different lengths.
  23. I just know there’s something I haven’t thought of yet, and it’s gonna be amazing. The award dinner? The tuxedo? The book offers … I just know there’s something! Fast-forward and yes, there is, and I’m not saying what they are. There are too many, and frankly, it’s better a surprise.
  24. The confidence. Out of the thousands of anonymous entries, my story was chosen. Now I know for sure, I can do this. And that alone is the best prize of all!

So, there you go! Those are the 24 things that I’m still excited about after winning the Writers of the Future Contest. And I hope that they are also 24 reasons to inspire you why you should enter the Writers of the Future Contest, and win! As someone who entered 47 times, I can tell you, it was sooo worth it! Don’t give up!

Preston DennettPreston Dennett has worked as a carpet cleaner, fast-food worker, data entry clerk, bookkeeper, landscaper, singer, actor, writer, radio host, television consultant, teacher, UFO researcher, ghost hunter and more. He has written 22 non-fiction books and more than 100 articles about UFOs and the paranormal. But his true love has always been speculative fiction. After a long hiatus, he started writing again in 2009. He has sold 37 stories to various venues including Allegory, Andromeda Spaceways, Bards & Sages, Black Treacle, Cast of Wonders, The Colored Lens, Grievous Angel, Kzine, Perihelion, Sci Phi Journal, Stupefying Stories, T. Gene Davis’ Speculative Blog, and more, including several anthologies. He earned twelve honorable mentions in the L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Contest before winning 2nd place for Quarter 1, 2018, (Volume 35), his third professional sale. He currently resides in southern California where he spends his days looking for new ways to pay his bills and his nights exploring the farthest edges of the universe.



Illustrators of the Future Workshop

Art Workshop

At the Illustrators of the Future art workshop for 2019, winners learned secrets to perfect their art and how to succeed at the business of illustration. Several famous illustrators gave the contest winners insight into becoming successful professionals; knowledge not taught in universities and treasured as much (if not more) than winning the illustration contest itself. Click here for more information on the Illustrators of the Future.

Award-winning artists Echo and Lazarus Chernik along with fellow judges delivered this year’s workshop, including L. Ron Hubbard Lifetime Achievement Award-winners Bob Eggleton and Larry Elmore and Val Lakey Lindahn, Rob Prior, Sergey Poyarkov, and special guest Brian C. Hailes.

The contest winners and published finalists are flown in from the around the world to attend this exclusive art workshop. Aspiring illustrators enter three pieces of their artwork. They must be science fiction, fantasy, or horror, in nature and they must follow the contest rules to qualify. The contest is free to enter and artists retain all rights to their work—they give none away.

Illustration Workshop

New York Times bestselling author L. Ron Hubbard started the Writers of the Future Contest in 1984, writing that:

“In these modern times, there are many communication lines for works of art. Because a few works of art can be shown so easily to so many, there may even be fewer artists. The competition is very keen and even dagger-sharp.

“It is with this in mind that I initiated a means for new and budding writers to have a chance for their creative efforts to be seen and acknowledged.” —L. Ron Hubbard, in L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 1

L. Ron Hubbard recognized the importance of fantasy and sci-fi art to complementing a story—he sensed what he defined as a “creative synergy” between the written word and the art that illustrates it. Mr. Hubbard studied art and illustration, and many of his discoveries on color, lines, and what defines the quality of art are covered in the workshop.

The workshop instructors, Echo and Lazarus Chernik, give the essentials of illustration, provide real examples drawn from their hard-won experience, and do practical exercises to push illustrators to go further faster.

Art Workshop topics:

  • How to make a good illustration great
  • How illustration is different from fine art
  • Teaming up with artists and art directors
  • Art portfolios, best practices
  • Portfolio presentations, best practices
  • Studio management, best practices
  • Illustration jobs and how to freelance successfully
  • How to write contracts
  • How to win clients and influence people
  • One-on-one portfolio reviews from illustration legends
  • And so much more

Famous Illustrators

As has become tradition, the final days of the art workshop feature candid advice from the judges, past contest winners, and professionals in the industry. They shared their wisdom and tips on how to be a successful artist, giving the winners the benefit of years of experience to help launch their careers.

This year’s Illustrators of the Future art workshop included presentations and art portfolio reviews from: Val Lakey Lindahn, Sergey Poyarkov, Larry Elmore, Rob Pior, Bob Eggleton, Dr. Laura Brodian Freas Beraha, Marianne Plumridge, Brian C. Hailes, and Maryse Alexander, Marketing Director Galaxy Press.

Marketing Plan

The President Galaxy Press John Goodwin, Public Affairs Executive Emily Goodwin, and Lazarus Chernik took the final day to cover the business of illustration and writing: marketing and selling books. Special guests, Dave Chesson, CEO Kindlepreneur, provided insight about Amazon and tips for the new writers and illustrators get started, and Bill Fawcett, American editor, book packager, game designer, and fiction writer spoke about targeting one’s marketing and exceptions to the rules.

Topics included:

  • What is marketing
  • Marketing strategy
  • Online marketing
  • How to brand yourself
  • How to do media interviews
  • How to do book signings
  • Selling on Amazon

Illustrators’ Success

Writers and Illustrators are now ready to build their careers on a foundation for success. Over the years, hundreds of our winners have gone on to enjoy professional careers—the largest success rate of any workshop or contest for aspiring artists. Winners have gone onto receive all of the major science fiction and fantasy awards, including the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy, and industry awards such as the Emmy and even an Oscar.

Past winner and award-winning illustrator Artem Mirolevich, shared his experience with winning the contest and attending the art workshop: “The experience of flying to the west coast, being treated like a star, and also being given an opportunity to learn from some of the best illustrators in the business was priceless. It helped me believe in myself, believe that anything is possible, and that the sky is the limit.”

How to Attend the Illustrators of the Future Art Workshop

Do you want to attend next year’s workshop?

The first step is to complete three illustrations or paintings and submit them to the illustration contest. Only submitted artwork has a chance of winning, and only winners and published finalist are invited to this exclusive art workshop.

To get ahead of the competition, we recommend that you review previous books in the series. This will not only give you an idea of the quality of past winners, but there are also essays with advice on art from L. Ron Hubbard and the judges of the contest, all Grand Masters of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Tap here to download a Writers of the Future volume for free.


History of the Illustration Workshop

The Illustrators of the Future contest began five years after the writing contest was launched. Frank Kelly Freas, the Dean of Science Fiction Illustration, originally led the workshops with these masters of illustration: Bob Eggleton, Frank Frazetta, Will Eisner, Jack Kirby, Moebius, Val Lakey Lindahn, Edd Cartier, Vincent Di Fate, Diane and Leo Dillon, Paul Lehr, Ron Lindahn, Alex Schomburg, William Warren, Jr., and H. R. Van Dongen. Today, that list goes on including Larry Elmore, Shaun Tan, Rob Prior, Sergey Poyarkov, and Laura Brodian Freas Beraha.

Contest resources:

Contributed by Lazarus Chernik, Illustrators of the Future Judge since 2016.


Lazarus Chernik

Lazarus Chernik

Lazarus Chernik is an experienced brand manager, creative director, and award-winning designer with over twenty years of experience. His clients have included everyone from small businesses to Fortune 100 giants. He has directed the creative departments for numerous agencies and corporations, including a Top 15 national advertising agency, a national web development firm, a national retail chain, a catalog retailer, and a retail goods manufacturer.


