Tampa Bay Comic Con Writers Contest 40th Year

Jul 26, 2023 | Education, Good News Tampa, Programs & Events

One of the most prestigious writing competitions in the world, is currently completing its 40th year and is judged by some of the premier names in speculative fiction at this year’s Tampa Bay Comic Con. The Writers of the Future Contest was formed for a purpose beyond simply giving awards—it was intended to help foster the next generation of master writers.

The need to help aspiring writers and artists is very real. There are upwards of 4 million books published each year, with 75% being self-published (roughly 3 million). The sad fact is that the average self-published author makes $1,000 annually, selling only 250 copies. (Self-published Books & Authors Sales Statistics [2023] by Nicholas Rizzo)

Writers and Illustrators of the Future, by the very nature of the Contests, has become one of the most diverse anthologies published, this year with winners from nine countries. Entries have now been received from over 175 countries. Contests are open to all amateur writers and illustrators of speculative fiction, free to enter, and judging is blind—meaning judges only see the story or art and a number assigned to it—making it a true meritocracy.

The Writers of the Future Contest judges include, Tim Powers (author of On Stranger Tides), Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert (Dune prequel series), Robert J. Sawyer (Quantum Night), Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn series, Stormlight Archive), Larry Niven (Ringworld), Orson Scott Card (Ender’s Game), Nnedi Okorafor (Who Fears Death), and Katherine Kurtz (Deryni series) to name a few.

Illustrators of the Future Contest judges include, Bob Eggleton (11 Chesley Awards and 7 Hugo Awards), Larry Elmore (Dungeons & Dragons book covers), Echo Chernik (graphic designs for major corporations including Celestial Seasons tea packaging), Rob Prior (art for SpawnHeavy Metal comics and Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Ciruelo (Eragon Coloring Book).

John Goodwin, President Galaxy Press, publisher of the internationally award-winning anthology “L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future,” will be on hand at the Tampa Comic Con this Friday – Sunday, July 28-30, with Writers of the Future Contest judges and winners on hand at booth #1527.

Following the 1982 release of his internationally acclaimed bestselling science fiction novel, Battlefield Earth, written in celebration of 50 years as a professional writer, L. Ron Hubbard created the Writers of the Future (writersofthefuture.com) in 1983 to provide a means for aspiring writers of speculative fiction to get that much-needed break. Due to the success of the Writers of the Future Contest, the companion Illustrators of the Future Contest was inaugurated five years later.

The intensive mentoring process has proven very successful. The 547 winners and published finalists of the Writing Contest have published over 2,000 novels and nearly 6,300 short stories. In addition, they have produced 36 New York Times bestsellers, and their works have sold over 60 million copies.

The 394 past winners of the Illustrating Contest have produced over 6,800 illustrations, 390 comic books, graced 700 books and albums with their art, and visually contributed to 68 TV shows and 40 major movies.

Hundreds of winners have had successful writing careers following their win and publication in the anthology, and to date has launched the careers of 12 New York Times bestselling authors including: Jo Beverley, Tobias S. Buckell, Nancy Farmer, Eric Flint, Karen Joy Fowler, Tim Myers, Patrick Rothfuss, Lisa Smedman, Dean Wesley Smith, Elizabeth Wein, Sean Williams, and Dave Wolverton aka David Farland.

For more information about the Contests, go to www.WritersoftheFuture.com.

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