The Writers of the Future Contest (WOTF) is a class act. If you write speculative fiction (sci-fi or fantasy) and aren’t a pro, then do yourself a favor and submit.
I have been sitting on this for a while, since it wasn’t public, but I recently got my second honorable mention (2 honorable mentions in 3 tries). This one is for fun sci-fi adventure novelette called “Ghost Hacker, Zombie Maker”.
Here is what is classy about this contest:
- No entry fees, WOTF is the real deal.
- The contest is only open to new writers (they have a very specific definition).
- Winners get published in a well regarded, widely distributed anthology.
- Winners get paid professional rates (above in many cases) for their work.
- There is a big, glitzy awards ceremony every year.
- Winning comes with a week long workshop taught by professional working writers.
- Honorable mention gets you a public mention and a beautiful certificate.
I’ve talked about this before before: it’s tough to break in. It is a long road filled with loads anonymous rejection. This organization treats new writer with respect, but more than that is actively cultivating the next generation of spec-fi writers.
I’ve had a few email exchanges with Jodi Labaqui the, Contest Director. The first time, I just wanted to cry. I had sent just a simple thank-you for letting me know my story had been received. I was shocked to hear back for Joni in the first place, but she replied with such enthusiasm and encouragement that I was moved . The normal vibe regarding submissions is: leave us alone we are just so damn busy. And I get it and I understand it, but with WOTF they have the resources to be more generous with their time. And, when you are just starting out, dealing with the isolation and rejection, that can have a big impact.
Last year Brad Torgersen blogged extensively about his experience and the value of being a WOTF winner (he even went so far as to quantity in dollars–he came up with a $10,106 value, just for the tangibles). Do you see what I’m talking about? This is an amazing organization and an amazing opportunity.
This may sound strange, but they give so much, I have had concerns about selling to other venues before winning WOTF (and thus no longer being qualified). What they do sounds so amazing , I really, really want to win. Don’t get me wrong, I will take a sale gratefully from any direction, this is just an indication of how awesome it is to win WOTF.
So back to the honorable mention. It is there, clearly, to encourage writers like me. But it is not just an email. It is that, plus a public mention, plus a certificate. See, this is a class organization. Those extra little things really make a difference. Well, it has for me. I have submitted every quarter since I found out about it.
So kudos and thanks to L. Ron Hubbard (who started the contest in 1938, and whose legacy this is), Joni Labaqui and all the rest of the folks at Author Services (the company behind it all), and the judges who are doing such amazing things for the spec-fi community.