Author Tobias S. Buckell, photo by Marlon James

Focus on Tobias Buckell, Writers of the Future Volume 16 Winner

<em>New York Times</em> bestseller <em>The Cole Protocol</em>

New York Times bestseller The Cole Protocol

Tobias Buckell was born in Grenada and lived in the British Virgin Isles, spending his first nine years living on a boat and playing cricket on sandy beaches. Today he’s in Ohio with his wife, twin daughters, and a couple dogs. He’s a New York Times bestselling writer, a freelancer, and a futurist of considerable repute, a guy who keeps up with things and has a voice across the internet. He won a Writers of the Future prize (for “In Orbite Medievali,” published in 2000, volume 16, and reprinted in several languages), and he’s been nominated for the Hugo Award, Nebula Award, Prometheus Award, and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Science Fiction Author.

His ninth novel, The Tangled Lands (a collaboration with Paolo Bacigalupi) will be published in early 2018. In addition, he’s written over sixty short stories and six novellas, which he’s gathered into four collections, the latest, Xenowealth: A Collection, was published in 2016 and features characters and settings from his Crystal Rain, Ragamuffin, and Sly Mongoose.

This all makes me smile because for me Tobias will always be the “kid” I met at a convention (in Louisville, I think it was). He was going to school then and still trying to figure out who he was going to be. One thing was obvious at that time, though: All other things aside, Tobias Buckell was going to be a writer. There was just no other option. He was passionate about it, driven and open to learning, but at the same time a guy with his own set of opinions. Nothing was going to stop him.

That kind of passion is an attractive trait, you know? It makes Tobias hard not to pay attention to.

“Since I was in sixth grade,” he writes on his blog, “I’d been drawing spaceships taking off from island harbors, rather than gantries, but a lot of my early SF aped what I was reading: galactic empires, etc. But somewhere in college, I decided to really focus on becoming a writer. And part of that involved what I was going to write about. I began to add pieces of Caribbean background to my stories, a character, a place, and certainly inspiration from island history and anecdotes. When I finished my first piece that drew this all together, it was a heady rush: this was the sort of thing I wished I’d been able to have to read on the shelf.”

Tobias Buckell on stage accepting the Writers of the Future Award

Tobias Buckell on stage accepting the Writers of the Future Award

His first publication was a short story titled “The Fish Merchant,” which saw the birth of Pepper, one of his best-known characters. It was deeply touched by his Caribbean roots. His second was his WotF prizewinner. It, too, relied on his Caribbean background.

From that point on, he hit his stride.

And what a stride it’s been.

He’s been the Writer in Residence for Bermuda, as well as appeared at workshops like Clarion, Shared Worlds, Alpha Teen Writing Workshop, and Seton Hill University. He’s spoken on topics from creative living, ecology, and futurism at colleges and conferences around the United States. He’s been a guest of honor at conventions (AnimeKon Expo and Odyssey Con), and a guest on shows like Cult Pop (Michigan cable) and Geeks Guide to the Galaxy.

So, yeah, Buckell is a speaker, a teacher, a world traveler, and a man who likes to make sense of the world.

But mostly, he’s a writer.

Yet, for me, what I’ll always think of when I hear Tobias Buckell’s name is passion—that full-throttled love for the genre, for amazing ideas, and for his own heritage. It’s a mix he throws together in ways that only he can.

And it’s that passion that makes all the difference.


Ron Collins

Ron Collins

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

David Sakmyster

Focus on David Sakmyster, Writers of the Future Volume 22 Winner

Take a good conspiracy theory and some intriguing historical research, add in a shot of psychological horror (can we call it tension?) and anything psychic, supernatural, paranormal, or just plain freaky … mix it up … make a few hundred interesting things happen … dump it into a manuscript, and you’ve got yourself a David Sakmyster novel.

“I’ve always been drawn to conspiracy theories to explain some of the stranger-than-fiction events of our time,” he said in a recent interview. “The possibility that, for example, serial killers, lone shooters, and assassins may be products of purposeful design, rather than random genetics, is fascinating.”

Can you see why his work has been described as Indiana Jones meets the X-Files?

Writers of the Future Volume 22

Writers of the Future Volume 22

For followers of the annual Writers of the Future anthology, this doesn’t come as particularly stunning news. His ghost story, “The Red Envelope,” won second prize in the 2005 version writers’ contest. Clearly, he’s been busy ever since, publishing four stand-alone novels, a five-book series (Morpheus Initiative, put out in omnibus last year), and four more books in collaboration with others (The Jurassic Dead series with Rick Chester, and Lazarus Initiative, with Steve Savile). Not to mention numerous short stories and novellas. His screenplay, Nightwatchers, has been optioned for production.

