Welcome to my yearly review of the Writers of the Future anthology. This marks my sixth review of the contest. An explanation on my approach to reviewing this anthology I provided in my review of WotF 28. WotF 29 marks a change in tenure of Coordinating judge. Dave Wolverton (a.k.a Dave Farland) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ gold award winner of contest #3 and bestselling author of the Runelords series, takes over for the departed Kathy Wentworth. With the exception of a portion of the first quarter, all the entries from last year went across DaveÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s desk. Many writers had studied and pondered on what it took to impress the late Ms Wentworth. The abrupt change in first reader sent shockwaves through the forums populated by writers hoping to crack into the anthology. The big question was Ã¢â‚¬Ëœwould the standards changeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ for winning the contest. If the winners are indication, my answer would be a soft yes, but by all means, judge for yourselfÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
Before I cut my reviewing teeth at Tangent Online, before Daily Science Fiction came to life, I shared my thoughts on the Writers of the Future anthology here at Diabolical Plots. WotF is a contest like none other in literature. The dream child of the late – and controversial – science fiction author, L Ron Hubbard, WotF is a contest reserved for the amateur writers of speculative fiction. Its judges are staffed with the icons in the industry. Winners of the contest have often gone on to greater success. Skeptical? A simple roll call of Hugo and Nebula nominees of the past decade plus is all the evidence you need. Many authors who now make writing their career Ã¢â‚¬â€œ including the last two coordinating judges Ã¢â‚¬â€œ made their first steps as a successful author winning this contest.
I heard the sad news today that the long-time contest coordinator of the Writers of the Future contest, K. D. Wentworth, has died from pneumonia. I didn’t know her on a personal level, apart from the occasional forum exchange, but by everything I have seen she was a very friendly person, and very patient with the questions all of the eager entrants of the Writers of the Future contest. She was one of the first editors I submitted a short story to, and I’ve sent her one story per quarter ever since. It will feel weird to know that someone else is reading my submissions.