Writers & Illustrators of the Future Workshop Week 2024 Day 7

Writers & Illustrators of the Future Workshop Week
2024 – Day 7

The Gala!

Contributed by Martin Shoemaker

The winners and judges spent the morning preparing for the evening’s festivities. They visited the stylists and they donned their gowns and tuxedoes, assuming the glamour of a Hollywood extravaganza. In the afternoon, they began their rides over to the fantastic Taglyan Complex, where they stepped out onto a splendid red carpet and were greeted by a prehistoric scene inspired by Don Dos Santos’s cover art. A Smilodon (saber-toothed cat) bared its teeth at them, and mastodon tusks stabbed up from the tar pits.

Upon the carpet, the winners and judges gathered for photos, interviews, and conversations while waiting for the grand event. Finally, the doors opened to admit them to the festivities, beginning with a sumptuous dinner with their family and friends old and new. It was a great capstone to a week of learning and discovery, but it was only the lead-in to the main event: the gala celebrating the 40th anniversary of L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers and Illustrators of the Future.

After an amazing musical performance by the Jive Aces (plus guest dancers), Gunhild Jacobs, Executive Director of Author Services, opened the ceremony with a review of the amazing history of the Contests, including video highlights from past years. Then John Goodwin, President of Galaxy Press, introduced and formally released L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 40. Between awards to writers and Illustrators, we also saw writing advice from Ray Bradbury back in the first year of the Contest, reminiscences from Contest judge Dean Wesley Smith (the very first person to ever cross the Writers of the Future stage), numerous proclamations and testimonials in praise of the Contests, and an Honorary Dragon Award from Dragon Con President Pat Henry. The climax of the ceremony was the awards: the Golden Brush to Tyler Vail for his illustration of “Squiddy” and the Golden Pen to Jack Nash for his story “Son, Spirit, Snake.” Then Gunhild Jacobs closed out another amazing year. Winners and judges participated in a glorious book signing for all in attendance.

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