Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Miscon: Writers of the Future Panel

As an anniversary vacation trip, my husband and I attended the 30th Missoula Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention. This is different from other Cons I've attended in that the focus is on writers and gamers. This will be a series of posts on what I learned from the professional panelists.



Many writer's contests have fees, and usually after you win you have a credential to put in your bio, and that's it. This contest has no fees, and you can enter quarterly. If you don't win, you can send those stories out for publication, but the big reason to try your hand at this contest is that IF you win, it ends up being like an all-inclusive resort. This organization will take care of you as an asset and a colleague. You will attend a writer's workshop so that you can grow and become a success (for you and for them).

James Glass won the Writers of the Future contest in 1991 after entering twice. Julie Frost won after entering 29 times.

I have a few quotes from the panelists to share:

"There are a million and one reasons a story is rejected, and it can have nothing to do with the quality of the story." - James Glass

"They treat you like the celebrity you'll never be." - Randy Henderson, who made the audience laugh at every panel he did.

"At least two out of the twelve [winners] go on to be successful authors." - Kevin Anderson (who is a judge)

"The Writers of the Future's goal is to create successful career writers." - Kevin Anderson

As for writing advice? My favorite quote from this hour was from Randy Henderson, author of the Finn Fancy series -

"Engage with the world."

Now, there are rules to the contest and you can find those here. Kevin Anderson also made the recommendation that he prefers stories that are 8,000 words in length (the guidelines are up to 17,000 words in length).

I would also note that they spent a good amount of the hour reassuring and explaining that this contest is COMPLETELY separate from any Scientology stuff. There's no sales pitch. There's no shared mailing list. It is funded through his fiction work and dedicated to finding new writers.

Tomorrow I'll cover Ask the Editor and First Page Idol (during which I was very brave).

1 comment:

  1. I remember one of the panelists said they did get a Scientology mailer once. He called the WoF Coordinator who immediately jumped on it to make sure that wouldn't happen again. Good to know when there is an error, it is seriously addressed.

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