Writers & Illustrators of the Future Workshop Week
2023 – Day 2

Contributed by Jody Lynn Nye

The writers assembled in the Elysian Park room at 9:00 a.m. for the first day of the seminar. Based on the workshop created by the original Coordinating Judge, Algis Budrys, using several essays on the craft of writing, including “Magic Out of a Hat,” “Search for Research,” and “Circulate,” by L. Ron Hubbard, the workshop began. Tim Powers offered them objects to inspire them for their upcoming 24-hour story. Jody Lynn Nye passed around the button bag so the group could draw one button each and divide into twins—and one set of triplets—by finding the person holding the matching button. The instructors started off the day by talking about humor in literature, structuring a funny story, and how humor fits into a story that isn’t a comedy. Jody Lynn Nye and Tim Powers went on to discuss how to construct plots.

After lunch, the discussion turned to character development. Tim Powers explained that if the writer knows what thing a character needs or craves and what thing that character would avoid at all costs, a writer can make the story more complex. And when dealing with multiple characters, each of their interlocking needs and fears can add real interest to a narrative.

Tim and Jody continued to talk about plotting. How the story begins and how it ends should connect, building the story arc’s energy to the midpoint, then consuming it through to the end, with a smaller story arc involved in the resolution. Some of the writers asked very good questions, exploring the subjects of plot, character, and humor. The twins met again, getting to know one another better.

A.E. Van Vogt’s widow, Lydia, and their daughter came to visit the group, and everyone posed for pictures with them. Mrs. van Vogt is a very gracious lady, and it was an honor to meet her.

Once the guests had left, Jody and Tim talked about laying out plot lines on a calendar, 3×5 cards, or post-it notes to keep track of timing and cadence in story. It’s important to make sure that important elements aren’t missed or appear too far along in the timeline. The session rounded out with a discussion of anachronism, and how to balance how closely to adhere to the often unpleasant reality of earlier centuries.

In the late afternoon, everyone got portraits taken, were interviewed on camera and the men were measured for their tuxedos.

Following a dinner break, Tim and Jody talked about the differences between writing science fiction and fantasy, and answered a lot of questions. The group broke up to meet with their twins. One of the winners didn’t have an opportunity to shop ahead of time for a gown, so Ria Rutten brought her a garment bag with five gowns to choose from. Jody and the women had fun looking through them.

Then, Joni came in to announce that the illustrator winners had arrived and finished with their introductions. She asked if the writers would like to meet them. They swarmed over, and found their artist counterparts. Even though they had been on the go since 9:00 a.m., meeting their artists gave them a second wind. The last writer went off for bed not long before 10:00 p.m.

Illustrators of the Future Art Workshop: Day 1, Arrival

Contributed by Martin Shoemaker

After a busy day of travel the Volume 39 Illustrators of the Future arrived in Los Angeles for the start of their amazing and busy week. The official proceedings began with an introduction to the week, where they met John Goodwin (President of Author Services) Coordinating Judge Echo Chernik, and all the hard-working staff who will produce their workshop and their gala this year.

John started by encouraging the artists to understand the depth of their accomplishment in winning this contest, and by telling them the opportunities they’ll get to meet amazing artists and writers. He followed with a history of the Illustrators of the Future Contest, which is L. Ron Hubbard’s legacy to science fiction and fantasy storytelling in art and words. He promised them skills that will be useful in their artistic careers.

John also introduced them to a Hubbard book of essays on the nature and possibilities of art, as well as books of his fiction. He followed by introducing a few of the workshop staff: Emily Goodwin, Meliva Koch, Jason Toth, and Claude Sandoz. He next spoke about the award-winning Writers and Illustrators of the Future Podcast, and promised to interview each of them to showcase them to the podcast’s vast audience. He followed by introducing Joe Montaldo who will be interviewing winners for his radio and television productions.

After that, John turned the floor over to Contest Director Joni Labaqui, who ran a meet and greet for the Illustrators. Then she introduced Echo, who introduced herself and gave an overview of the workshop week. Then the official activities broke for the night, giving the Illustrators and the staff a chance to get to know each other.

2 replies
  1. Eric Stallsworth
    Eric Stallsworth says:

    Thank you for this. It’s so inspiring and fun to see the day-by-day of these talented writers as they work up to accepting their award!


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