On Saturday afternoon, a panel of judges for L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future contest (WotF) encouraged Dragon Con fans to enter the renowned contest. Moderated by Canadian science fiction author Robert J. Sawyer, the panel included five additional award-winning and best-selling authors also serving as WotF contest judges: Mike Resnick, Todd McCaffrey, Jerry Pournelle, Larry Niven, and Jody Lynn Nye.
Sawyer said that author and contest-coordinating judge David Farland reviews the anonymous contest entries and winnows down the entries to eight finalists per contest quarter. Judges read these high-quality short stories and select three finalists for the quarter. These finalist stories are published in the annual L. Ron Hubbard’s presents Writers of the Future anthology (currently published through volume 33) and are considered by all the judges for selection of the grand prize for that contest year.
McCaffrey praised the quality of illustrations provided for each story in the anthology by winners of the L. Ron Hubbard’s Illustrators of the Future contest. He showed the audience a superb example of a winner’s illustration from volume 33.
Advantages of entering WotF discussed included the prestige of winning the contest (or placing) and the associated publicity and press releases. The judges also praised the posh awards presentation ceremony and the value of the workshop, led by Tim Powers and David Farland, offered to contest finalists. The workshop also features involvement by other contest judges. Pournelle stressed the quality of the workshop, which you can’t attend unless you’re a WotF winner.
There is no fee required to enter the contest, and contest quarters each year begin on Oct. 1 with deadlines for quarterly entries on Dec. 31, March 31, June 30, and Sept. 30. Contest rules, including disqualification for specified pro sales, and entry instructions are detailed at www.writersofthefuture.com, which also includes information for entering the Illustrators of the Future contest.
Illustrious winners in past years include Eric Flint, Stephen Baxter, and Patrick Rothfuss. WotF is now in its 34th year. Judges urged interested writers to enter the remaining contest quarter of this year, which ends Sept. 30.
Galaxy Press, which publishes the WotF anthology, has a booth in the America’s Mart 2, Floor 1, Exhibit Hall, booth # 1610.