Writers & Illustrators of the Future Workshop Week 2024 Day 8

Writers & Illustrators of the Future Workshop Week
2024 – Day 8

Contributed by Leah Ning

The winners got a late start today and some much-needed rest after the excitement of last night’s gala. Once they returned to the workshop room, they got a rapid-fire succession of judges and professionals creating a firehose of information about self-promotion, business, and advertising.

John and Emily Goodwin started by issuing checks to the winners for their publication in the anthology. Then, they spoke about public relations, communication, and the message to get across in this process. Claude Sandoz followed to talk about social media usage, with suggestions about which platforms to use and how to use them effectively. There was much discussion on avoiding common scams and posting about pets.

Joe Montaldo then talked to the writers a bit further about social media and conducted interviews. He spoke about doing your research on anyone who asks you to interview them and effectively defending your boundaries when necessary. Next, Carmen Bartolo talked about the efforts he’ll make to promote the winners in the media, including examples of winners from years ago for whom he still works promotion.

Writers of the Future Coordinating Judge Jody Lynn Nye taught the winners how to create compelling elevator pitches about their stories and art. Essential was the use of words that are both interesting and not so “highfalutin” that they don’t allow the listener to understand the pitch. At the end of her talk, the winners wrote elevator pitches, and Jody gave feedback on as many as she could.

John Goodwin returned to speak further about handling interview questions, spinning interviews to work for you, getting more information across, and organically lengthening conversations. Then Emily Goodwin spoke further about the Volume 40 release dates and promotion plans, including book bombs and bookstore signings. The winners got to see the promotional kits they’ll bring home, which contain bookmarks, standees, posters, and print copies of the illustrations. First readers Kary English and Martin Shoemaker also talked about their experiences at bookstore signings. Martin emphasized eliminating quick nos, and Kary advised the winners to find the most mainstream element of their work to pitch.

Dawn Ray Ammon, co-founder of Fyrecon, taught the winners about SEO and how to use it to their advantage on websites, social media, and conventions. She emphasized the importance of announcing convention appearances early enough for people to plan to be there. Finally, the winners were presented with certificates of recognition for their achievement and took a final group photo before being released to their final night in Hollywood.

We would love for you to see more of all the winners’ work! Their websites and social media, so far as we have them, are below:


Steve Bentley – www.stevebentleyartwork.net
Connor Chamberlain – www.instagram.com/conjchamberlain
Arthur Haywood – www.arthurhaywood.com
Gigi Hooper – www.gigihooper.com
Jennifer Mellen – www.jennifermellen.com
Selena Meraki – www.artstation.com/selenameraki
Pedro N. – pedronart.wixsite.com/pedronart
Guelly Rivera – www.instagram.com/guelly.fish
Tyler Vail – www.tylervail.com
Carina Zhang – www.carina-zhang-art.com
May Zheng – www.mayzheng.com


Amir Agoora – www.amiragoora.com
James Davies – www.jd-writes.com
Kal M – www.twitter.com/kalmyourself
Sky McKinnon – none, but keep an eye out for their work!
Jack Nash – www.jacknashstories.com
Rosalyn Robilliard – www.rosalynrobilliard.com
Lance Robinson – www.lancerobinsonwriter.com
John Eric Schleicher – www.JESchleicher.com
Lisa Silverthorne – www.lisasilverthorne.com
Stephannie Tallent – www.stephannietallent.com
Tom Vandermolen – www.tomvandermolen.com
Galen Westlake – www.galenwestlake.com

Thank you for joining us for these blogs! We hope you’ll check out the work of all these fantastic winners and that you’ll follow along again next year!

1 reply
  1. Sammed Kolhapuri
    Sammed Kolhapuri says:

    What an inspiring recap of Day 8! It’s exciting to see the blend of creativity and practical business advice offered to the winners, truly preparing them for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. For those navigating the complexities of global outreach and needing to present their stories or artwork in different languages, consider using tools like Translate.Photo. It could greatly enhance your ability to share your creative work with a broader, international audience. Keep up the amazing work, everyone!


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