Challenge,  Misc,  On Writing

Great Time at Writers of the Future

Home Saturday…

I had a really fun week spending time with old friends and meeting a lot of young new writers. They all seemed very dedicated and very young and talented, which honestly makes me feel very positive for the future of writing in science fiction and fantasy.

The event went off without a hitch, the food was amazing, and the gathering after I got out of my tux around the pool was a ton of fun.

So if you are not submitting stories to this contest every quarter, you are missing the best thing you can do for your writing career. I was amazed at what some of these writers had gone through to be on that stage. One said he had started submitting back in the 1990s. That’s dedication.

So I will be back to my office by tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon. So if I have missed something, let me know then.



  • Kris+Rusch

    You took off your tux at the pool? See what happens when I’m not around? Glad you had fun. Am looking forward to your arrival here soon.

  • Bonner Litchfield

    I’ve been consitently submitting to the contest for around four years. Not every quarter (have to admit) but most. So far eight or nine honorable mentions.

    Till recently, I had no clue that winning included in-person workshops, an awards ceremony, meeting long term pros, all of that . . . I just saw it as a paying market to submit to. Which is also true.

    They’ve also got a free class on their site. Video lectures by Card, Farland, and Powers. Plus essays by Hubbard. The exercises I completed morphed into a finished story that also got honorable mention. So everything about WOTF fosters developing as a writer.

    • dwsmith

      Yup, one winner had been submitting since the 1990s before making it to the stage and the in-person workshops. Dave Farland and Tim Powers taught it this year with a bunch of us coming in for a few hours here and there. Great fun. Worth it, folks.

  • Sean Monaghan

    Also, what happens if you keep submitting, and practising, you’re likely to get better. At some point you ‘pro-out’, as in you’ve sold stories to professional markets and you’re no longer eligible for the contest. I had mixed feelings when it happened to me – yay I was selling, but it meant I would never get to that workshop. Anyway, it gave me a clear goal, just that I ended up achieving it in a different way.

    • dwsmith

      Yup, that happens. Kris never made it into the book and neither did Kevin. Both tried until they sold too much. They are now judges. And since I was a finalist, not a winner in the first book, I kept trying for another year and never made it back in either before I sold too many.

    • Michèle+Laframboise

      Sean, I submitted this year, but I am ‘pro-ing’ out, because I have, since that submission, more than three sfwa-worthy sales ( not counting the Fiction River sales). Last top market sale confirmed yesterday.

      • Martin L Shoemaker

        Unless the rules have changed, you remain eligible until the stories are published, not just accepted. You’re even eligible if you submit to a quarter and then the stories get published later in that story. That’s how I won. I made it a point to always submit on the first day of the quarter just in case.