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  • Writer's pictureNurse Shannan

📚✍️ Check out the Writers of the Future: Contest and Anthology!

Check out the Writers of the Future: Contest and Anthology!


The Writers of the Future contest is dedicated to discovering and nurturing new authors and illustrators. It is a great resource for aspiring writers as it not only provides an incentive to write and complete works of fiction, but also to submit them for a chance to win.


Because it is limited to NEW authors and artists, it is also a resource for moms. If your teen has a desire to write or illustrate, you need to know about this program.


The competition is limited to only NEW authors and artists.


AND the judging is done blind, so each story is considered on equal ground no matter their race, gender, or age – just how good the story or artwork is. Real diversity.

It is free to enter, so not cost barrier.

It is judged every quarter.

The winners are published in the annual anthology and their story is illustrated by a winning artist. They are paid professional rates and they win a cash award. Both an author and illustrator have a chance at earning another $5,000 if they are selected as the Golden Pen or Golden Brush winners.

Once a year, the winners and judges are flown to Hollywood for Oscar-type awards ceremony with trophies. There is also a week-long work shop to help hone their skills.

And who are the judges? Who selects the stories? It is the who’s who of genre fiction: authors like Brandon Sanderson, Nnedi Okorafor, Jody Lynn Nye, Orson Scott Card, Larry Niven, and Kevin J. Anderson (list of the writer judges here:

To prepare to enter, they offer a free online workshop (, a Writing podcast (, and writing forum ( ).

There are also lesson plans and discussion guides on their site (

The contest has been running for over 38 years. It was started by the author L. Ron Hubbard to provide “a means for new and budding writers to have a chance for their creative efforts to be seen and acknowledged.” He is well-known for Battlefield Earth, a science fiction classic.

You may recognize some of the famous authors discovered by contest like Brandon Sanderson was a finalist, Nnedi Okorafor, Sean Williams, Patrick Rothfus, Jo Beverly, Eric Flint, and many others I am sure.


Of course, the annual book is the crown jewel. The best of best of new talent all in one volume. Writers of the Future Volume 38 was released this year.


The winning stories and their illustrations are a diverse collection from post-apocalyptic to high fantasy and space opera to magical realism. They are high interest and unique. No inappropriate content for high school age readers.

There are also short stories by Frank Herbert, David Farland, and L. Ron Hubbard. Frank Hebert of Dune renown was a judge for the contest, and his last essay with advice for new writers and one of his rare short stories are both in this book. 

There is also a story about saving the mammoths. What teen would not want to read about them?

Here is the book trailer:

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I think you’ll find it helpful for both your avid readers and the reluctant readers (because the stories are short and interesting). 

Book reviews: 

 “This anthology includes last year’s WotF winners, which is reflected by the overall high quality of the stories. This anthology contains thirteen original stories that are described as powerful, unpredictable, nicely crafted, appealing story with many twists, has an engaging balance, one successfully re-invents time travel stories, and another pulls the reader in from the mystery’s opening and zips along until the shadowy end.” —Tangent Online


A literary smorgasbord where each new story comes with a feeling of excitement and mystery. With so many short stories one might imagine it easy to put down between breaks, but instead it's a binge read. Just one more, you think, and the next thing you know the entire book is gone! illustrations alone make Writers of the Future Vol. 38 worth every single penny! My favorite line in the book: ‘Everyone’s got a story to hide, and I enjoy stealing it out of them.’” —The International Review of Books 


Additional thoughts

If you are looking for new science fiction, fantasy, and horror short stories this book will entertain the whole family. If you are on a budget, the book is also available at the library.

If your teens are aspiring writers or illustrators of genre fiction, have them look into the contest and the free resources.

Quick links to the contest resources and book:

List of Writers of the Future & L. Ron Hubbard books


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