by Joni Labaqui
Writers of the Future has a long relationship with Kobo. When I ran into the team at the Superstars Writing Seminars, I was inspired to share some writing tips and free resources on the Kobo Writing Life Blog.
If you are an aspiring writer of genre fiction, you may already know what Writers of the Future is. However, for those who do not, check out our website here.
Do You Want to Improve Your Craft as a Writer?
The Writers of the Future website provides many free resources to help you improve your craft and your shot at winning.
One of the tools is a free online writer’s workshop which includes 13 video presentations featuring Writers of the Future judges: David Farland, Tim Powers, and Orson Scott Card.
The intermediate lessons cover the seven parts of a perfect short story, when and how to use narration, tips for opening the story, writing the middle, and ending it well. Lessons include information on creating suspense, writing dialogue, and how to hook readers into reading your story.
There are 11 lessons with practical exercises and essays from Contest Founder L. Ron Hubbard and Founding Contest Coordinating Judge Algis Budrys.
Here are links to a few of the other free resources:
The Annual Anthology & Writing Advice
The annually published anthology is a must-read for anyone working to improve their craft.
Each year, in addition to the winning entries, there is writing advice from the judges and L. Ron Hubbard. For instance, volume 39 has “Circulate” by L. Ron Hubbard, where he tells the story of fellow high-production writer Jack London’s secret that allowed him to write even when he seemed fresh out of ideas—also known as the infamous “writer’s block.” This advice proved magical for top production writers in the past and remains just as effective today.
Also, Kristine Kathryn Rusch shares her formula for balancing a prolific writing career and caring for herself and loved ones in “Prioritize to Increase Your Writing.” This balance has helped her to stay true to her dreams.
Previous volumes include writing tips from Frank Herbert, Orson Scott Card, Brandon Sanderson, Nnedi Okorafor, Kevin J. Anderson, and many others (there are over 15 of the books available on Kobo).
The annual anthology is unique. It is a compilation of the year’s winning stories, and each one is illustrated. The blue-ribbon panel of judges hand-pick the winners. As judge and bestselling author Robert J. Sawyer puts it, “The best of the best culled for you, curated and selected in a single volume every year.”
The Writers of the Future Volume 39, our newest volume, introduces 12 fresh voices in speculative fiction. Check out these reviews:
“No corner of the speculative fiction genre has been left untouched with these epic stories. This book represents the best and brightest upcoming authors and illustrators within the genre. I completely loved it!” —The International Review of Books
“Riveting. An epic collection with beautiful new voices, bonus stories, and remarkable artwork.” —Readers’ Favorite
Bonus: Galaxy Press offers a bonus when ordering Writers of the Future Volume 39. They will send you wallpaper art for your mobile phone and desktop of the cover art “Wyvern Crucible” by Tom Wood, two free short stories from Volume 38, and the eBook “Advice for New Writers,” with tips from bestselling authors like Brandon Sanderson, Orson Scott Card, Tim Powers, and more. To redeem your bonus send your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the Writers of the Future Contest?
Writers of the Future is a writing and illustration contest for aspiring talent.
The contest was established by author L. Ron Hubbard as a way to help discover and nurture new writers, as you can see in his introduction in the first published anthology:
“A culture is as rich and as capable of surviving as it has imaginative artists. The artist is looked upon to start things. The artist injects the spirit of life into a culture. And through his creative endeavors, the writer works continually to give tomorrow a new form.
“In these modern times, there are many communication lines for works of art. Because a few works of art can be shown so easily to so many, there may even be fewer artists. The competition is very keen and even dagger sharp.
“It is 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.”
Renowned authors select three winning stories each quarter, and all entries are judged blind. There is no fee to enter, and it is open to all new authors of science fiction, fantasy, and horror.
Writers of the Future, at its heart, is all about helping writers and illustrators become the best they can be and helping them spread their words and images to the world.
For readers, it is a great way to discover new authors. Contest judge and bestselling author Brandon Sanderson says, “These are the people who are going to be creating trends.”
You will love this collection of the best new voices in science fiction and fantasy because, as Locus magazine puts it, “Not only is the writing excellent…it is also extremely varied. There’s a lot of hot new talent.”
I wish you the best success!
Joni Labaqui, Contest Administrator
Writers of the Future
Quick links and further reading:
Contest social links: