Writers and Illustrators of the Future Award Ceremony 2015: Always an Inspiring Event

Rebecca and I just got back from the Writers and Illustrators of the Future weekend. This event never fails to fill me with huge hope, seeing so many talented people being honored for their amazing work and setting the standard for the next generation of science fiction and fantasy writers and artists.

We were well-taken care of by the Galaxy Press and Authors Services team, who brought us in from the airport and made sure we had our schedule laid out. The writer and artist winners got a full week of workshops and presentations, teaching them how to grow their talents and careers in the years to come. Rebecca and I arrived Friday to give our two-hour talk on being professional writers, and we handed out a bunch of free books from our Million Dollar Writing series to the winners.

In-between everything, I managed to grab lunch with Doug Beason and Jethro Tull drummer Doane Perry. And, in light of my Hugo nomination, I got approached by Jerry Pournelle, who clapped me on the shoulder and said, “Congratulations on the Hugo Nomination. And it’s ABOUT DAMN TIME!!!”


Kevin J. Anderson, Doane Perry, Doug Beason


with Dr. Jerry Pournelle

I was especially pleased that my publisher Tom Doherty, of Tor Books, received the Lifetime Achievement Award, recognition well deserved for the man who did a tremendous amount to make my career what it is today.


with Tom and Tanya Doherty


WordFire Press on the red carpet, with Peter J. Wacks, Kevin J. Anderson, Rebecca Moesta, Alexi Vandenberg, Josh Vogt


Setting up for the big show

Then it was time for the ceremony itself. Past and current judges (including Rebecca and myself), include: Dr. Doug Beason, Dr. Gregory Benford, Algis Budrys, Orson Scott Card, Hal Clement, Eric Flint, Brian Herbert, Frank Herbert, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Dr. Yoji Kondo, Nancy Kress, Anne McCaffrey, Todd McCaffrey, C. L. Moore, Larry Niven, Andre Norton, Frederik Pohl, Dr. Jerry Pournelle, Tim Powers, Mike Resnick, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Brandon Sanderson, Robert J. Sawyer, Dr. Charles Sheffield, Robert Silverberg, Dean Wesley Smith, Theodore Sturgeon, K. D. Wentworth, Sean Williams, Jack Williamson, Dave Wolverton, Roger Zelazny, Edd Cartier, Robert Castillo, Vincent Di Fate, Leo and Diane Dillon, H. R. Van Dongen, Dave Dorman, Bob Eggleton, Wil Eisner, Larry Elmore, Frank Frazetta, Laura Brodian Freas, Frank Kelly Freas, Stephen Hickman, Jack Kirby, Paul Lehr, Ron and Val Lindahn, Stephan Martiniere, Gary Meyer, Judith Miller, Cliff Nielsen, Sergey Poyarkov, Shaun Tan, and Stephen Youll.

It was a glitzy, packed event as always, with wonderful performances, tear-jerking award speeches, and a great deal of satisfaction all around. I am so happy Rebecca and I are judges for this contest.

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me presenting the award (along with artist judge Sergey Poyarkov) to Daniel Pantazis

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Rebecca and Illustrators of the Future Judge Dave Dorman (and our Young Jedi Knights cover artist!) to Tim Napper

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And here’s the official list of the 2015 winners and finalists:


Kary English, Michael T. Banker, Amy Hughes, Daniel J. Davis, Zach Chapman, Krystal Claxton, Steve Pantazis, Sharon Joss, Scott R. Parkin, Martin Shoemaker, Auston Habershaw, Tim Napper, and Samantha Murray.


Tung Chi Lee, Michelle Lockamy, Emily Siu, Shuangjian Liu, Taylor Payton, Amit Dutta, Alex Brock, Quinlan Septer, Choong Nyung Yoon, Nyung Yoon, Megen Nelson, Megan Kelchner, and Daniel Tyka.

The Golden Pen Award went to Sharon Joss while the Golden Brush Award went to Michelle Lockamy. And the whole book was edited by Dave Wolverton.

Congratulations to one and all!

If you missed the live stream of the event, you can still catch every spectacular moment online here:

Well, the weekend is over, but the work is never done. Time to get back to writing and editing, including editing the first draft for Navigators of Dune!

And if you’re a writer or artist of any sort, take the advice many of the winners echoed: Keep on submitting to the contest. Submit, and submit, and SUBMIT until you’re the next one up on that stage.