“In 1983, philosopher and best-selling author L. Ron Hubbard created the Writers of the Future, a competition that would find and encourage the next generation of writers in the fields of science fiction and fantasy, followed in 1988 by the creation of a sister contest, Illustrators of the Future, to do the same for aspiring artists.
A seminal version of the Writers of the Future Contest began in 1940, when Hubbard inaugurated “The Golden Pen” hour and an attendant contest for aspiring authors on radio station KGBU in Ketchikan, Alaska, a contest designed to create a level playing field for newcomers. “Anyone but professional writers may participate.” That was the rule.
More than four decades later, in 1983, L. Ron Hubbard created and endowed the Writers of the Future Contest as a means to discover and nurture new talent in science fiction.
“It was with this in mind that I initiated a means for new and budding writers to have a chance for their creative efforts to be seen and acknowledged.” — L. Ron Hubbard
The Contest is very much an extension of a well-established and demonstrated philosophy of “paying it forward” to help new generations of writers.
There is no entry fee, and winners receive cash prizes of up to $5,000. Each quarter, thousands of submissions come in from across the globe. The contests have received entries from 147 countries.
The stories, all of them anonymous, are read by a blue-ribbon panel of judges that include some of the greatest luminaries in science fiction and fantasy. Art pieces by the illustrator entrants are similarly judged by powerhouse artists in the field. And out of thousands of submissions, the judges each quarter choose the top three, the very best.
All of the quarterly winners are invited to attend an intensive, five-day master-class workshop where they are taught the skills and techniques to become true professionals.
The winners are celebrated at a gala awards event that has been held in prestigious venues across the United States.
Their winning stories, along with accompanying illustrations, are published in an annual anthology with wide distribution to bookstores nationwide and abroad. For many, this is just the first step in a long and successful career.
Past winners of the Writers of the Future Contest have gone on to publish well over 700 novels and 3000 short stories; they have become international bestsellers and have won the most prestigious accolades in the field—the Hugo, the Nebula, the John W. Campbell, the Bram Stoker, and the Locus Award—and even mainstream literary awards such as the National Book Award, the Newbery and the Pushcart Prize. The Illustrators of the Future winners have gone on to publish millions of illustrations in the field.
Each year the Contests welcome a dozen talented new writers and illustrators into the field as published professionals. And countless others have been inspired to keep writing, keep creating, keep entering and keep dreaming their creative visions.
Writers and Illustrators of the Future are the most enduring and influential contests in the history of science fiction and fantasy.”
And they honored me. Words cannot express my pride