David with Tim Powers at the Writers Workshop, 2006

David with Tim Powers at the Writers Workshop, 2006

“Much of my success came from the contacts I made during that week,” David said when I asked him about his thoughts on the contest. “The lessons I learned from Tim Powers, Kevin J. Anderson, and many other guest lecturers, and also very importantly, from the advice of past winners were important. I’ve kept in close contact with several past winners. We’ve gone on to co-write books and give each other blurbs and support, share readers and reviewers, and of course continue to share advice on what works in this crazy business.”

On the process side, he’s a guy who outlines diligently “I spend more time plotting than writing,” he says, but then usually finds the final story looks nothing like the outline—it’s important to take unexpected paths, he says. Go figure, right?

On the personal side, he currently lives in Rochester, NY, likes to play tennis, and has a twelve-year-old daughter, Isabella, who was only 4 months old when David went to the workshop, but who is now “an energetic and delightfully brilliant middle-schooler who loves to watch science fiction and horror shows with her old man.” She’s also a reader who may someday be a writer, too (“One can only hope,” David says). Seeing that David’s own dad got him started in the field by reading him stories from Edgar Allen Poe, one suspects this may be an acorn that doesn’t fall too far from the tree.

“I’ve had three different day jobs since 2005, but never strayed far from the writing world, which has been my first love all along,” David said. “Four different publishers, an agent that’s come and gone (the same with a Hollywood manager), then some more focus and success with the self-publishing and marketing route… It’s been an interesting ride, to say the least!”

Kevin J. Anderson and David at the Writers of the Future Annual Awards 2006 after-party

Kevin J. Anderson and David at the Writers of the Future Annual Awards 2006 after-party

Kevin J. Anderson and David at the Writers of the Future Annual Awards 2006 after-party

“I owe a lot to Kevin J. Anderson. In addition to working with his Wordfire Press, his mantra during that week’s lessons, how when approached with a request for a story or to help with something, we should just say: ‘I can do that!’ It’s worked well for me, introducing me to new people and ideas; I’ve found myself venturing into places I didn’t think I’d be good at—like screenwriting. Shortly after that celebration, a fellow winner (Judith Tabron, I’m talking about you) suggested I try writing a screenplay, and I thought heck, why not adapt ‘The Red Envelope’ as a test case? Did it, loved it, and while I’m still shopping that one around, I went on to adapt other stories and create some new ones—including the aforementioned optioned script, which I hope to be able to announce soon.”

In other interviews, David has ruminated about the time that’s passed since his time at the workshop. “I’m surprised I’ve been at it this long.” At its core, it’s clear that his success has been a result of David’s flexibility and persistence, his ability to deal with changes in the publishing world and stick to his art. He’s a guy willing to do the work, and who loves the opportunity to work with people—an opportunity being a prizewinner so clearly provided to him.

“It was an amazing experience,” David said. “I will forever be grateful to L. Ron Hubbard and all the great people at Galaxy Press. Hopefully, this career still has a long way to go.”


Ron Collins

Ron Collins

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

Frank Herbert

Writing Advice from a Legend-Honoring Frank Herbert-Our Dear Friend and Judge  (1920-1986)

The very last article that Frank Herbert wrote before his passing in February of 1986 was writing advice to contestants of this very contest. His article appeared in “Writers of the Future Volume II.” I wanted to share that essay with you today:

by Frank Herbert

The single most important piece of advice I ever got was to concentrate on story. What is “story”? It’s the quality that keeps the reader following the narrative. A good story makes interesting things happen to a character with whom the reader can identify. And it keeps them happening, so that the character progresses and grows in stature.

A writer’s job is to do whatever is necessary  to make the reader want to read the next line. That’s what you’re suppose to be thinking about when you’re writing a story. Don’t think about money, don’t think about success; concentrate on the story—don’t waste your energy on anything else. That all takes care of itself, if you’ve done your job as a writer. If you haven’t done that, nothing helps.

I first heard this from literary agent Lurton Blassingame, a highly respected expert on successful storytellers and storytelling. He’s a man who’s been watching writers’ careers and building writers’ careers for decades. And I have heard essentially the same thing from many other successful figures in writing; some of the top writers in the world have said it. It is the best advice I can give  beginners.

I’d also like to say something about older hands helping newcomers. Like many other established writers, I teach students on frequent occasions and lecture to many other audiences anxious for advice on writing. I’m very happy to be able to lend my help to the Writers of the Future program. From time to time, though, people have come up to me and asked why I want to “create competition” by helping newcomers.

Talking about “competition” in that way is nonsense! The more good writers there are, the more good readers there will be. We’ll all benefit—writers and readers alike!

