Writers & Illustrators of the Future Workshop Week
2023 – Day 7

Contributed by Kary English & Martin Shoemaker

At the high point of a great week, Gunhild Jacobs, Executive Director of Author Services, Inc., presided over the gala awards ceremony for the 39th annual L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers and Illustrators of the Future Award event on April 28, 2023 in the Taglyan Complex.

The day began with professional hair and makeup for the winners in preparation for the black-tie gala. Limousines took the winners and judges from the Loews Hollywood Hotel to the Taglyan Complex, where media and guests greeted them on the red carpet. While their family and other guests arrived, winners and judges walked the red carpet, giving interviews and getting photos taken.

When the doors to the ballroom opened, all were treated to the elegance and charm of this great Los Angeles venue. Sumptuous dinner and dessert followed.

Every year, the award event is opened by a unique performance. This year, dancers and acrobats performed an Asian dragon-inspired dance, in keeping with the cover by Illustrator Judge Tom Wood. Then followed a philosophical and historical video about L. Ron Hubbard’s vision that became the Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contests. Then Gunhild Jacobs welcomed the winners, Judges, and guests, reviewed the year in the Contests.

Next Judges Tim Powers and Kevin J. Anderson unsealed a time capsule containing predictions written by the Contest judges and winners 25 years ago. They read a few selected predictions.

John Goodwin, President of Galaxy Press, presented L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 39 after a video trailer featuring the 12 new authors and 12 new illustrators about to take the stage. As the first volume selected by Coordinating Judge Jody Lynn Nye and edited by Judge Dean Wesley Smith, the book additionally features cover art by Tom Wood, stories by L. Ron Hubbard, S.M. Stirling, and Kevin J. Anderson, and articles from Hubbard, Lazarus Chernik, and Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

The winners’ speeches began with Volume 38 winner Brittany Rainsdon, who was unable to attend last year’s ceremony. Then 10 new authors and 10 new illustrators accepted their awards. Each took the stage with great poise and to the delight of the crowd. The speeches alternated with: a keynote speech by entrepreneur Dan Farr, founder of FanX Salt Lake; a recorded Hubbard essay on the creative risks of a regimented schedule; and the presentation by Emily Goodwin (Vice President Public Affairs for Author Services, Inc.) of the L. Ron Hubbard Lifetime Achievement Award to writer Judge Dr. Robert J. Sawyer.

Finally, the winners of the Golden Pen and Golden Brush awards for Volume 39 were announced. The Illustrators of the Future Grand Prize Golden Brush Award and $5,000 in prize money went to Dao Vi of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, for his illustration of Samuel Parr’s first place story “The Last History.” The Writers of the Future Grand Prize Golden Pen Award and $5,000 in prize money went to David K. Henrickson, for his story “White Elephant.”

Congratulations to all the winners! We look forward to the worlds they’ll create next.

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