More Thoughts on the Writers of the Future Contest

So I had a little more time to ponder my Honorable Mention for the contest and wanted to get my thoughts down.

I didn’t mention anything about entering the contest because it was a last minute thing. Before, I didn’t feel that I was at that level of writing to get in it. Plus it seemed like such a hassle–instead of emailing your submission in, it had to be printed out in a special format and mailed before a deadline. It just seemed too much work. Plus, the fact that it’s sponsored by L. Ron Hubbard put me off. I’m still sore after the whole Battlefield Earth thing.

But I bided my time and did some research on the contest. I also scored a couple of the anthologies from my library and skimmed through them. The stories were pretty good, and plus it wasn’t just all science fiction as I thought–there was some good fantasy stories in there too. Then around the beginning of May, a couple of weeks before we moved to Madison, I had a short story rejected and I thought, what the hey? Send it in to Writers of the Contest. It won’t hurt.

So I did, with the expectation that the most I would get out of it would be an Honorable Mention. Now, if I understand the Honorable Mention category, those are the stories that have something going for them, but are lacking something that would push them over the top into the Semi-Finalist category. I don’t know what would’ve happened if I got nothing. I’d probably feel pretty bad and get all dramatic, saying I’m done with writing and going into full-time organic farming. Thankfully, that didn’t happen, though when they started listing the first sets of HMs, I did get a little nervous. Strangely, the fact that I was on the final list makes me feel pretty good. I don’t know what being on the final list really means–if it meant that it took them that long to decide on the entries, or if they just stuck them all in boxes and my story just so happened to be in the last box, I don’t know. I’m going to pretend it’s the former. It’s more motivational that way.

Since entering the contest, I’ve been checking out the WOTF forum and I’ve just listened to AISFP #63, where Shaun Farrell interviewed the winners of last year’s contest. Plus, the WOTF website has a 10 minute overview of the award ceremony (winners of the contest are flown out to Los Angeles where they attend a week-long workshop plus the ceremony). At one point, it had me in tears when Brittany Jackson won the Gold Award. A black female artist! How awesome! It made me want to rush out and buy the book just so I can have her illustration on my bookshelf. (Well, the book trailer made me want to get the book anyway, but her illustration would be a nice bonus.)

So my excitement for the contest has gone considerably up. I think I’ll continue sending stuff to the contest. I already have my next submission in the works–I just got to finish it up and send it out. Of course, I think every writer that enters the contest has the goal to keep submitting until they win or disqualified by a professional market printing their story. I think my little fantasy involves learning that I’m a finalist at the same time I get a notice that Realms of Fantasy has accepted another story.

A pleasant futile dream. But it’s still fun.

Here’s the WOTF Awards Ceremony from 2008.

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2 Responses

  1. If you like, I will send you a print out of Brittany’s artwork in the book. Just email me where you want it sent if you are interested.

  2. Awesome! I’ll email you now!

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