Writers and Illustrators of the Future Gala

By Valerie Milano

Ballroom at the Taglyan The Ballroom at the Taglyan Cultural Complex

Look to the stars, and you might be more likely to hear something than see it. Storytelling is at its apex of both interest and quality, especially in sci-fi circles. Ceilings are being shattered. "This year was groundbreaking in that Aliya Chen made history becoming our first Chinese Grand Prize Winner ever selected in either of our competitions," said John Goodwin, President of Galaxy Press.  

The 35th Annual Writers of the Future and 30th Annual Illustrators of the Future L. Ron Hubbard Achievement Awards was held as a black tie Gala in the ballroom at the Taglyan Cultural Complex in Hollywood.  An impressive 4-course meal was presented by Divine Food. Guests were treated to a performance of Sci-Fi Stomp and Body Percussion Dance.  

Keynote speaker Ed Hulse, an award-winning journalist and historian who documents popular American culture of the late 19th and 20th centuries, summed up the futuristic mission of the event,  "You represent a new generation of writers," he stated with considerable, venerable authority.  "Alternately building upon and superseding literary traditions now more than a century old. Yours are the ideas and concepts that will shape Science Fiction for years to come."

John Goodwin
John Goodwin, President of Galaxy Press

The ceremony was truly a starry-eyed affair, in every sense of the word.  As if to punctuate this, a formal book signing was even held following the ceremony and dinner.  The 12 Quarterly Awards Winners in the Writing Competition were presented with both cash prizes (sustenance for starving authors) and trophies (the ultimate reminder of the achievement). Winners were Kyle Kirrin of Creede, CO; Preston Dennett of Reseda, CA; Kai Wolden of Eden Prairie, MNi; David Cleden of Fleet, Hampshire, UK; Rustin Lovewell of Gaithersburg, MD; Carrie Callahan Bardstown, of KY; Elise Stephens of Seattle, WA; Christopher Baker of Ramsbury, Wiltshire, UK; Mica Scott Kole of Westland, MI; Andrew Dykstal of Arlington, VA; Wulf Moon of Sequim, WA; and John Haas of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Clearly, the UK made a strong showing with great talent this year. 

On the illustrators side, winners (also presented with cash and trophies) were: Emerson Rabbitt of Minneapolis, MN; Vytautas V (Vytautas Vasiliauskas) of Paris France; Yinying Jiang of Oxford, Oxfordshire, UK; Alexander Gustafson of Essex Junction, VT; Christine Rhee of San Francisco, CA; Sam Kemp of Birmingham, West Midlands, England; Allen Morris of Cleveland, MS; Jennifer Ober of Atlanta, GA; Josh Pemberton of Seattle, WA; Qianjiao Ma of Arcadia, CA; Alice Wang of Bellevue, WA; and Aliya Chen of Fair Oaks, CA.  The Golden state really shone brightly in the art category.  

Galaxy Press Awards The Winners and the Judges

The winners also were, in addition to the typical prizes,  invited to attend a workshop with Echo Chernik and other judges to learn the business side of being a professional in the field--skills that aren't typically presented in the education of a writer or an artist, and which are extremely useful.  

The awards did exactly what they represent: look toward the future, presenting the talent that will bring us there. As we saw at the ceremony: there truly are no limits.  

Posted By Admin on May 02, 2019 11:46 am | Permalink