The day had finally arrived when all winners would walk the red carpet, receive their award and deliver their speeches in front of over 1,200 attendees. They would find out who the grand prize winners were and all winners would take part in their first book signing.
In the early afternoon the cameramen and TV crews arrived, set up their equipment for when the winners, past winners, judges and VIPs would walk the red carpet.
Soon enough the guests arrived – the men in sharp tuxes and the women in colorful gowns. Meanwhile the winners walked the red carpet, posed for pictures, and received interviews. The first call was made over the speakers; the show would be starting soon!
2014 Winning Writers and Illustrators on the red Carpet
Once the final call was made and everybody was seated, the lights were dimmed and the music started. The Hollywood Hotshots came on stage with singers Drew Seeley and Cassie Simone performing “Living Off the Page.” After a phenomenal performance, emcee Gunhild Jacobs, Executive Director of Author Services, walked on stage welcomed by applause from the audience.
Drew Seeley and Cassie Simone performing “Living Off the Page”
Emcee Gunhild Jacobs, Executive Director of Author Services
Guest speakers included engineer and NASA Astronaut Leland D. Melvin who spoke about the importance of achieving your dreams and never giving up and the important role science fiction plays in those dreams, Award-Winning author Nancy Kress who presented a special recognition to Writers and Illustrators of the Future on behalf of Writers Digest magazine, Director of Author Relations Kobo, Inc. Mark Lefebvre who spoke about the past and future of publishing, and Orson Scott Card who received his Lifetime Achievement Award. And the speeches given by all winners accepting their awards were, as usual, amazing in their sincerity and hope for their future success. Then once the book was released, the grand prize winners were announced. Trevor Smith’s grand prize speech was even better than his first speech–something that has rarely occurred (as winners have already given their thanks and recognized those who helped them along the way). Then the grand prize writer winner envelope was delivered by drone and announced an emotional Randy Henderson, who like Trevor, gave a great acceptance speech. All in all, the show was blow-away in every aspect!
Guest Speaker Leland D. Melvin
Orson Scott Card receives the Lifetime Achievement Award
Winning writer Oleg Kazantsev walking to the stage to accept his award
Winning illustrator Kirbi Fagan walking to the stage to receive her award
Drone delivering the envelope with the Gold Award Winners names
Randy Henderson wins the Golden Pen Award
Following the show the guests walked from the theatre to the book signing hall. There was a stunning display of illustrations from this year’s winners, surrounded by flower bouquets and crystal chandeliers. The winning writers made their way to the book-signing table, while the winning illustrators took their place next to their winning piece and so began the signing! Most notable was when award winning authors Orson Scott Card and Tim Powers circled the table, asking each winner for their autograph!
The hall where the book signing was held
Writers signing books
Illustrators signing books
Award-winning author Orson Scott Card getting his book signed by winners.
Award-winning author Tim Powers getting his book signed by winners.
Finally the crowd thinned at the end of the night, and all winners went back to the hotel to prepare for their final day.