Guest speaker Nathan Fowkes talks to the Illustrator winners

WotF Workshop – Day 6


Another packed day and no rest for the winners as they moved through a full slate of presentations. Nancy Kress talked with the writers about the most common problems she’s seen with beginning writers: lack of setting, missing or weak character motivation, and the ending not matching the beginning.

Next up were Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta with a presentation on how to be a professional. Kevin and Rebecca give this talk to the writer winners and at Superstars every year. “Don’t be a jerk,” Rebecca explained—advice this group of winners won’t need. The talk sparked a discussion about professional behavior not just at public events and conference, but on social media as well.

The group had a lunch break and all decided to go out together to the pizza place across the street. The winners have become tight during the week and conversation turned to surprise and disappointment that the week is almost over.

Right after lunch the winners were treated to the second half of Orson Scott Card’s workshop. This time Scott spoke about point of view. Scott felt third person limited point of view was the best viewpoint for novels. However, in a room full of writers and judges there was definitely some difference of opinion. If there is one thing the writers have learned throughout the week it is that no writer has the same path, and not all advice fits all writers.

Eric Flint spoke about promotion and Liza Trombi from Locus Magazine talked about how to get reviews from the top magazines.

The winners had a very tight schedule for the rest of the night. There was a short half-hour break to grab some dinner and then straight back to Author Services to sign three hundred books. Then the writers rushed back to the lobby of the hotel to catch a ride to the Ebell Theatre for the gala dress rehearsal.

Hard to believe tomorrow is the big day!

Illustrator Workshop

Guest lecturers continued for the illustrators, starting off with Michael Valle, who has designed posters for movie and TV studios. He discussed what it’s like doing work for hire, how competitive it is, and offered insights into what his day to day job is like. The illustrators asked numerous questions as he ran through the different people involved in a given movie poster’s creative process from concept to finish.

Next up was Larry Elmore, best known for his iconic Dungeons & Dragons and Dragonlance artwork.  Larry ran through the highlights of his decades-long career and how it’s continued to evolve even today.

After lunch, artist agent Justin Rucker took the stage in the form of a long distance video call to talk with the winners about his initial experience as an artist and how he became an agent. The winners then received an amazing offer to keep in contact with him and submit their portfolios for review.

The final speaker of the afternoon was Nathan Fowkes, who spent 15 years at Dreamworks and spoke about his animation and video game work as an environment concept artist.

As the workshop wound to a close, Ron and Val asked the illustrators to sum up their experiences and Alex Brock, summed it up with a few heartfelt words. Now that he had come here and met so many other people like him, he was no longer working in a vacuum. This entire experience has been amazing.

Laurie Tom

Laurie Tom

Guest Illustrator post by Laurie Tom
2010 Writers of the Future Grand Prize winner

Tina Gower

Tina Gower

Guest Writer post by Tina Gower
2013 Writers of the Future Grand Prize winner

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