So the other piece of advice I have for newcomers is: “Remember how you learned, and when your turn comes, teach.”

Writers of the Future 4th Quarter Winners 4th Quarter Writers of the Future Winners

4th Quarter Writers of the Future Winners


Writers of the Future 4th Quarter
Winners, Finalists, Semi-Finalists and Honorable Mentions


Congratulations to you all!


First Place – Andrew Peery from North Carolina
Second Place – Ziporah Hildebrandt from Massachusetts
Third Place – Andrew L. Roberts from California



Karen Bovenmyer from Iowa
Jeanette Gonzalez from California
Paul Hamilton from California
Christian Monson from Arkansas
Jeff Soesbe from California


Anthony Bell from Washington
John Culver II from California
Nicholas Diehl from California
Philip Hall from Scotland
Jason McCuiston from South Carolina
John Walters from Greece
J. Deery Wray from California

Silver Honorable Mentions:

K.G. Anderson from Washington
Kristen Batstone from Pennsylvania
L. R. Braden from Colorado
Steven R. Brandt from Louisiana
Mark William Chase from Indiana
Paul E. Harmon from Arizona
K.R. Horton from Oregon
Storm Humbert from Ohio
Art Kasyanoff from Latvia
E.B. Koller from Minnesota
Annaliese Lemmon from Washington
J.L.A. Mathijsen from the Netherlands
Shawn R. McKee from Texas
Mel Melcer from the United Kingdom
Johan Persson from Sweden
Rajeev Prasad from California
Steve Rodgers from California
Rei Rosenquist from Hawaii
Jeff Suwak from Washington
Jeremy A. TeGrotenhuis from Washington
M. Elizabeth Ticknor from Michigan
Neal Williams from Colorado
Ramez Yoakeim from California
Tannara Young from California

Honorable Mentions:

Linda Maye Adams from Virginia
Nicholas Adams from Utah
Ryan Adams from Massachusetts
J.J. Adamson from Vermont
Mike Adamson from Australia
Atreyu Addams from New York
Amanda Alix from Massachusetts
James Beamon from Puerto Rico
Godfrey Bedstedter from Illinois
Brenda Bensch from Utah
Rebecca Birch from Washington
Hilary B. Bisenieks from California
Hugh Blackthorne from Canada
Megan Branning from Pennsylvania
Z.T. Bright from Utah
Michael D. Britton from Utah
Thomas K. Carpenter from Missouri
Anna Cates from Ohio
Steve Cave from Washington
Alicia Cay from Colorado
Kyla Chapek from Oregon
Joanne Chapman from Utah
Chan Yuk Chi from Singapore
Rui Cid from Portugal
Erin Cole from Oregon
Joshua Cook from Tennessee
John Cornell from Colorado
Emily Craven from Australia
Marc A. Criley from Alabama
Matthew Cropley from Australia
Andreea Daia from Massachusetts
Donavan Darius from Michigan
Brandon Daubs from California
James Davies from England
Gabrielle DeMay from Texas
Destiny A. Donelson from Ohio
Wade H. Dunham from Canada
Terrance Dunnavant from Tennessee
Heather Lee Dyer from Idaho
Jacob Edwards from Australia
Joshua Essoe from California
Jen Finelli from Puerto Rico
AJ Fitzwater from New Zealand
Ron S. Friedman from Canada
Lana Elizabeth Gabris from Canada
Ismael G. Galvan from California
Katharina Gerlach from Germany
Debora Godfrey from Washington
Bryn Grunwald from Colorado
DW Harvey from California
Kola Heyward-Rotimi from Massachusetts
Patrick Hurley from Washington
Martha Husain from Colorado
Mitchell Inkley from Utah
Jose Pablo Iriarte from Florida
M. Kay from New Jersey
Art Van Kilmer from California
Marjorie King from Texas
Michael Kingswood from California
Benjamin C. Kinney from Missouri
Michael Kortes from Canada
R. J. K. Lee from Japan
Jordan Legg from Canada
Greg W. Lyons from California
L.J. Martin from South Carolina
Samuel Marzioli from Oregon
Zoe Mathers from Canada
Perry McDaid from Northern Ireland
Keith McDuffee from Massachusetts
L.D. McEwing from California
Rob Milligan from Utah
C.T. Miner from South Dakota
Mark Minson from Utah
Sean Monaghan from New Zealand
Rosie Oliver from England
John M. Olsen from Utah
Sarah Lauren Ortega from Florida
Y.M. Pang from Canada
Stephen Patrick from Texas
Florian Pekazh from Bulgaria
Beth Powers from Indiana
Lisa J. Prince from Alabama
Timothy Reynolds from Canada
Meghan Rodela from California
Sid Roe from Texas
Elizabeth Sadler from Georgia
H.J. Sandgathe from Utah
Patricia L. Shelton from Arizona
Austin Shirey from Virginia
Robert Anthony Smith from New Jersey
J.R. Spencer from Texas
Elise Stephens from Washington
Robert N. Stephenson from Australia
Xariffa Suarez from Texas
Travis Sullivan from Japan
Jeremy Szal from Australia
Alex C. Telander from California
Ryan Toxopeus from Canada
Nikki Trionfo from Utah
Michael T. Wells from Pennsylvania
Robert Luke Wilkins from California
Marc Venema from Canada
Nick Wood from the United Kingdom
Neil V. Young from California
Lech Zdunkiewicz from California


