The Writers & Illustrators of the Future contest is the foremost contest in science fiction & fantasy. It is entirely free to enter for eligible amateurs and offers prizes up to $5000, with a week long workshop culminating in an awards ceremony in Hollywood--all offered free to the winners.
The Writers contest is open to writers who have not yet had a novel published professionally, or more than one novelette, or more than three short stories. It runs throughout the year, divided into quarters; writers submit an original and previously unpublished story of up to 17,000 words, and the stories are all read & judged anonymously by co-ordinating judge David Farland. The best eight are passed to a panel of other judges for final placing--a panel made up of such genre luminaries as Tim Powers, Larry Niven and Nancy Kress. The three winners are awarded an immediate cash prize--$1000, $750, or $500--and invited to attend the week long writers' workshop led by David Farland and Tim Powers, all expenses paid.
The Illustrators contest also runs throughout the year for new and amateur artists who have not been professionally published and paid for more than three black-and-white story illustrations, or more than one process-color painting, in media distributed broadly to the general public. Illustrators submit a portfolio of three illustrations (of different subjects) and three winners are selected by judges Ron and Val Lindahn, Larry Elmore, and other famed artists and illustrators. These three winners each receive an immediate cash prize of $500 and are invited to attend the week long illustrators' workshop, all expenses paid.
The twelve winning stories (and one or more additional stories selected from the quarterly finalists) are collected into an anthology edited by David Farland, with each story illustrated in full colour by one of the winning illustrators. This best-selling anthology is recognised by those in the field as one of the best ways to launch a career in speculative fiction.
The awards ceremony, held each year in April at a Hollywood theatre, culminates with the awarding of the two Grand Prizes, one for writers and one for illustrators, as decided by a full panel of up to 30 judges from the science fiction & fantasy fields. These winners each receive a $5000 prize.
The true prize, however, is the opportunity to learn from experienced professionals at the week long workshop and to meet a network of peers and make lifelong friends amongst the winners in your group. Writers & Illustrators of the Future is truly a life-changing opportunity. Read more about the contests at the official website, WritersOfTheFuture.com.
Writers of the Future was established in 1983 by L. Ron Hubbard, formalising and continuing a career long tradition of supporting new writers in speculative fiction. The roots of the contest stretch back to the Golden Pen Hour, a KGBU radio show that Hubbard started in 1940 in Ketchikan, Alaska.
The writers' contest was originally co-ordinated by Algis Budrys, later by KD Wentworth, and currently by David Farland. It has involved over thirty other top writers from the field and launched the careers of writers as varied and successful as Patrick Rothfuss, Stephen Baxter, Jay Lake and Nina Kiriki Hoffman--as well as David Farland himself, a winner in 1987.
Illustrators of the Future was incorporated into the contest in 1988 to offer the same opportunity for illustrators as writers had enjoyed for five years. The original panel of judges included such giants of the field as Jack Kirby, Will Eisner, Moebius, Bob Eggleton and Frank Razetta, as well as Ron and Val Lindahn who still run the workshop to this day.
entering the contest
Writers & Illustrators of the Future runs throughout the year, is free to enter, and offers winners the opportunity of a lifetime to learn and network with experienced professionals. There is no greater prize package in speculative fiction than that offered by Writers & Illustrators of the Future.
Rules for both contests and the relevant entry forms can all be found at the official website, WritersOfTheFuture.com.