Announced as winner to receive trophy

HERE BE DRAGONS – How one man charted his path to success through L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Contest

When you look at the tattered edges of old nautical charts, often you’ll find a wicked sea serpent threading through the water. There is even a medieval globe with the inscription: HERE BE DRAGONS. It probably didn’t mean the explorers had run across dragons (although I’d like to think so); it meant they hadn’t explored that location and if you decided to travel there, you would do so at your own risk. You were navigating uncharted waters.

Much of writing is exactly that. No two writers’ journeys are the same because we all have unique circumstances and we are all singularly unique individuals. You can read and study what others did to find their course across the vast oceans of writing and publishing, but in the end, you have to chart your own path, catch the wind in your sails, put your hand to the tiller, and guide your ship to the destination that’s right for you. It’s your journey. You haven’t traversed these waters before. There will be perils. There will be dragons. But if you hold fast and fight to the last, there can also be rich rewards.


My journey to the stage of Writers of the Future has been a 40-year tale. It began at 15 when I submitted a science fiction story and won the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards—the same contest that first discovered Stephen King, Peter S. Beagle, Joyce Carol Oates, and a host of iconic names in the Arts. It became my first professional sale when it sold to Science World. With over thirty first place awards that followed in speech and writing events by the time I was 18, one would have thought smooth sailing to a professional writing career was just ahead. But my story has had several false denouements, thinking I had made safe harbor, at last, only to be sucked into a whirlpool filled with sea serpents slapping their scaly carcasses across my deck, snapping toothy jaws at my jugular. It’s a tale of triumph and woe where THINGS GET WORSE and had I told it to you, you might have even shed a tear … until you realized that no one becomes a professional writer without facing down at least a few dragons of their own.

My dragons were the usual: abandoned by my mother; a runaway escaping a violent father; living with uncaring foster parents; taking foolish risks with drugs because I didn’t care if I lived or died; waking up in a hospital and realizing the next time I might not; building a successful business only to be sued by an SEC receiver for a massive sum I had never earned; winning that seven-year court battle in spite of the receiver seizing every penny we had; and just when the court said no harm no foul and handed us our life back, the recession took our new business, the bank took our home, and cancer took my wife’s health. You know. Dragons.

And then I had an epiphany, as characters often do in the depths of their Dark Night. I had just brought my wife back from the hospital after two cancer surgeries and a second nuclear treatment—in fact, she was still radioactive, and I couldn’t be within ten feet of her. I realized then that I would never be one of those people that achieve that peachy life where health stabilized and finances secured and I could block out the time necessary to become a full-time professional writer. I decided then—against all the foreseen clinic visits and scans and therapy for my wife—that I would find a realistic goal for my writing that I could achieve within my circumstances.

I plotted a fresh course. What would be a reachable destination? I had never lost sight of the fact that winning Writers of the Future had launched many SF writers’ careers—people I knew personally like Dean Wesley Smith and Kris Rusch and Nina Kiriki Hoffman. I had entered the contest for over twenty years at this point when I had my epiphany. I had earned many Writers of the Future certificates—from honorable mentions to semifinalists—all the way back to the first coordinating judge, Algis Budrys. I had also won some major international contests and had achieved a second pro sale to Star Trek: Strange New Worlds 2, published by Pocket Books. And I had garnered innumerable personal rejections by the top editors in speculative fiction. I had earned enough positive proofs to know that if I intensely focused even my limited energy and free time on one specific goal, I had the potential to make something great happen. So I chose to focus all my energy on winning Writers of the Future by entering every single quarter, come what may.


Charting that one simple course was the key to changing everything for me. One story, written every quarter, submitted to the contest before midnight on closing day. Meeting that personal commitment in spite of the trials sweeping through our life taught me dedication to a specific task and how to meet deadlines. And in meeting each deadline, I wrote a lot more. I modified my goal to push my abilities to the limit by writing fresh stories outside my comfort zone. The writing came easier, because I was regularly exercising my writing abilities, and I was riding the edge of my imagination. I discovered I could write faster and better than I had ever believed possible. In short, dedicating myself to never let a Writers of the Future quarter go by without submitting a fresh story pushed me to generate the skills necessary to become a professional writer.

Of the fifteen quarters I entered after making that decision, I received honors from the coordinating judge, David Farland, fourteen times—the last being my finalist and second place win in the fourth quarter of Volume 35. But something else happened as my skills grew. I hit a definitive breakout moment.

What’s a breakout moment? In sailing, there is a directional wheel diagram called Point of Sail. It marks out a vessel’s direction of travel under sail in relation to the true wind direction over the surface of the water. A sailboat cannot sail directly into the wind. But there is a point in sail position called close-hauled, where a vessel is as close to the wind’s direction as it can go without losing power. You get to that point by adjusting the sail to the proper angle relative to the direction of oncoming wind and trimming it so the surface is taut, generating maximum lift on the sail. It takes a lot of practice, but you know it when you hit the perfect mark—the sail quits luffing and goes drumhead tight and the sailboat leans with power, gliding like a bird across the water. It’s a rush to go from being in irons—stalled on the water—into close-hauled tack.

A breakout moment in writing is much the same. Writers know when they hit it. You’ve probably experienced it yourself or watched it happen to a friend. For ages, nothing seems to be selling for them, and suddenly, everything is, to solid, career-building markets. Be happy for them. They worked long and hard to get that moment to occur.

My breakout moment happened last November. In the space of two weeks, the wind rushed my writing vessel, I heard that pop as the sail went taut, and my writing career moved into close-hauled trim. I had just had my story “War Dog” published by a pro-paying anthology, and they hired me to narrate it (it went on to win Critters Readers’ Choice Award for Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Story of 2018). Two days later, editor Alex Shvartsman hired me to be podcast director for a new pro-science fiction magazine called Future Science Fiction Digest, and the first story I narrated also became a Nebula nominee. Three days later, I got the call I had won a full scholarship to the Superstars Writing Seminar—one of the best writing seminars in the country. Two days after that, I got the call from Joni Labaqui I was a finalist in Writers of the Future 4th Quarter, and a week later she called again with her famous line, “Moon, are you sitting down?” I had won second place. ALL of this happened within exactly two weeks. As I posted the news to my social media, someone joked that I was an overnight success, because that’s what a breakout moment looks like. I responded, “Yeah, I’m an overnight success, forty years in the making.”


In April 2019, I attended THE best workshop for new speculative fiction writers in the country, conducted by David Farland, Orson Scott Card, and Tim Powers—each writing heroes of mine, each authors of many books on my bookshelves. And I saw the release of Writers of the Future Vol. 35 on the Hollywood stage and was honored to have my award handed to me by Dr. Gregory Benford. But most importantly, I got to speak my heart about my journey, how I had been entering the contest for 25 years, how much I loved the contest, and how I had written a story in 36 hours in a desperate hail Mary at the very end of the contest year and had won. It was a euphoric moment as the crowds cheered to my tale.

And after that whirlwind, you go home. Perhaps this is the most dangerous moment for an up-and-coming writer after sailing at peak potential, close-hauled, soaring under best of trim. You go to a few signings at famous bookstores when you get back and then, no more wind. No cheering crowds. No fans asking for your autograph. If you’re not careful, the wind could entirely spill from your sails. You could lose all momentum. You could enter that dreaded point of sail called the no-go zone. But the old sailors called it something else: in irons, shackled in place. Bad things happen to captains when they lose the wind and their sails luff and the ship enters the dreaded doldrums. When you’re dead in the water, dragons can come, and they can be the worst of dragons: fear, self-doubt, feelings of inadequacy.