Writers of the Future Contest 3rd Quarter Winners 2016

3rd Quarter Writers of the Future Winners


Writers of the Future 3rd Quarter
Winners, Finalists, Semi-Finalists and Honorable Mentions


Congratulations to you all!


First Place – Jake Marley from California
Second Place – Ville Merilainen from Finland
Third Place – C.L. Kagmi from Michigan



Scott Coon from California
David Kavanaugh from New Mexico
Deborah MacArthur from Florida
Caleb Thomas Rostedt from New South Wales, Australia
K.L. Schwengel from Wisconsin


David Cleden from Hampshire, United Kingdom
Brian Hodges from Washington State
Laura Lamoreaux from Utah
Scott Limekiller from Utah
Shawn McKee from Texas
Amy McLane from Arizona
Django Mathijsen from the Netherlands
Jillian R. Wahlquist from California

Silver Honorable Mentions:

Dustin Adams from New York
Mike Adamson from South Australia, Australia
B. Morris Allen from Oregon
Van Alrik from Utah
Jared Austin from Alabama
Anthony Bell from Washington State
Blaze Bernstein from California
Bret A. Booher from Indiana
Alicia Cay from Colorado
Justin Chasteen from Ohio
Vida Cruz from New York
Paulo da Silva from Germany
Frank Dutkiewicz from Michigan
Anthony W. Eichenlaub from Minnesota
Kristy Evangelista from Australia
Timothy A. Fenner from Wisconsin
Tania Fordwalker from Australia
Venus Fultz from Alaska
David Grubb from Maine
Nancy Hatch from New Mexico
Louise Herring-Jones from Alabama
Mel Howard from Alabama
Michael Kingswood from California
Benjamin C. Kinney from Missouri
Elliot LeGrange from Illinois
D.C. Lozar from California
Samuel Marzioli from Oregon
Brandon McNulty from Pennsylvania
Sean Monaghan from New Zealand
Wulf Moon from Washington State
Zan Oliver from Louisiana
Al Onia from Alberta, Canada
Francesco Radicati from California
Julie Reeser from Montana
Andrew L. Roberts from California
Steve Rodgers from California
ME Smith from South Carolina
J.M. Tanenbaum from California
M. Elizabeth Ticknor from Connecticut
Filip Wiltgren from Sweden
Nemma Wollenfang from Cheshire, United Kingdom
Tannara Young from California

Honorable Mentions:

