After as long as a year’s wait, fourteen writers (and one illustrator!) from around the world descended on Los Angeles today as the 33rd Annual Writers of the Future workshop commenced. They came from Finland, and from Utah. From Poland, and Kentucky. From the United Kingdom, Michigan, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Missouri, and, yes, even California. This international flavor has always been one of the most exciting things about the event as far as I’m concerned. How better to show the pure human nature of creativity than to see it coming from across the entire planet?
After settling into the hotel and getting situated, the evening’s main event was an introductory gathering of the winners in which each took a few moments to share their backgrounds. Then it was the instructors’ turn. Tim Powers and Dave Farland each gave a few words on how they expected the week to go. The discussion was light-hearted and energetic. You could feel the energy building in the room as Tim and Dave talked about the purpose of the event, and the purpose of the contest itself—to move writers to a different level of thinking about the craft, art, productivity, and perseverance it can take to be successful as a writer.
As a returning participant, it was a total blast to watch the reactions around the group to the idea of writing a story in 24 hours. Sure, everyone knew it was coming, but the idea got more real as Tim described the three “prompts” the gang would get: A seemingly normal object, a book on some random thing, and a conversation with a random stranger. “Put them all together,” Tim said. “And come back with a complete story.”
“I can’t wait to get started,” Jake Marley said. “I’m excited!”
By the end of the night it seemed clear that this was a sentiment shared by everyone.
See highlights of the day in pics below:
Writer winner Doug Souza
Clare Kagmi being greeted at the airport
Ziporah Hildebrandt arriving at LAX
Sean Hazlett at LAX
Writers Molly, David and Sean
Dustin and Andrew meeting at the airport
Writer winner Andrew Peery
The Loews Hotel Hollywood
Jake Marley, the first to arrive
And still more…
Meeting the other winners in front of the hotel
Writer winner Dustin Steinacker
Published finalists, Molly Atkins and David VonAllmen
Writer winner Ville Merilainen
Meet and greet at the hotel
Jake Marley and Andrew Roberts
Checking out the room–and bed–what fun!
View of the Hollywood Hills from the hotel
David VonAllmen giving his thumbs up
Dustin Steinacker being interviewed
Ville being interviewed
Writer winner Clare Kagmi
Writers sharing their background
Writers getting introduced to each other
Tim Powers briefing the winners
After hours, winners talking to Tim Powers.
End of the night, winners talking with David Farland.
Guest blogger, Ron Collins. Ron Collins was a Writers of the Future published finalist in 1998 and a prize winner in 1999. He has gone on to publish about 100 short stories in prominent magazines and anthologies. Each volume in his fantasy serial Saga of the God-Touched Mage, hit the top 10 on Amazon’s bestselling Dark Fantasy list in the US, UK, and Australia. His short story, “The White Game” was nominated for the Short Mystery Fiction Society’s 2016 Derringer Award. The first four books of his current SF series, Stealing the Sun, are available now.