Well, I worked mighty hard to get to this particular point on the map, and I’m determined not to let that happen. A good sailor doesn’t let the wind slip from his vessel’s sails. Momentum is a powerful thing and hard-won. For instance, the day I had to drive to Seattle to catch my plane for the Writers of the Future workshop, I told myself I couldn’t leave until I finished suggested edits on a story I had gotten back from the editor of Deep Magic magazine. I got to my hotel way too late that night, but I had met my deadline. My reward? When I came home, I had a contract waiting for me, and my historical fantasy about a Spanish captain will appear in Deep Magic this Fall.

I then read our Writers of the Future anthology from cover to cover. I found brilliant advice from Mike Resnick, directing us to sell the reprint on our stories, especially to foreign markets. I had never thought about this before—when you’re a new writer, you don’t have a lot of published stories to even consider such things. But I knew Future Science Fiction Digest gets many of their stories reprinted for a huge audience in China, and they happened to be calling for stories to commemorate the Moon landing. I had a Moon story! I queried the editor, got his approval to send him “Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler,” and he sent me a contract. The reprint now appears in Future Science Fiction Digest, Issue 3. I was also commissioned to create the podcast.


Other good things have happened as well. The funniest? Walking into the local casino where I dance and hearing the band leader announce across the PA system, “Hey folks, that famous author Wulf Moon is with us tonight. He’s been tearing it up on the writing scene!” And a stranger in the crowd actually got up and shook my hand! I guess I can say I’m “Locally Famous!” I also sent a letter to Donald Maass of the Donald Maass Literary Agency to give him a progress update on my novel. Don represented me long ago on a Star Trek novel that didn’t sell, alas. And then, all those dragons swamped my ship. I went to the Superstars Seminar primarily to renew my friendship with Don. We had lunch together, and he asked about my current work-in-progress. As I detailed the world his eyes lit up. He said in all his years, he had never heard of anything like it, and he said to send it to him, to send him anything I’m working on, in any stage of development. I’m really happy he’s so interested, as being a mainstream published novelist has been my ultimate goal. Now, Don knows I won another international writing contest, that I’m published in a #1 bestselling anthology, and he has a sample of my latest work.

So I’m using the gust of wind the good people at Writers of the Future have filled my sails with, but I’m sharing that power with others as well. I post tips on how to win the contest on the Writers of the Future Forum. My “Moon’s SUPER SECRET Bonus Challenge” topic has over 30,000 views. Many have told me the encouragement shared has helped them to start writing and submitting again. Two that accepted my challenge made Finalist, and several have said their recent honors were because of the help and tips I’m sharing. They did the work—all I’m doing is encouraging them to set the same goals that I did that finally got me my win. And I’ve just enjoyed a fresh honor from Author Services—president John Goodwin invited me to be a moderator in the Writers of the Future Forum.


Navigating your own uncharted waters toward the new world of professional writing will be one of the most challenging ventures you’ll ever engage in, but it’s worth every effort. I hope you’ll listen to my Writers of the Future Podcast interview and a video interview I did while in Hollywood, as well as visit my website at I’ve sailed these waters successfully now, and I’m trying to help you navigate toward your own win. Come join us on the Writers of the Future Forum. You won’t find a better place for new writers to get encouragement from seasoned veterans, there to help you to stay the course. And if you keep beating back those dragons that slither across your deck and NEVER let them conquer you, you’re going to become powerful, and you’re going to discover something.

Writers of the Future Podcast—Wulf Moon

Wulf Moon interviewed in Hollywood

You are now stronger than they are. You transformed. When you unroll that nautical chart, you’re going to be right over that serpent mark, and you’re going to look about, and there’s going to be no one there but you.


All the beast!

Wulf Moon

Wulf Moon

Wulf Moon

Wulf Moon is an Olympic Peninsula writer, artist, and narrator. Moon wrote his first hard SF story when he was fifteen. It won the national Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. It became his first pro sale in Science World.

His story “Seventh Heaven” was published by Pocket Books in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds II. A Borg love story. What could be sweeter?

His conquistador fantasy story, “War Dog,” was published by Third Flatiron. It won the Critters Annual Readers’ Poll award for Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Story of 2018.

Moon recently won the international Writers of the Future Contest. His story “Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler” first appeared in Writers of the Future, Volume 35, and was reprinted in Future Science Fiction Digest, Issue 3.

Moon is an approved narrator for Apex Publications, PodCastle, and Escape Pod, and has narrated numerous episodes for Gallery of Curiosities and Third Flatiron. He is podcast director for Future Science Fiction Digest. Enjoy more of his work by visiting


Interview with Award Winning Artist Artem Mirolevich a Decade Later

Artem Mirolevich was an Illustrators of the Future winner published in L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 24.

L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 24

L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 24

Artem Mirolevich: At the time when I was awarded as Illustrator of the Future, it was one of the most important awards I had ever received. Getting such an important recognition was a major career boost. I loved how thoughtful everyone was and how everything was well organized. The experience of flying to the west coast, being treated like a star, and also given an opportunity to learn from some of the best illustrators in the business was priceless. It helped me believe in myself, believe that anything is possible and that the sky is the limit. The staff and everyone else involved were truly amazing and earnestly helpful in so many ways. It’s been twelve years since my participation and I still keep in contact with numerous members, staff, illustrators, and volunteers (!) that worked for this wonderful project. I HIGHLY recommend to all aspiring artists and authors to submit and participate. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain!

Interview with Artem Mirolevich

NOTE: This article was originally published in Russian, and has been translated by Google translate into English. To read the original Russian article, visit:

One of a few contemporary Russian artists whose works have commercial success in the United States, Artem Mirolevich promotes Russian art abroad while making it more recognizable and prominent. Artem has done more than 100 exhibitions around the world including #ArmoryShow and #MiamiArtBasel.

Each of his artworks immerses us into a new world, influenced by his cultural heritage, his life experience, and vision.

Investigating the main problems of philosophy and contemporary society, his works could be called prophetic, affecting the inner human essence.

How can an author from Russia become successful abroad and get into the US galleries?

Artem Mirolevich: To begin with, of course, lots of talented Russian artists spark curiosity abroad, but there are several difficult moments.

First of all, the Russian government doesn’t provide any institutional support for the artists abroad, in the United States, in particular, so they have no one to count upon. Many artists from Post-Soviet space ask me to help with promotion, but the reality is that, on the local level, there are lots of sponsors that are ready to help artists, however, private commercial galleries are very difficult to convince to bring in a good artist because they are interested in both the artwork and the artist himself.

This is where the second moment arises: the identity of the artist. Galleries look at who the artist is and what he can give them. Galleries need bright, charismatic personalities who can easily become media personas and attract media attention to their exhibitions. At the moment, the Russian artist represents and sponsors himself, thus has little chance in this competitive market. I believe that in order to sell Russian artworks abroad, it is necessary to create a certain “Russian Pavilion,” which would centralize and promote Russian artists collectively. Until 2007, the Ministry of Culture supported Russian artists, but after the financial crisis, unfortunately, the funding had stopped. Upon realizing that we were not getting any help for Russian art abroad, I began to actively promote it myself. I had neither the resources nor the reputation of the Ministry of Culture, so I went the other way: I turned to Ernst Neizvestniy (at that time, one of the most famous Russian-speaking artists living and working in the USA), and with his support, we organized 10 exhibitions of contemporary art, which had taken place over four years. Some of the artists who were also deeply involved in this project are Igor Molochevsky, Den Porvatkin, and Sasha Meret.