Jeffrey Steven Abrams from Washington State
Timothy Adams from California
Ori Adriel from New York
E.J. Alexander from Arizona
Julia V. Ashley from Mississippi
Molly Elizabeth Atkins from Missouri
Jesse Barben from New Mexico
Chris Barili from Colorado
Francis Bass from Idaho
Ella Beaumont from Alberta, Canada
Rick Bennett from Utah
Ian Best from Jakarta, Indonesia
Rebecca Birch from Washington State
P.D. Blake from E. Yorks, United Kingdom
Dawn Bonanno from Illinois
Marty Bonus from California
Ezekiel James Boston from Nevada
Kris Bowser from Massachusetts
LR Braden from Colorado
Rebecca Brinker from California
Kathryn Burlew from Kentucky
James Caldwell from South Carolina
Steven T. Capps from Georgia
M.J. Carlson from Florida
Thomas K. Carpenter from Missouri
Rachel Carter from New York
Kyla K. Chapek from Oregon
Charles Chapman from Texas
Carleton Chinner from Australia
Thokozani Amanda Chiwandira from Central Africa
Joseph Colando from Oregon
Amber Colbert from Maryland
Brigid Collins from Michigan
Jareb Collins from California
Jacob Corey from Montana
John Cornell from Colorado
Ken Courtenay from Georgia
Marc A. Criley from Alabama
Adrian Croft from Ontario, Canada
Garrett Croker from California
Matthew Cropley from Australia
K.A. Cummins from Minnesota
Christina De La Rocha from Germany
Richard M. Dell’Orfano from California
Eliana Dianda from California
W.H.N. Dunham from Ontario, Canada
Em Dupre from New York
Heather Lee Dyer from Idaho
Michael Greenlese from Ohio
Nikolai Ellison from South Carolina
Lori Erickson from Indiana
Jonathan Ficke from Wisconsin
O.E. Fine from Massachusetts
Margaret McGaffey Fisk from Nevada
Ron S. Friedman from Alberta, Canada
Brandon Frye from Michigan
Katharina Gerlach from Germany
Yaara Gilan from New York
Barbara Giorgieri from Italy
Audrey Goates from Utah
Jeannette Gonzalez from California
Simon Graeme from Ohio
Glenn K. Graham from Idaho
Jake Guthrie from Mississippi
Philip Brian Hall from United Kingdom
Rachelle Harp from Texas
Mary-Jean Harris from Ontario, Canada
Darren L. Hawbrook from Lincoln, United Kingdom
Jacob Haynes from Ohio
Gillian Herrin from South Carolina
Daria Hoang from California
Ariana Hoelscher from Texas
Chip Houser from Missouri
Cathy Humble from Oregon
Marc Humphrey from Vienna, Austria
Xinging Jiang from Maryland
Flint F. Johnson from Minnesota
Toni Jones from Florida
Seth W. Kennedy from California
David Kernot from South Australia, Australia
Ezra Josiah Kohn from New York
Kiya Krier from California
Petra Kuppers from Michigan
Michelle Kurrle from Victoria, Australia
Cam Rhys Lay from Kansas
J. Lyon Layden from Georgia
Kate Lechler from Mississippi
R.J.K. Lee from Japan
Brandon M. Lindsay from Washington State
Cory Loughmiller from Utah
Sanjna Manoj from Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Phil Margolies from Maryland
M. Leigh Marrott from Texas
L.B. Martin from Missouri
Samantha Martin from California
Robert J. McCarter from Arizona
Lisbeth L. McCarty from Oklahoma
Patrick McCully from Texas
Aracely Briana Medina from Florida
Angelica Medlin from California
R.A. Meenan from California
Devin Miller from North Carolina
Will Morton from California
Aaron Moskalik from Michigan
Rob Munns from Cheshire, England
R.S. Naifeh from Missouri
Nina Niskanen from Finland
Gwendolyn Nix from Montana
N.E. Oliver from Arizona
John M. Olsen from Utah
Andrei Rafael Padilla from California
Mark Painter from Pennsylvania
Johan Persson from Sweden
Chris Phillips from Ohio
Beth Powers from Indiana
Ross Raith from Victoria, Canada
B.M. Riley from Connecticut
Emmie Rogers from Tennessee
Daniel Roy from Quebec, Canada
Jason E. Royle from Pennsylvania
Allie Rugolo from Texas
Katarina Russo from Colorado
Jacob Marc Schafer from California
Sean C. Sexton from North Carolina
Patricia L. Shelton from Arizona
Austin Shirey from Virginia
A.E. Sjoquist from Washington State
Stephanie Sorth from California
J’nae Rae Spano from California
P.L. Smith from Washington State
Robert Anthony Smith from New Jersey
L.B. Spillers from Colorado
Robert N. Stephenson from South Australia, Australia
Eric C. Stever from Wyoming
Alexander Strijewski from Florida
Travis Sullivan from Japan
Niraja Surendran from Texas
Carrie Swain from Florida
Jeremy Szal from New South Wales, Australia
Gabriele Teich from New Mexico
Andrew Thomson from Oregon
Katherine Toran from Kentucky
Stephanie Vance from Washington, D.C.
David Van Houten from Texas
N. Immanuel Velez from Virginia
Kyle de Waal from Kansas
Ralph Walker from New Jersey
R.W. Warwick from Japan
J.D. Wiley from Colorado
Katrina Winters from Illinois
Michael Worrell from Florida
James M. Wright from Utah
Ramez Yoakeim from California
Neil Young from California
Tyler A. Young from Minnesota
Robert Zoltan from California


Writers of the Future Volume 32

L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 32 Releases

Galaxy Press is very proud to announce its release of L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 32!

With its introduction of 13 new winning writers and 12 artists we are continuing in the long established tradition as noted by Publishers Weekly in a starred review for the series, “Always a glimpse of tomorrow’s stars.”

