2022 Writers & Illustrators of the Future

Red Carpet Arrival

The 38th Writers of the Future Awards and 33rd Illustrators of the Future Awards gala event took place on Friday, April 8, 2022 at the Taglyan Complex in Los Angeles CA. The Writers of the Future Golden Pen Award went to Desmond Astaire for story ‘‘Gallows’’, and the Illustra­tors of the Future Golden Brush Award went to Zaine Lodhi for the illustration of ‘‘Agatha’s Monster’’. Each Golden Award winner received the traditional red-and-gold Lucite trophy and a check for $5,000. All the winning stories and artwork were published in the annual anthologies.

The awards were held in a large, el­egant banquet hall that hosted an audi­ence of special guests, writers, illustra­tors, contest judges, media personalities, and Author Services and Galaxy Press staffers, who represent and publish L. Ron Hubbard’s writing.

Winners, Judges, & Others (l to r): Echo Chernik (Illustrator Coordinating Judge), Nancy Cartwright (Presenter), Zaine Lodhi (Golden Brush Award Winner), Desmond Astaire (Golden Pen Award Winner), Jody Lynn Nye (Writer Coordinating Judge), Lt. General John F. Thompson USAF (ret) (Keynote Speaker)

Winners were flown in to attend a week-long workshop on writing, illustration, promotion, branding, career advice, and more, prior to the awards gala. Various talks and exercises were led both on-site and on­line by judges, former winners, and visiting profes­sionals, including Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta, Blake Casselman, Echo Chernik, Lazarus Chernik, Bob Eggleton, Craig Elliott, Larry Elmore, Kary English, Bill Fawcett, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Bea Jackson, Todd McCaffrey, Joe Montaldo, Leah Ning, Larry Niven, Jody Lynn Nye, Steve Pantazis, Tim Powers, Robert J. Sawyer, Martin Shoemaker, Dean Wesley Smith, Eric James Stone, Darci Stone, Michael Talbot, and Tom Wood.

Emily Goodwin, Anya Okorafor, Nnedi Okorafor, John Goodwin

The Friday evening awards banquet opened, after a dinner service, with singer Jesse L. Stevenson’s performance of L. Ron Hubbard’s song, ‘‘Men of Reason’’. Author Services Executive Director Gun­hild Jacobs was emcee, and welcomed the audience, noting that they would be celebrating 30 winners: 23 from the current year, and seven from the previous two years, who hadn’t been able to attend before. She introduced new coordinating judge Jody Lynn Nye and the new anthology editor Dean Wes­ley Smith.

Lydia van Vogt, Kevin J. Anderson, Marlene Piper (Lydia van Vogt’s daughter)

President of Galaxy Press John Good­win presented the 2022 anthology, L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future, Volume 38, with cover art by Bob Eggleton. The keynote speaker was retired Lt. General John F. ‘‘J.T.’’ Thompson. Thompson said, ‘‘I really admire, and we all should, those people who are continually perfecting their craft.’’ He praised writers and artists who go through the process of sending out their work, receiving feedback, and similar, including all those who enter the WoTF contests. He talked about Hub­bard putting forward the ideas of a ‘‘US Aviation Department’’ and a ‘‘US Air Force… as early as 1941,’’ noting that Truman officially established the USAF in 1947. Thompson spoke on the need to competitively drive technologies and developments for space, and the relationship between those developments and science fiction. Various judge present­ers introduced the winners from each quarter for both years, honoring each with a blue, pyramid-shaped Lucite trophy. A never-before-seen video interview with Frank Frazetta was played to ‘‘pay tribute to that which is within every single human being: creativ­ity.’’ The evening was well produced and organized, and managed to present the large number of awards in just over two-and-a-half-hours. A reception followed the events, where the audience mingled with the winning writers and illustrators, who were on hand to autograph the anthology. The event was streamed at <www.writersofthefuture.com>.

After Event Book Signing

There are no entry fees to the contests, which choose three writers and three illustra­tors every quarter; entries may be submitted online. Writers who have not professionally published a novel or short novel, or with no more than three professionally published stories or one novelette in any medium are eligible, as are illustrators with no more than three story illustrations or one color piece in a nationally distributed medium. For information about the contest and ceremony updates, see their website.

–Arley Sorg

This report and more like it in the May 2022 issue of Locus.

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