Meeting with Ernst Neizvestniy

Meeting with Ernst Neizvestniy

Several shows were done at the most important art fairs, such as The Armory Show in New York and Miami and Art Basel Week in Switzerland. Kolodzei Foundation provided tremendous support for the Russian Pavilion at The Armory Show. Many thanks to Gala Kovachnina who generously hosted us at Gala Contemporary in Miami and Natasha Akhmerova who helped in Zurich. All of the exhibitions were organized on a voluntary basis, but, unfortunately, this big project was ended. Yes, I received lots of gratitude in my address, but apart from that, I wasn’t able to get anything out of it. I expected that a large community would gather to jointly promote art, but to my regret, no one had any interest in that. Galleries are only interested in the sales of certain artworks, and after they are sold, many authors simply disappear from the market.

I then changed my direction to ArtCosmos. The niche is much bigger because the project represents artists from various countries, the ones who are interested in science. We did a show and a panel discussion with world-renowned scientists and artists in Barcelona, in collaboration with QuoArtist, an international non-profit organization that establishes a connection between art, science and technology, and Espronceda Art Center, an innovative international platform and multi-disciplinary environment for artists. This is kind of a mix of art and science. Very soon, on May 4, my exhibition on global warming and environmental protection will be held in Venice, as a part of the Venice Biennale.

“The Magic of the Wind” by Artem Mirolevich

“The Magic of the Wind” by Artem Mirolevich

You are traveling a lot, participating in various events and actively promoting contemporary art yourself, but in what direction do you think it is going and what are the main trends?

Artem Mirolevich: Since the last economic crisis (meaning the financial crisis of 2008), Contemporary art has definitely become better. It was cleared of falsehood, artificiality, and pomposity, which had allowed to sell artworks for huge money. More real art has come to life, in fact, in all fields.

Right now, I began to take more interest in mixed media arts. Over the last 3-5 years, technologies have reached such level allowing to fully render both the meaning and the visual aspects of the author’s idea, cutting off the amateurs who create low-quality products with outdated technology but position their works as highly conceptual, overshadowing real professionals who have invested an incredible amount of energy into their product. It is fair that these works are very expensive. From the perspective of a person directly within the art world, I can tell what the process looks like: it is necessary to create an idea, but the idea without implementation is practically meaningless. Therefore, it should be possible to technically implement this idea, through drawing, painting, multimedia installation, sculpture or any other technology, and then, bring it to the viewer, while retaining some individuality, for example, humor.

Artem Mirolevich at work

Artem Mirolevich at work

“Crossovers and Dearers” by Artem Mirolevich

“Crossovers and Dearers” by Artem Mirolevich

We noticed that, at the moment, installation is becoming an increasingly popular form of art. It is difficult to imagine any major exhibition without it.

Artem Mirolevich: On a global scale, installation became popular quite a while ago. Galleries and museums gladly keep them in their collections. As an art form, installation has recently reached a new level of quality, unprecedented earlier, and perhaps because of this, its popularity has begun growing both among professionals and ordinary people. If we talk Contemporary art, I think that today, street art is the most honest, most altruistic and fresh, which, in turn, could also be an installation.

I often attend grand contemporary art events, including Burning Man, and I consider it as a cultural phenomenon, which allows us to see real art. By the way, last year, there was an installation, very successful in my opinion, in the form of a popular Russian fairytale object “ИзбушканаКурьихНожках” (literally, “the Hut on Chicken Legs”). I would even dare to say that it was my favorite last year. It is a pity that most art objects are seen only by those who come to the Burning Man festival.

As we know, at the end of the festival, the majority of art objects are burned yet some remain, mostly the metal ones. These objects are getting sold and could be then found in completely unexpected places. So it’s hard to realize that they had once been a part of such a grand festival as Burning Man.

"The Hut on Chicken Legs” is one of the most interesting installations Burning Man 2018

“The Hut on Chicken Legs” is one of the most interesting installations Burning Man 2018

Would you want to create art objects for Burning Man?

Artem Mirolevich: I haven’t yet worked for this festival specifically, but I would love to do this and I am working in this direction. I have a project in mind, which I hope to realize in the next few years, and, hopefully, one day my works will be presented at Burning Man so that even Russian public could admire them.

Art studio of Artem Mirolevich

Art studio of Artem Mirolevich

Art studio of Artem Mirolevich

Art studio of Artem Mirolevich

Please tell us about your work and projects.

Artem Mirolevich: I’ve just had an exhibition at SCOPE. Another exhibition Book Thief is currently taking place in Williamsburg at Figureworks Gallery. I have two more exhibitions, one in Venice in May and one more in Japan in September.

In the first week of March, the largest art fair The Armory Show traditionally opens in New York, along with around 20 venues, each with its own character and approach to art. For example, such art fair as Art on Paper presents the works that are done on paper or out of paper. The Armory Show is unique because artworks could be viewed closely there, unlike in museums where they are located permanently. SCOPE Art Fair presents the works of the living artists aged from 20 to 40 years old. It’s an iconic place that you need to visit at least once in your life before you turn forty (laughs). All galleries and museums of New York are getting ready for this month way in advance so, in early spring, the whole city comes to life. It is really fun, grand and beautiful!

"Arrival and Departure" by Artem Mirolevich

“Arrival and Departure” by Artem Mirolevich

Which and how many works did you present at your solo exhibition at Scope?

Artem Mirolevich: I presented my new works, which I had been working on for the past two years. In my works, I employ such a technique as collage. When creating, I use my own works, and since I am quite seriously involved with etching, I often use my engravings as the basis for the collage. Besides this, I use old photographs that I found or bought, sea charts, and various items collected during travels and exhibitions. This is a kind of my visual journal. The works are quite bright and funny, which contrasts with my early work. Part of the works were presented at the Scope Art Fair while others are currently exhibited at the Figureworks Gallery, which is located in Brooklyn in the Williamsburg area. Therefore, if you had attended both events, you would have seen all my new works.

Works of Artem Mirolevich at Scope Art Fair

Works of Artem Mirolevich at Scope Art Fair

"The Shark in a Big City" by Artem Mirolevich

“The Shark in a Big City” by Artem Mirolevich

By Artem Mirolevich

By Artem Mirolevich

Please tell us about your exhibitions in Venice and Osaka.

Artem Mirolevich: The next big exhibition that I am doing will be held in Venice as part of the Venice Biennale and it will open on May 4, 2019. Therefore, I invite everyone to visit. It will be truly interesting. The exhibition is devoted to the problems of global warming and there will be works of 6 artists including me. The exhibition itself is inspired by mysticism.

As part of this exhibition, a series of plenary sessions will be held with scientists and people dealing with the issue of global warming. For me, it is not simply an opportunity to show my work, but also a chance to voice my concern about this problem, the inadequate governmental action of many countries including the United States. It is a large-scale platform, an opportunity to speak out and communicate with people who are making lots of effort to showcase the existing problem. We really hope that this exhibition will help us achieve real results in solving the problem of global warming.

After Venice, I am going to Japan, to the wonderful city of Osaka. In September of this year, I will be a part of the exhibition at G-77 Gallery, and it will be no less ambitious. The exhibition takes place in a two-story gallery, with its own garden, which, of course, is decorated in Japanese style.

I invite everyone and I will be very happy to see you at the exhibitions!