The newly published writers include: Stewart C Baker of Dallas, OR; Matt Dovey of Lincolnshire, UK; Julie Frost of West Jordan, UT; HL Fullerton of New York; R.M. Graves of London, England; Sylvia Anna Hivén of Lawrenceville, GA; Rachael K. Jones of Athens, GA; Ryan Row of Berkeley, CA; Jon Lasser of Seattle, WA; Stephen Merlino of Seattle, WA; Christoph Weber of Reno, NV, J.W. Alden of Hypoluxo, FL and K.D. Julicher of Fernley, NV.

Top: Krystal Claxton, Sylvia Anna Hiven, Rachael Jones, Julie Frost, KD Julicher Bottom: Jon Lasser, JW Alden, Stephen Merlino, Stuart C Baker, Matt Dovey, Ryan Row, Christoph Weber.

Top: Krystal Claxton, Sylvia Anna Hiven, Rachael Jones, Julie Frost, KD Julicher Bottom: Jon Lasser, JW Alden, Stephen Merlino, Stuart C Baker, Matt Dovey, Ryan Row, Christoph Weber.

The newly published artists include: Christina Alberici of Sewell, NJ; Camber Arnhart of Albuquerque, New Mexico; Brandon Knight of Shawbirch, Telford, UK; Talia Spencer of Los Angeles, CA; Adrian Massaro of Neuquen, Argentina; Killian McKeown of Phoenix, AZ; Vlada Monakhova of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Paul Otteni of Kirkland, WA; Jonas Spokas of Kaunas, Lithuania; Preston Stone of Loveland, CO; Maricela Ugarte Peña of Monterrey, Mexico and Dino Hadziavdic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Top: Maricela Ugarte Pena, Christina Alberici, Adrian Massaro, Camber Arnhart, Vlada Monakhova, Killian McKeown. Bottom: Brandon Knight, Paul Otteni, Jonas Spokas, Preston Stone.

Top: Maricela Ugarte Pena, Christina Alberici, Adrian Massaro, Camber Arnhart, Vlada Monakhova, Killian McKeown. Bottom: Brandon Knight, Paul Otteni, Jonas Spokas, Preston Stone.

In addition to the winning stories is a story from Contest creator L. Ron Hubbard entitled “The Last Admiral,” written under the pen name Rene Lafayette as the 8th story in his Conquest of Space series.

Contest Judge and anthology editor David Farland has his Steampunk tale, “Hellfire on the High Frontier.”

And Contest judge Sean Williams was very happy to be able to once again have one of his stories published in a Writers of the Future volume and so we are very proud to present “The Jade Woman of the Luminous Star.”

In a special article entitled “Where Steampunk Started,” Contest Judge and World Fantasy Award winning author Tim Powers tells the story of how the subgenre, based on Victorian fantasies, got its name. It was a letter from K.W. Jeter to Locus in 1987 where he stated, “Personally, I think Victorian fantasies are going to be the next big thing, as long as we can come up with a fitting collective for Powers, Blaylock and myself. Something based on the appropriate technology of that era; like ‘steampunks,’ perhaps….”

And our most recent Writers of the Future judge, New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson, enters in with his article “The Fine Distinction Between Cooks and Chefs” as he provides what he feels is the best writing advice he has to offer.

“The authors offering advice seemed to be saying, ‘You poor thing. You have no idea what you’re in for.’

“Trouble is, neither did they.”

And with his amusing article “How to Drive a Writer Crazy,” L. Ron Hubbard comments on the business of writing in reference to dealing with fickle editors.

“1. When he [writer] starts to outline a story, immediately give him several stories just like it to read and tell him three other plots. This makes his own story and his feeling for it vanish in a cloud of disrelated facts.”

So by now, you should be very ready to read Writers of the Future Volume 32. You can get it at, B&, or wherever books are sold.

Writers scrambling to finish their 24-hour stories

Day 4 – Writers of the Future Volume 32 Workshop

Day four began with the writers scrambling to finish their 24-hour stories before the final deadline at 4pm sharp. Many of them gathered on a patio overlooking Hollywood Blvd., popped in their head phones, and typed like the wind. K.D. Julicher had finished her impressive nine-thousand word story earlier, and retired to take a victory nap while her classmates toiled on.

As 4pm loomed, the writers filtered into Author Services, wielding their flash drives like weapons, to turn in their stories. Tim and Dave then took the printed stories and threw them down the stairs. Those three which fell the furthest were selected for critique. Rachel K. Jones, J.W. Alden, and Jon Lasser were the furthest fliers.

With the weight of their stories off their shoulders, the writers anxiously awaited the reveal of the artwork the illustrators had created for their stories. The moment the doors opened, the writers gasped and rushed through to discover all the beautiful pieces of art.

