Writers of the Future was created by L. Ron Hubbard in 1983 as a way to promote and nurture creative talent from around the world. With several projects under his belt, along with a 100K word output per month (basically two NaNoWriMos ... every month of the year) Hubbard knew what he was looking for and how to keep the creativity alive and well.
The program spent many lucrative years finding and supporting new writers, giving them the encouragement they needed to reach for the brightest stars in the literary sky. This writing contest was followed closely by its sister project, Illustrators of the Future. The two contests are now synonymous with the world-famous Hubbard award, and to be chosen as an artist in either of these publications is a great honor.
When Hubbard created the contests 31 years ago, he said they were "a means for new and budding writers to have a chance for their creative efforts to be seen and acknowledged," and that "the artist is looked upon to start things. The artist injects the spirit of life into culture."
Volume 31 joins the previous publications as a stepping stone of artistic history, bringing together "the best new science fiction and fantasy of the year." It holds stories and commentaries by famous authors such as Orson Scott Card, Kevin J. Anderson, Rebecca Moesta, Larry Niven, and Bob Eggleton.
Its 25 writer and illustrator winners are:
Michael T. Banker, "Wisteria Melancholy"
Krystal Claxton, "Planar Ghosts"
Daniel J. Davis, "The God Whisperer"
Kary English, "Poseidon's Eyes"
Auston Habershaw, "A Revolutionary's Guide to Practical Conjuration"
Amy M. Hughes, "The Graver"
Sharon Joss, "Stars That Makes Dark Heaven Light"
Samantha Murray, "Half Past"
Tim Napper, "Twelve Minutes to Vinh Quang"
Steve Pantazis, "Switch"
Scott R. Parkin, "Purpose Made for Alien Minds"
Martin L. Showmaker, "Unrefined"
Zach Chapman, "Between Screens" (published finalist)
Tung Chi Lee
Each winner, presented with The Golden Pen Award, was honored at the publication's award ceremony held at the Ebell Theatre.
Whether it is written by an established author, comic book writer, and film producer like Kevin Anderson; Ringworld mastermind Larry Niven; or an honored contest winner, each piece in this volume make the reader stop and think about the world around them -- what technology could do for the greater good or how it can harm, the hand the gods have in our lives, or if we are simply a smaller part of the greater populace of the universe.
Orson Scott Card says, "The Writers of the Future Contest looks for the people with the best imaginations who can see through the possibilities of the strangest and best ideas and tell stories that intrigue us and involve us."
We could not agree more! Every piece by a new writer astonished me and made me think about my own writing and how I can improve. Seeing previously unknown authors make their mark on the science fiction and fantasy genre makes me believe that one day it will be possible for me to get there, too.
Until then, I sit and read the stories of others and search for new and unique ways to make my own writing shine just a little bit brighter.
Congratulations to all of the published talent in Volume 31!