"The Most Powerful Woman in the World" by Artem Mirolevich

“The Most Powerful Woman in the World” by Artem Mirolevich

Thank you for the invitation, we will be happy to come! Do you plan to organize an exhibition in Russia or the Post-Soviet space?

Artem Mirolevich: I participated in the 6th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (with the “25 kadr” Gallery). I really liked that experience, and I will gladly come to Russia with my exhibition. I am interested in doing an exhibition in Yerevan because I have relatives in Armenia, although I have never been there myself. I am also planning to do an exhibition in Tbilisi. Perhaps, this will be a big tour across the Post-Soviet space.

As for Moscow and Russia as a whole, I like how contemporary art is developing at the moment. There is very serious support for both galleries and museums, and the artists, and I think that if this stays, then, after some time, it will bear fruit. And thanks to the creativity of Russian and Post-Soviet artists, this will happen even faster.

"Space Knight" by Artem Mirolevich

“Space Knight” by Artem Mirolevich

Orson Scott Card, Tim Powers and David Farland

Writers Workshop

The famous Writers of the Future workshop wrapped up Sunday morning with hugs and tearful goodbyes. Writers who arrived as strangers left as lifelong friends.

The Writers of the Future workshop is one of the most intensive boot camps for new writers in the industry. Many winners have commented that they value the workshop even more than the trophy.

This year’s workshop was delivered by New York Times bestselling authors and Science Fiction masters Orson Scott Card (Ender’s Game), Tim Powers (On Stranger Tides), and David Farland (The Runelords).

History of the Writers Workshop

The Writers of the Future contest was started by New York Times bestselling author L. Ron Hubbard (Battlefield Earth) in 1983, after a long history of helping new writers. Mr. Hubbard published writing advice in several articles for writer’s journals like The Author & Journalist. These timeless tips form the core of the writers workshop, including such topics as: how to build suspense in a short story, where story ideas come from, the importance of research and realism, and things editors do that drive writers crazy.

“In these modern times, there are many communication lines for works of art. Because a few works of art can be shown so easily to so many, there may even be fewer artists. The competition is very keen and even dagger-sharp.

“It is with this in mind that I initiated a means for new and budding writers to have a chance for their creative efforts to be seen and acknowledged.” —L. Ron Hubbard, in L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 1

The contest is open to aspiring writers from around the world. In accordance with the contest rules, entrants must submit an original, unpublished, science fiction, fantasy, or speculative horror story.

Writers Workshop Today

In keeping with L. Ron Hubbard’s example, the writers workshop continues to share his writing advice, along with several practical exercises for aspiring writers.

Writing tips included:

  • Fantasy writing prompts
  • Story ideas
  • Story outline
  • Rules for writers
  • Writers block
  • Short story prompts
  • Realistic fiction

The workshop instructors this year included Orson Scott Card, Enders Game, Tim Powers, On Stranger Tides, and David Farland, The Runelords.

Orson Scott Card, Tim Powers and David Farland

During the workshop they were interviewed for the Writers of the Future podcast, where they shared insights of the writing workshop and several writing tips. You can enjoy it here:

Writing short stories

The 24-hour story challenge is one of the workshop’s best-known highlights. Working with a random item and an interview with a stranger, the writer winners were given 24 hours to research, outline, and write a complete short story. Their stories were then critiqued by the other writers and judges.

David Farland presenting storytelling basics


Tim PowersTim Powers giving out objects for the 24-hour story


Research at the library


Meeting a stranger


  John Haas working on his 24-hour story


Writers turning in their 24-hour stories

Famous Authors

The final days of the writers workshop were packed with candid writing advice from a blue-ribbon panel of judges, past contest winners, and publishing professionals. These guest speakers shared their wisdom and writing tips, giving the winners years of experience in just a few breaths. This year’s guest speakers included:

Nina Kiriki Hoffman, The Thread That Binds the Bones


Rebecca Moesta and Kevin J. AndersonRebecca Moesta, Young Jedi Knights and Kevin J. Anderson, Spine of the Dragon


Dr. Robert J. SawyerDr. Robert J. Sawyer, Quantum Night


Eric Flint, 1632


Larry NivenLarry Niven, Ringworld


Dr. Doug BeasonDr. Doug Beason, The Officer


Dean Wesley SmithDean Wesley Smith, Tombstone Canyon


Jody Lynn NyeJody Lynn Nye, Moon Tracks


Dr. Gregory BenfordDr. Gregory Benford, The Berlin Project


Dr. Beatrice KondoDr. Beatrice Kondo of The Heinlein Foundation


Liza TrombiLiza Trombi of Locus


Dr. Nnedi OkoforDr. Nnedi Okofor, Binti


Darci Stone, Eric James Stone, Kary English, and Martin L. ShoemakerDarci Stone, “Mara’s Shadow”, Eric James Stone, That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made, Kary English, “Totaled”, and Martin L. Shoemaker, Today I Am Carey

Marketing Plan

Delivered by Galaxy Press President John Goodwin and Vice President Public Affairs Emily Goodwin, the final workshop day focused on the business of writing: marketing and selling books. Special Guest, Bill Fawcett, American editor, anthologist, game designer, book packager, fiction writer, and historian, made a presentation on targeting one’s marketing and exceptions to the rules. Special guest, Dave Chesson, CEO Kindlepreneur, made a presentation about book-selling giant Amazon with advice to help new writers get a jumpstart.

Topics included:

  • What is marketing
  • Marketing strategy
  • How to brand yourself
  • Selling books
  • Online marketing
  • How to do media interviews
  • Selling on Amazon

John Goodwin John Goodwin, President Galaxy Press and Emily Goodwin, VP Public Affairs


Bill Fawcett Bill Fawcett, author and editor


Dave ChessonDave Chesson, CEO Kindlepreneur

Writers Success

With the workshop at an end, this year’s winners are now ready to launch their careers from a foundation for success. Over the years, hundreds of contest winners have gone on to enjoy professional writing careers—the largest success rate of any writers workshop or contest. Just in the last year, they have published over 100 brand new science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories.


How to attend the Writers of the Future Workshop

How do you get invited to attend next year’s workshop?

The first step is to complete your short story and submit it. Only submitted stories have a chance of winning, and only winners and published finalists are invited to this exclusive writers workshop.

For an edge on the competition, read previous books in the series to learn what kinds of stories end up as winners. Good luck!


Contest resources:

Contributed by Kary English, Writers of the Future First Reader and winner from WotF 31.

Kary EnglishKary English grew up in the snowy Midwest where she read book after book in a warm corner behind a recliner chair. Today, Kary still spends most of her time with her head in the clouds and her nose in a book.

Kary is a Writers of the Future winner and now the Contest’s First Reader whose work has been nominated for both the Hugo and Campbell awards. Kary’s fiction has appeared in Galaxy’s Edge, The Grantville Gazette, Daily Science Fiction, Far Fetched Fables, the Hugo-winning podcast StarShipSofa, and Writers of the Future, Vol. 31.

Illustrators of the Future 1st Quarter Winners

Illustrators of the Future 1st Quarter Winners Announced for Volume 36


Illustrators of the Future 1st Quarter Winners for 2019, Volume 36


This illustration contest list is the place to be!