Once they were matched up, they finally got the chance to chat with the illustrator winners and gathered to take a group photo. The only thing brighter than the art in that photo was the smiles.

After a quick dinner break, the writers reconvened to hear their first guest lecturers. Sean Williams was up first, and delivered a moving and motivating speech that Charles Brown, the founder of Locus, used to give to the winners. It included such tough love as, “Anyone who can be talked out of being a writer shouldn’t be one.”

Sean then handed down his “10 and a Half Rules of writing,” including such wisdom as; be kind to everyone, read everything, and write what you love.

Nina Kiriki Hoffman treated the writers to handouts and dice that they could use to roll up random story ideas. She gave them seven minutes to start a story generated by the prompts. Matt Dovey and Julie Frost were brave enough to read their beginnings aloud, too much applause.

The writers were then given the three 24 hour stories to critique and were set free to get to work.

Day 3 – Illustrators of the Future Workshop

The day started with Ron and Val discussing with the progress and benefits of the workshop so far. The illustrators unanimously seemed to gain a great deal from the life drawing Salon. You can never get enough life drawing practice. It is essential to the development of the visual artist. Some of the artists had never drawn from the model before, especially costumed models like the ones from the Salon.

Mike Valle was the first workshop presenter of the day. Mike is a movie poster designer an Art Center alumni, and a long time friend of Cliff Nielsen, who served as a mentor to him throughout art school. Mike currently works for a company called Refinery, and also has previous experience in the advertising and movie poster industries. Mike says, a movie poster can go through hundreds of iterations and different versions before they narrow it down to one design. It is also most beneficial be versatile in terms of style as it results in getting the most work in this industry. Being too narrow and uncompromising can result in having little success. Mike has worked on a variety of projects from movie posters, book covers and layouts, film logos, and movie title sequences at the Refinery for close to 10 years. He works with a varied team of sketch artists, typographers, designers, illustrators, finishers and designers. Some of Mike’s projects include The Golden Compass, Batman Vs Superman, Ice Age, Coraline and the Walking Dead. Some of his clients include Fox, AMC, Focus Features, CW and Netflix.

The afternoon session started with Sergey Poyarkov, a Ukrainian artist and grand prize winner of the Illustrators of the Future contest 25 years ago. Sergey discussed his experiences as an illustrator and his transition into the fine art market. He touched on self publishing monographs and art books as well as fund raising methods for these types of projects. Sergey has worked as a book cover artist, editorial illustrator for newspapers. He has exhibited in galleries and museums, along with hosting a television show in the Ukraine.

Ron and Val Lindahn were the last to present for the day. They have worked together for over 25 years doing illustrations for book covers, magazine spreads, editorial illustration and movie posters. Ron and Val utilize traditional media and techniques such as graphite, ink, gouache, acrylics, along with photography, sculpture and building maquettes. Ron and Val function under the studio name Valhalla Studio.

Day 3 ended with the Big Reveal! The writer and illustrator winners discovered who they were paired with for the 32nd Volume of the L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers and the Future Anthology!

Guest bloggers Megan O’Keefe on the Writers blog was Writers of the Future winner in Volume 30 and Irvin Rodriguez on the Illustrators blog was Illustrators of the Future grand prize winner for Volume 27

Writer winners with instructor David Farland at Author Services for Day 3 of the workshop.

Day 3 – Writers of the Future Volume 32 Workshop

Day three kicked off with the arrival of the illustrators at the Author Services building. After they received their tour, the writers and artists settled in for another day of lessons.

Tim and Dave opened the morning lessons with a few jokes, then dived straight into the details of movie rights and contracts. After the legal lessons were out of the way, they pushed on to discussing dialogue. Tim stressed the importance of remembering that dialogue is noise, not telepathy. It can make a dog bark, be misunderstood, and disturb nearby listeners. Dave pointed out that dialogue that is too helpful is unrealistic.

They then moved on to promotion, where the key take-away was that the best thing you can do for your career is to write the next story. After a quick break, the writers discussed matters of balancing the salacious aspects of fiction.

Afterward, they walked to the library where the writers selected a random book to help inspire their 24-hour story, then set out to interview a stranger for even more information. With all three aspects of their story’s random input in place, they met at Author Services to be given the official starting whistle. The writers then scattered to the hotel and local coffee shops to settle in for a long night of writing.

Day 2 – Illustrators of the Future Workshop

The Illustrators of the Future workshop begins! The winners met in the lobby of the Loews hotel and went on to receive a tour of ASI and the library.

Ron and Val made their introductions and discussed the beginnings of the illustration careers. Ron touched on the ups and down of an illustrators career. There are many avenues that artists can go down, and many markets that are available to illustrators. It’s the illustrator’s job to do the research, promote their portfolios to these markets and find the applications and uses for their work.

