Writers & Illustrators of the Future Workshop Week2022 – Day 5
Contributed by Kary English
Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta, who have published more than 200 books with multiple New York Times bestsellers, opened the day with a two-hour presentation.
Anderson and Moesta started with Heinlein’s famous rules:
1) You must write.
2) You must finish what you write.
3) You must refrain from rewriting except to editorial order.
4) You must put the work on the market.
5) You must keep the work on the market until it sells.
6) Kevin’s corollary: Repeat from step 1.
Moesta and Anderson also stressed the importance of professionalism. The writing industry is small, and today’s lowly assistant can become tomorrow’s major acquisitions editor. The first rule of professionalism is to never, ever, EVER be a jerk to anyone, in person or online. Not a reader or reviewer, not a fellow writer or editor, not to agents or publishing staff—no one. Writers and editors talk to each other. Stories of authors behaving badly can go viral on the internet. Vent in private if you need to, but your public face should be that of a calm, consummate professional.
Speak, dress, and act like a professional. Choose a look for yourself, then dress to your brand. Meet your deadlines, on time, with quality work that adheres to the market’s or editor’s guidelines.
Dean Wesley Smith, one of the top 25 most prolific fiction writers today, gave the writers an brief history of fiction publishing and distribution, from the rise of dime novels and penny dreadfuls in the 1850s, to the advent of journals like Argosy and All Story in 1900, and the rise of the pulps in the 1920s. Digests followed the pulps in the 1940s, and the paperback rose to prominence in the late 1960s. Ebooks showed up in the late 1990s, but didn’t take hold until the advent of Amazon’s Kindle reader in 2007.
Electronic publishing opened the gates for self-publishers, which gave rise to the indie publishing movement of the early 2000s. Smith, an ardent advocate of self-publishing, then covered the basics of self-pub and how it differs from traditional.
Nina Kiriki Hoffman spoke about inspiration, handing out 20-sided dice and character, setting, and background creation sheets. Writers rolled up several different characters, their households and families, and then came up scene and story outlines.
Author and contest judge S.M. Stirling made his first pro sale in 1983, the same year the Contest started. He spoke to the writer winners about persistence, about the need to work consistently, to produce good work even when you’re not particularly inspired. In addition to persistence, said Stirling, you need a certain element of luck. You have to hit the right editor on the right day.
Consistency also means that you must structure your day to make time for your writing.
Nancy Cartwright, known for being the voice of Bart Simpson, congratulated the writers. She encouraged them to keep writing, saying, “We need more artists to salvage this planet. We are all so capable of doing many more things in the future.” Then she regaled the writers with the lifelong adventure that led to her film IN SEARCH OF FELLINI, her one-woman show in Hollywood, and her role as the voice of Bart Simpson for more than three decades.
“Art,” Cartwright said, “sets the tone for culture. Through our characters, through our storylines, through our scenes and themes—artists set the tone for culture.
After that, Illustrators, Writers, and Judges gathered to sign copies of L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 39, and then everyone enjoyed a barbecue dinner. The night ended with a live radio performance of Hubbard’s “If I Were You” and a tour of Author Services, Inc.
Illustrator Workshop—More Guest Instructors
Contributed by Martin Shoemaker
Today the Illustrators started their day by reviewing yesterday’s assignment from Judge and past winner Bea Jackson (Volume 24). Overnight they did new illustrations to capture a selected mood or theme, and today they presented the results.
Next Contest judge and former winner Sergey Poyarkov (Volume 7) spoke about his experience entering and winning the Contest, and how it has shaped his career since. This led to advice on how to present yourself to clients and stand out from the competition through your bold vision and imagination.
After Sergey, the Illustrators were joined by actress/artist Tamra Meskimen and artist Peter Green who discussed how advice from L. Ron Hubbard’s art essays can be applied in an art career, balancing technique vs. communication.
For the final morning session, Coordinating Judge Echo Chernik spoke about the various client roles illustrators might work with, from creative directors through the ranks to designers. She then introduced (via Zoom) artist Chris Casciano with whom she herself recently worked as art director on a cover for the first novel by Judge Lazarus Chernik. They discussed the back-and-forth process from concept to cover.
After lunch, Judge Dan dos Santos introduced himself and his work, and he spoke on the theory and importance of color and composition in illustration, and how knowing the principles enables him to work faster without losing quality.
For the last session of the afternoon, Judge Larry Elmore spoke about his long career and his influences. From the early days of D&D art through contract work and now his entirely original visions, he has honed his craft while following his passions—and working hard!
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