And the winners are:

Brock Aguirre from Washington
Daniel Bitton from Maryland
Benjamin Hill from Florida



Adrian Bush from California
Darya Pauliuchenka from New York
Miriam Presas from California
Mackenzie Reid from Wisconsin
Grace Underfanger from Illinois


Hannah Chang from California
Yihong Chen from New York
Anna Fiacco from Missouri
Alyssa Forbes from Georgia
John Jarin from California
Madolyn Locke from Georgia
Angela Mott from Wisconsin
Christian Olarte from Virginia
Madrona Redhawk from Nevada
Henry Scott from Pennsylvania
Mackenzie Shephard from Florida
Eternity Shorter from New York
Symphonii Smith-Kennedy from Florida
Erin Springs-McCottry from South Carolina
Alicia Warren from Georgia
Rebekah Wood from South Carolina
Nuo Yan from New York

Honorable Mentions:

Chase Allen from North Carolina
Cristhian Montenegro Arias from Costa Rica
Savannah Barlage from Ohio
Alexandria Campbell from Massachusetts
Andres Cardenas from California
Kayla Clark from Florida
Amiel Djoume from New York
Caitlin Fowler from California
Rebecca Gowdy from Virginia
Brandon Harn from Colorado
Kacie Jones from California
Katherine Knapik from Florida
Freya Lee from New York
Blake Maurice from Pennsylvania
Rodney Miller from Japan
Ana Moreno from Illinois
Lauryn Reynolds from Utah
April Robinson from Arkansas
Robyn Rozelle from Texas
James Sammons from Florida
Tori Shoemaker from Georgia
Zachary Stith from New Hampshire
Erika Torres from Georgia
Mary Visco from Ohio
Zhiqian Wang from Massachusetts
Sam White from Missouri
Cameron Yancy from Georgia


Writers of the Future 1st Quarter Winners

Writers of the Future 1st Quarter Winners Announced for Volume 36


Writers of the Future 1st Quarter Standings for 2019, Volume 36


Of all the writing contests out there, this one launches careers!


And the winners are:

First Place – Andrew Dibble from Wisconsin
Second Place – F.J. Bergmann from Wisconsin
Third Place – Sonny Zae from Texas



Carina Bissett from Colorado
Paulo da Silva from Germany
K. D. Julicher from Nevada
Brittany Rainsdon from Idaho
Cliff Winnig from California


Hannah Azok from Ohio
Ian Gonzales from Washington
Jennie Keyes from Idaho
Noah Linwood from New Jersey
Jeremy Mallory from Virginia
Clarice Radrick from Florida
Roderick Turner from Canada

Silver Honorable Mentions:

Jay Barnson from Utah
Amitai Ben-Abba from California
T.E. Bradford from New York
E.W. Carlson from Minnesota
Michael Dorman from Germany
Alexander Duhamel from Canada
Adina Edelman from Maryland
Samantha Edelman from Nevada
Joshua Essoe from Maryland
Michael Gardner from Australia
Joshua Grasso from Oklahoma
Hollis Henry from Trinidad and Tobago
Seth Kennedy from California
Geetha Krishnan from India
Angela Lawlor from Indiana
Skylar Nitzel from Colorado
Jerry Parker from California
Liviu Surugiu from Romania
Mark Thomsen from Virginia
Eileen Wiedbrauk from Michigan
Kaitlyn Zivanovich from Europe

Honorable Mentions:

Les Abernathy from Alabama
Jason Adams from Virginia
Ashlea Adams from Florida
Lance Adams from Georgia
Billy Ketch Allen from California
F.D. Arther from West Virginia
Tim Asay from Oregon
Alexis Askew from Georgia
Abby Baier from California
Alexandra Balasa from Texas
Matthew Baron from Georgia
Christopher Baxter from Utah
J.A. Becker from Australia
Kierra Beeson from Illinois
Joe Benet from North Carolina
Ryan Benson from Georgia
Christopher Best from Maryland
Ananyo Bhattacharya from United Kingdom
Jeff Binkley from Alabama
James Blakey from Pennsylvania
Shawna Borman from Texas
Matt Bosio from Florida
Z.T. Bright from Utah
J.D. Brink from Ohio
Jonathan Bronico from Massachusetts
Nathan Buckingham from Arizona
Daniel R. Burkhard from Utah
L.M. Burkhart from Colorado
Brennan C. Caldwell from California
Jack Calverley from United Kingdom
Anne Cameron from Maryland
Sam Chapman from Oregon
Rachel Chimits from Nevada
Justin Chung from New York
Paul Seungoh Chung from Canada
Rui Cid from Portugal
John Coffren from Maryland
Elaine Cohen from Florida
David R. Coombs from Canada
Krishan Coupland from United Kingdom
Ben Credle from Georgia
Clemency Crow from United Kingdom
D. Allen Crowley from Ohio
Sarina Dahlan from California
KM Dailey from California
Patricia D’Angelo from Kansas
L.H. Davis from Florida
Michael DeCarolis from Florida
Ladd DeWinter from Utah
Nathan Dodge from Texas
Peter T. Donahue from New Jersey
Jeff Dosser from Oklahoma
CB Droege from Germany
Steve DuBois from Kansas
Mason Engel from Indiana
Madison Estes from Texas
K.L. Evangelista from Australia
Robert Mitchell Evans from California
J.T. Evans from Colorado
Shamari Evans from New York
Jason Evans from Illinois
Stevie Evers from Alabama
Angelique Fawns from Canada
Caitlin Finley from Texas
Patrick Finley from New York
Jacob Foncea from Alabama
S.C.A. Fontaine from France
Felicia Fredlund from Sweden
John A. Frochio from Pennsylvania
Taylor Garcia from California
Simon R. Gardner from United Kingdom
Jhanys Gardner from Virginia
Garland Gayle from Virginia
Michelle F. Goddard from Canada
J.C.G. Goelz from Louisiana
Barry Goldsmith from Arizona
Colton Goodrich from Utah
Mark A. Gordon from Florida
KR Gordon from California
Les Gould from Virginia
Collette Grace from Texas
Theodora Green from California
Gavina Grendall from California
Austin Gunderson from Washington
Rebecca Guzman from California
Anaïd Haen from Netherlands
Kevin Hallett from Texas
Laura Handley from Virginia
H.J. Harding from Virginia
Charlie Harmon from Illinois
A.W. Harris from Oregon
Angelea Hayes from California
Michelle Henrie from Utah
James Henrik from Sweden
Todd Honeycutt from New Jersey
Aaron Horsager from Ohio
K.R. Horton from Oregon
Phoebe Houser from Pennsylvania
Chip Houser from Missouri
Cathy Humble from Oregon
Bailey Hummel from Texas
Jay Hurteau from New Hampshire
Micah Hyatt from Texas
Kevin Kauffmann from North Carolina
Carolyn Kay from Colorado
Bart Kemper from Louisiana
Brandon Ketchum from Pennsylvania
D.M. Kiely from Florida
Jace Killan from Arizona
Anike Kirsten from South Africa
Emily Kjeer from Minnesota
Jeffrey Kremer from New Jersey
Alex Kropova from Canada
Grace Kueker from Tennessee
M. Kuriel from Virginia
Sarah Kushneryk from Canada
Eli Landes from New York
Elizabeth Langlois from Wisconsin
Alexis Lantgen from Texas
John Leahy from Ireland
Riley Lebowicz from New York
Sussu Leclerc from Ohio
Justin Li from Singapore
Beatrice Lim from New York
Bonner Litchfield from North Carolina
Thomas Logan from Oregon
Colton Long from District of Columbia
Robert Allen Lupton from New Mexico
Angus MacGregor from Australia
Kirk Maile from Canada
Caroline Malgen from Switzerland
A. Michael Marsh from Arizona
Django Mathijsen from Netherlands
Daniel Matusicky from Ohio
Dennis Maulsby from Iowa
Thomas McDaniel from Washington
Megan McGrath from Georgia
Erin McHugh from Illinois
Charles Mears from California
Andrew Medlin from North Carolina
Dan Melnick from Indiana
Lauryn Mercredi from Canada
Michael Middleton from Oregon
Kevin Barry Miller from Canada
Mister Lmouto from Australia
Murtaza Mohsin from Pakistan
Sarah Montagna from New Jersey
Leo Moonrise from Canada
Camille Moore from Maryland
Jonathan Moore from United Kingdom
Russell Morin from Colorado
Aaron Moskalik from Michigan
Caley Mueller from Minnesota
Evan D. Mullicane from California
Kalaivani Narayanan from New Jersey
Christopher Ng from Canada
Linh Nguyen-Ng from Massachusetts
Brent Nichols from Alaska
Joseph Norris from California
Adam O’Connell from United Kingdom
Jessica Oesterle from New York
Sarah Ortega from Texas
Billy Palmer from Florida
Adam Patla from Illinois
Elena Pavlova from Bulgaria
Rachel Pepin from New Hampshire
Barton Perkins from Alabama
George Petit from Delaware
Peter Philleo from Florida
John Post from Arkansas
Joshua Potter from New York
Aelred Powell from Georgia
Kathleen Powell from Missouri
Brooke Prado from California
Rajeev Prasad from California
Jake Reed from California
Devyn Regueira from Florida
D H Richards from Virginia
David Ridd from North Carolina
Travis D. Roberson from New York
Cassie Roberts from Washington
J. Rohr from Illinois
Glenn Rosado from California
SM Rose from Canada
Peter Sartucci from Colorado
Kirtan Savith Kumar from Singapore
Caroline Sciriha from Malta
G.S. Scott from Michigan
Rick Shaw from California
Sophie Sheeder from Iowa
Charles Shell from Virginia
David Shultz from Canada
J Sluys from Texas
Jack Smiles from Pennsylvania
Benjamin Smith from Pennsylvania
Samantha Soard from Georgia
David Sorensen from Virginia
C.L. Spillard from United Kingdom
Michelle Staloff from Florida
Tasha Staples from Colorado
E.C. Stever from Idaho
Nicole Stewart from Utah
Shami Stovall from California
Todd Sullivan from Georgia
Gordon Sun from California
Vincent Sutherland from Arizona
Daniel Szydlowski from Indiana
Corine Tan from California
Tyra Tanner from Utah
M.R. Tevebaugh from Colorado
Kelly Thomas from California
Dan Thurot from Utah
Crystal Trobak from Canada
Andy K. Tytler from United Kingdom
Francisco Velasquez from Mississippi
Scott Pahaku Vilhauer from California
Yaye Viner from Nebraska
Christa Vogt from Colorado
Charles Wade from Mississippi
Matthew Wardell from Canada
R.W. Ware from Maine
Galen Westlake from Canada
Daniel Westmoreland from New Jersey
Kay Katherine White from New Jersey
Robert Luke Wilkins from California
JM Williams from South Korea
Walter L. Williamson from New Mexico
Thomas Woodward from Minnesota
Dane Wooster from Colorado