The winners discussed the details of their origins as artists and spoke about the potential markets they wanted to tap into. They also touched on their preference of medium, many of them mixing digital and traditional techniques to produce the finished product.

The winners were advised to put a heavier priority on their passions. Too often, artists only make time for the work they love to do, at nights, usually after working a day job or whatever they do to pay the bills. When artists put their passions first, their careers tend to develop and flourish much faster, as opposed to doing it on the side.

The afternoon welcomed multi-talented artist, actor and voice actor, Jim Meskimen! Jim’s seminar covered L. Ron Hubbard’s basic articles regarding art, professional practices and methodologies. L. Ron Hubbard said, “ART is a word which summarizes the quality of communication.” As illustrators, our main objective is to communicate visually with the world, whether it’s a book cover, poster, storyboard, or a painting, communication of the message is KEY.

Jim issued a challenge towards the end of his workshop talk. The illustrators were given 30 minutes to draw a “Mighty Wizard who is giving up Wizarding” based on Shakespeare’s “Tempest.” The objective was to create an image that placed an emphasis on the idea or message, over technique. Using just enough technique to communicate the idea successfully.

After the illustrator winners had their professional head shots taken, the day concluded in epic fashion with a dynamic life drawing Salon! Live models posed throughout the drawing session in steampunk costumes along with a model in costume as “Terl” from L. Ron Hubbard’s Battlefield Earth!

Guest bloggers Megan O’Keefe on the Writers blog was Writers of the Future winner in Volume 30 and Irvin Rodriguez on the Illustrators blog was Illustrators of the Future grand prize winner for Volume 27

Australian Writer Releases Third Story in Ambassador Series After Winning L. Ron Hubbard’s International Writers of the Future Award

Patty Jansen of Sydney, Australia, who was honored as a first place quarterly winner at the 27th Annual L. Ron Hubbard Achievement Awards in April of 2011, has now released her third in the Ambassador series, “Ambassador 3: Changing Fate.”

Since her win three years ago Patty has released nearly a story a month.

Patty’s winning story in the Writers of the Future international contest back in 2011, “This Peaceful State of War,” was published in – L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume XXVII as a short. She has been a very productive writer since, with the Ambassador series as only one of many series she has released.

“Ambassador 3: Changing Fate” is as follows: Fifty thousand years ago, a meteorite hit the planet Asto, giving its Aghyrian inhabitants mere days of notice. Three ships escaped the Armageddon. Two went to the neighbouring planet. The third, a massive generation ship, refused to take on refugees, and then vanished without a trace.

It’s coming back.

Its initial burst of communication caused the outage of the Exchange, the FTL network for transport and communication, but since then the ship has been silent. It jumps about at random, using wormholes it generates with a drive the likes of which no one has seen before.

Meanwhile at the gamra assembly, people jostle to be in the best positions when it inevitably turns up in inhabited space. What the ship wants or whether there is anyone on board no one knows, but diplomat Cory Wilson knows one thing: when it turns up, he must avoid a conflict at all cost.

If only gamra presented a united viewpoint. If only Asto’s army wasn’t keen to get involved. If only the Aghyrians at gamra didn’t do what they do best: manipulate and play games with everyone. While the ship approaches, the delegates bicker, and the time for negotiating is fast running out.

Immediately after winning Writers of the Future, Patty started selling short stories to Analog Magazine and has published short stories in Aurealis, Redstone SF and the Grantville Gazette.

To learn more about Patty, visit For details on how to enter the contests, visit the website at

2012 Writers of the Future Winner Tom Doyle Announces His 2nd Novel

Tom Doyle, 2012 Writers of the Future Winner, and his second book just released “The Left Hand Way”

Tom Doyle announced that he will see his second novel, in the “American Craftsmen” series published with Tor later this year, “The Left-Hand Way.”

Doyle was a 2012 winner, published in the annual anthology L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future, Volume XXVIII with his short story, “While Ireland Holds These Graves.”

Within a year after being published in the Writers of the Future volume, Doyle had his contract with Tor.

“American Craftsman” series takes place in modern America, where two soldiers will fight their way through the magical legacies of Poe and Hawthorne to destroy an undying evil — if they don’t kill each other first.

Excellent reviews included the following:

“Other authors have blended soldiering and sorcery, but few have brought Doyle’s well-crafted prose style, carefully paced plotting, and depth of characterization to the trope. The gradual revelation of the intricate ‘secret history’ behind the spell-wielding soldiers and the long-simmering family feuds intertwined with that history add intrigue and depth to the slam-bang action of the opening chapters.” – Library Journal