The Long Road

New York Times bestselling author Dave Farland’s last post was on “giving up.” He brought up dozens of books that got rejected over and over again, only to finally sell and either win major awards (like the Nobel Prize) or make millions of dollars.

Lou J. Berger on Writers of the Future

Lou J. Berger writes about his experience with the Writers of the Future Contest and his journey as a writer.

Questions of Balance

Writers of the Future Coordinating Judge, David Farland, passes on his tips on writing stories that are well balanced.

Avoid Hesitation

When you sit down to write a story or the opening to a scene, you’re presented with a problem: how to begin? As a contest judge, I see too many tales that don’t work—right from the very first sentence.

Spectacular Settings

I mentioned last week that when I judge a story, one of the simple things I look at is your setting. There are so many aspects to setting, here’s a look at just a few.

Avoiding Cliché Openings

Many years ago, Damon Knight, a fine writer and editor, wrote a book on how to write short fiction. Damon talked a bit about avoiding clichés.


It’s been nearly a year since I found out I was a finalist for L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future contest, and very nearly five months since I was announced as the 2017 Golden Pen Award winner. To say my life has changed feels like an understatement.

The Problem of the “Told” Story

I have talked about some of the most frequent problems that I see when judging for the Writers of the Future Contest, and today I’m going to tackle one of the biggest: the problem with “told” stories.


There is a myth among the general public that the greatest writers are born with uncanny innate talents that average folks dare not aspire to.
Yet there is only a sliver of truth to that argument. Talent is helpful, especially for new authors who are just trying to break in, but you can’t make a career out of it.

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

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 …