Thirty-fifth annual L. Ron Hubbard Achievement Awards Gala announced to be held Friday, April 4, at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood

Andrew Dykstal and Aliya Chen Announced as Grand Prize Winners of the 35th Annual Writers of the Future

Andrew Dykstal, a writer from Arlington, VA, has been named the Grand Prize Winner of the 35th Annual Writers of the Future, and Aliya Chen, an illustrator from Fair Oaks, CA has been named the Grand Prize Winner of the 30th Annual Illustrators of the Future L. Ron Hubbard Achievement Awards for Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contests in the genres of Science Fiction & Fantasy held at the Taglyan Cultural Complex in Hollywood, CA on Friday evening, April 5, 2019. A capacity crowd of 400 people attended the Black-Tie GALA. Presented by Author Services, Inc. and Galaxy Press, the theme for the two-hour awards show was Retro Robotics.

John Goodwin, President of Galaxy Press, said: “This year marks a historic milestone in our contests with simultaneous benchmark anniversaries, the 35th Anniversary of our Writer’s Contest and, at the same time, the 30th Anniversary of our Illustrators Contest. This year was also groundbreaking for another reason, in that, Aliya Chen made history becoming our first Chinese Grand Prize Winner ever selected in either of our competitions.” This year’s event was an Invitation Only Black-Tie GALA which was streamed live via the website,, from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. PST on Friday evening, April 5, 2019.

Andrew Dykstal, The Winner of the Grand Prize Writer’s Award, said: “This is absolutely fantastic! I feel that my career as a writer has now been catapulted. It’s a tremendous honor to be here. The quality of the stories of my fellow writers in this contest is amazing. I have made new friends for life. Having the opportunity, as I have for this past week in workshops networking and learning from authors I grew up reading, and whom continue to influence and inspire me, has been an experience I will never forget.”

Aliya Chen, The Winner of the Grand Prize Illustrator’s Award, said: “I didn’t expect this at all. I’m overwhelmed and very grateful! Winning this Grand Prize Award is validation for me that illustration, which is a passion for me, doesn’t have to be limited to a hobby, but it’s definitely possible as a career. I also feel God has opened these doors for me. My twin sister, Felicia, who is also an illustrator like myself, is the person who actually learned of the Illustrators of the Future Contest and encouraged me to enter. We are both supportive of one another, and for that reason we both didn’t enter the competition at the same time. This is a moment in my life I will never forget!”

Joni Labaqui, Director of Contests for Author Services, Inc. said, “This year, our fourth quarter illustrator 2018 winner, Alice Wang, became the youngest winner to ever enter our contests and win, at the age of 15. Submissions for our Writers and Illustrator Contests over the last 35 and 30 years respectively, have come from over 175 countries. This year we had four quarterly winners from England, more than ever before in one year. Selecting the two Grand Prize Winners from thousands of contest entries submitted annually is not an easy process.”

Coordinating Writer Contest Judge David Farland and Fellow Writer Judge Orson Scott Card announced writer Andrew Dykstal as the Golden Pen Award winner while presenting him a check for $5,000. Andrew Dykstal’s winning story, “Thanatos Drive,” was illustrated by Qianjiao Ma.

Coordinating Illustrator Contest Judge Echo Chernik and Fellow Illustrator Judge Bog Eggleton announced illustrator Aliya Chen as the Golden Brush Award winner while presenting her with a check for $5,000. Aliya Chen illustrated writer Elise Stephen’s story, “Untrained Luck.”

The awards show was held in the visually opulent Grand Ballroom of the Taglyan Cultural Complex nestled in the heart of Hollywood. Catered by Divine Food, the GALA began with tray passed Hor D’oeuvres and Cocktails, followed by a delectable Mediterranean four-course meal and the Awards Show, followed a Book Signing and Reception in the plush Foyer of the Taglyan.

The awards show opened with Sci-Fi Stomp and Body Percussion Dance featuring ROV-E, a Mars Rover Robot Prototype from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and dancers from EM Cirque, a world-renowned aerobatics and dance troupe.

