Since 1996 I’ve been a judge and guest instructor for the annual Writers of the Future Contest; Rebecca became a judge in 2007.  It’s one of the most gratifying things we do each year—teaching a dozen or so of the best new writers to emerge from the many thousands of submissions received each quarter.  Recently, as I described in previous blogs, I worked with Galaxy Press to put together a heavily illustrated, comprehensive coffee-table book celebrating the first 25 years of the Contest.  (You can see more about the anniversary book at the Writers of the Future website.)

The week-long workshop for the Contest winners took place at the end of August in Hollywood, California.  Rebecca and I gave our guest lecture and workshop on August 27.  Even when we weren’t on stage we enjoyed relaxing and talking with the winners and fellow judges, including Mike Resnick, Robert J. Sawyer, Eric Flint, Dave Wolverton, Steven Savile, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Tim Powers, and Dr. Jerry Pournelle.  On Friday, Doug Beason and I also had a lunch meeting with Harry Kloor and a production company, who are developing our disaster novel Ill Wind for film.

Rebecca and Kevin teaching at the Writers of the Future workshop, Hollywood

The awards ceremony itself took place Saturday night at the famed Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, right on the walk of fame, in the Blossom Room, where the Academy Awards were once held.  After an imaginative opening Cirque du Soleil-style dance performance,  June Scobee Rodgers, the founder of the Challenger Centers for Space Science Education (and our co-creator on the new Star Challengers series) was the keynote speaker.

Challenger Center President Dan Barstow and I presented an award to new writer Brent Knowles; Rebecca, along with actor/comedian Jim Meskimen, presented an award to Scott W. Baker.  I also gave a speech and presentation of the 25-Year anniversary book.

Presenting an award

Kevin J. Anderson (judge), Brent Knowles (Writers of the Future winner), Dan Barstow (President, Challenger Centers for Space Science Education)

Actor Jim Meskimen, winner Scott W. Baker, judge Rebecca Moesta

You can watch the full event at www.writersofthefuture.com.  In particular, listen to June Rodgers’s compelling speech (begins at about 21 minutes) about the Challenger disaster.  My own speech is toward the end, within the last 15 minutes.

Writers of the Future attending judges: Standing—Dr. Yoji Kondo, Mike Resnick, Eric Flint, Ron Lindahn, Dr. Jerry Pournelle, Robert J. Sawyer, Doug Beason, Stephen Hickman.  Seated—Larry Niven, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Tim Powers, K.D. Wentworth, Val Lakey-Lindahn, Rebecca Moesta, Laura Brodian Freas, Dave Wolverton, Kevin J. Anderson

In the reception following the awards, all the winners autographed copies of the new paperback containing all their stories and illustrations, L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Vol. XXVI.

Reception following the awards ceremony

Rebecca and Kevin with June Scobee Rodgers

Winners sign their first copies of the annual anthology.

The following day, winners and judges were all taken from Hollywood out to the Borders in Pasadena for a mass book-signing.