Writers finally get their crack at fame

DOWNEY - If you think the chance to win on a show like "American Idol" is steep, try writing or drawing. Each year, tens of thousands are turned away by the publishing industry. It's a brutal weeding out process that causes many creatives to stop their dreams dead.But there's one entrant-friendly contest that's been called the "American Idol" for writers and illustrators. That's because it gives instant worldwide recognition, cash, and coaching to fledgling writers and illustrators. It's the worldwide L. Ron Hubbard's Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contest just completing its 24th successful year -- a writing contest and illustrating contest that's free for all entrants and age groups. "Beginning writers and illustrators are driven by the same things that you see of the contestants on 'American Idol'," said John Goodwin, president Galaxy Press, contest book publisher. "They've got passion, creative drive, and a dream: they just need a break." This year's winners came from around the globe including Argentina, Australia, Canada and throughout the United States. "You could call the Writers of the Future Contest 'The American Idol for Writers' -- long before there ever was an American Idol," said USA Today and New York Times best-selling author and Contest judge Kevin J. Anderson ("Dune" prequels, "Saga of Seven Suns," "Star Wars"). "It's amazing to me that a good 60 to 70 percent of the winners go on with successful careers in writing, and several have become best-selling authors themselves." Each year, Galaxy Press awards all winners with cash prizes, free travel and accommodations, week-long professional workshop, and guaranteed publication in their best-selling annual speculative fiction anthology, L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers and Illustrators of the Future. Throughout the Contest's 24-year history, more than 500 writers and illustrators have been recognized as winners, according to Galaxy Press' Goodwin. Writers have gone on to publish over 300 novels and 3,000 short stories. Former writing contest winners with works listed on the New York Times best-seller's list include Stephen Baxter, Jo Beverly, Leonard Carpenter, Nancy Farmer, Karen Joy Fowler, Robert Reed, Patrick Rothfus, Dean Wesley Smith, Sean Williams, Dave Wolverton and David Zindell. In addition to Kevin J. Anderson, well-known contest judges include national best-selling authors such as Orson Scott Card, Anne McCaffrey, Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, Tim Powers, Robert Sawyer, Robert Silverberg and K.D. Wentworth. Inspired by best-selling author L. Ron Hubbard, the merit-based Writers of the Future writing contest was initiated 25 years ago to discover and encourage talented beginning writers of science fiction and fantasy. The Contest was later expanded to include illustrators whose winners have also gone on to successful illustration and design careers. For information on how to enter the contests, go to www.writersofthefuture.com. ********** Published: January 30, 2009 - Volume 7 - Issue 41