Event Emcee, Gunhild Jacobs, Executive Director of Author Services, Inc. introduced Keynote Speaker, Ed Hulse, an award-winning journalist and historian who specializes in documenting American popular culture of the late 19th and 20th centuries. Joni Labaqui, Director of Contests for Author Services, Inc. presented the L. Ron Hubbard Lifetime Achievement Award to Bob Eggleton, a Founding Judge of the Illustrators of the Future Contest, and winner of many literary awards, including nine Hugo Awards and 11 Chelsey Awards.

John Goodwin, President Galaxy Press, unveiled the 35th Volume of L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future featuring the work of the 12 award-winning new authors and 12 award-winning new illustrators from this year’s contests. Edited by David Farland, with cover artwork by Bob Eggleton, the book also features stories written by renowned writers and illustrators, Dean Wesley Smith, Rebecca Moesta, Mike Resnick, Echo Chernick and L. Ron Hubbard. The new anthology is now available throughout the United States from,,, in Barnes & Noble stores, Books A Million or at

In his Keynote Address, Ed Hulse talked about the Golden Age of Science Fiction and post World War II, with a veritable explosion in pulp magazines. Hulse said, “The Golden Age of Science Fiction isn’t a relic of the past. It has seeped into our popular culture in myriad ways. The Galactic Empires of Isaac Asimov’s ‘Foundation’ series were foremost in the mind of George Lucas when he conceived ‘Star Wars,’ and Doc Smith’s ‘Lensmen’ were among the influences of his Jedi knights. In the first film’s famous bar scene, he even lifted a sequence from L. Ron Hubbard’s story ‘The Kingslayer’ virtually word for word. Van Vogt’s mutant ‘Slans’ were forerunners of Marvel’s ‘X-Men.’ Countless popular motion pictures and television shows have adapted classic Golden Age pulp yarns, officially and unofficially.”

Hulse continued, “These storytellers all contributed mightily to the evolution of Science Fiction. And now you’re part of that evolution. You represent a new generation of writers, alternately building upon and superseding literary traditions now more than a century old. Yours are the ideas and concepts that will shape Science Fiction for years to come. I look forward to seeing how you’ll respond to the challenge of making science fiction relevant to the readers of tomorrow.”

Awards for each of the Quarterly Finalists of the Writers and Illustrators Contests were presented by actors Kate Linder, Lee Purcell, Sean Cameron Michael, Ernest Pierce and Phil Proctor, along with renowned judges specializing in the genres of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

This year’s 12 Quarterly Awards Winners of the Writing Contest were each presented with cash prizes and trophies. They included: Kyle Kirrin of Creede, CO, Preston Dennett of Reseda, CA, Kai Wolden of Eden Prairie, MN, David Cleden of Fleet, Hampshire, UK, Rustin Lovewell of Gaithersburg, MD, Carrie Callahan Bardstown, KY, Elise Stephens of Seattle, WA, Christopher Baker of Ramsbury, Wiltshire, UK, Mica Scott Kole of Westland, MI, Andrew Dykstal of Arlington, VA, Wulf Moon of Sequim, WA and John Haas Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

This year’s 12 Quarterly Awards Winners of the Illustrating Contest were each presented with cash prizes and trophies. They included: Emerson Rabbitt of Minneapolis, MN, Vytautas V (Vytautas Vasiliauskas) of Paris, France, Yinying Jiang of Oxford, Oxfordshire, UK, Alexander Gustafson of Essex Junction, VT, Christine Rhee of San Francisco, CA, Sam Kemp of Birmingham, West Midlands, England, Allen Morris of Cleveland, MS, Jennifer Ober of Atlanta, GA, Josh Pemberton of Seattle, WA, Qianjiao Ma of Arcadia, CA, Alice Wang of Bellevue, WA and Aliya Chen of Fair Oaks, CA.

Dr. Beatrice Kondo, daughter of the late Writers of the Future Judge, Dr. Yoji Kondo, and a member of the Heinlein Society Board of Directors, presented Gunhild Jacobs, Executive Director of Author Services, Inc. with a Letter of Recognition. The Heinlein Society is devoted to the study and promotion of the late American Science Fiction author Robert A. Heinlein. During her presentation, Dr. Kondo said, “L. Ron Hubbard established the Writers of the Future contests as a means for new and budding writers to have a chance for their creative efforts to be seen and acknowledged. On behalf of the Heinlein Society and issued by its President and Chairman, George E. Rule, I would like to present a letter of recognition to L. Ron Hubbard and his enduring Contest on the occasion of the 35th Anniversary.”

In addition to celebrity and distinguished judge awards presenters, other VIPS in attendance at the event included: Elizabeth Fuller, Kary English, Martin Shoemaker, Jim Meskimen, Tamara Meskimen, Jennifer O’Dell, Phire Whitaker, Gino Montesinos, Daniel Kotto, Edwin Gagliano, Monica Wiela, Gene Rurka, Kelton Jones, Skip Harris and Jeff Rector. Some Renowned Former Writer and Illustrator of the Future winners were also in attendance, including: Dean Wesley Smith (1985 – Volume 1), Nini Kiriki Hoffman (1985 – Volume 1), David Farland (1987 – Volume 3), Sergei Poyarkov (1991 – Volume 7), Dr. Nnedi Okorafor (2002 – Volume 18), Brian C. Hailes (2002 – Volume 18), Darci Stone (2018 – Volume 34), Eric James Stone (2004 – Volume 20 and 2005 – Volume 21) and Eric Flint (1993 – Volume 9).

Event attendees also included 23 world-renowned writer and illustrator contest judges specializing in the genres of Science Fiction and Fantasy. The 15 Writer judges in attendance included: Kevin J. Anderson, Dr. Doug Beason, Dr. Gregory Benford, Orson Scott Card, David Farland, Eric Flint, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Todd McCaffrey, Rebecca Moesta, Larry Niven, Jody Lynn Nye, Dr. Nnedi Okorafor, Timothy Thomas “Tim” Powers, Dr. Robert J. Sawyer and Dean Wesley Smith. The eight illustrator judges included: Echo Chernik, Lazarus Chernik, Bob Eggleton, Larry Elmore, Dr. Laura Freas Beraha, Val Lakey Lindahn, Sergey Poyarkov and Rob Prior.

Following the 1982 release of his internationally acclaimed bestselling Science Fiction novel, “Battlefield Earth,” written in celebration of 50 years as a professional writer, 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 annual Contests draw entrants from around the globe and are free to enter. Winners retain full rights to their work and each are given cash awards. Each year three winners are selected quarterly for both the Writers and the Illustrators Contests. Then a Grand Prize winner is selected for both the Writers and the Illustrators. Grand Prize Winners receive an additional $5,000. The Contest flies out all winners to Los Angeles for an expense-paid, weeklong workshop given by Contest judges and culminates in a Black-Tie Gala Awards event. The contests promote the arts welcoming diversity, ethnicity, creativity and equality, with no age limits.

In the 35 years of the Writers of the Future Contest, there have been 416 winners and 80 published finalists. The 416 past winners of the Writing Contest have published 1,150 novels and nearly 4,500 short stories. They have produced 32 New York Times bestsellers and their works have sold over 60 million copies.

In the 30 years of the Illustrators of the Future Contest, there have been 346 winners. The 346 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 television shows and 40 major movies.

The Writers of the Future Award is the genre’s most prestigious award of its kind and has now become the largest, most successful and demonstrably most influential vehicle for budding creative talent in the world of contemporary fiction. Since its inception, the Writers and Illustrators of the Future contests have produced 35 anthology volumes and awarded upwards of $1 million in cash prizes and royalties. For more information please visit and