Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Here is an example of the kind of opportunity L. Ron Hubbard provided when he started his "Writers of the Future" contest.

By the way, I've read the latest edition, and the short story by the woman described below is quite an amazing piece of writing.

Diana Rowland, one-time street cop, detective and currently a forensics investigator, has lived a life most people only get to write about. But now, she's writing about what most people only dream of, and as a result she's one of the first place quarterly winners in the Writers of the Future Contest. Her winning story, "Schroedinger's Hummingbird," is a haunting tale of one woman's desperate attempt to alter time in order to save someone she loves—only "time" turns out to be a formidable adversary.

Diana recently spent a week at the Writers of the Future workshop, culminating in a gala awards ceremony at the San Diego Air & Space Museum. On returning home to Louisiana, she had these words to share:

"I just want to say that this past week has definitely been one of the most amazing weeks of my life. Not only was it a really great chance to meet other writers who are at about the same level as I am, but it was a chance to meet renowned authors who are light years ahead of me in talent and success. And not only did I get to meet them, but I got to actually converse with them, get to know them as real people and learn their secrets (as well as the super-secret handshake that is the key to publishing!).

"My winning story was the first entry I'd ever made to the contest, and I'm kicking myself for not having entered it years ago. I learned SO much in just one week that it's going to take me weeks more just to assimilate it all—I'm glad I took good notes! The whole focus of this workshop—that we're already professional writers and just need that extra push—is one that can't be found anywhere else, in any other workshop. I also have to say that having some of the giants in the field come up to me and tell me how much they liked my story was something that I will never forget, and something that will definitely keep me writing.

"And, of course, then there was the book signing. As I told my husband afterwards, 'Okay, that was the coolest thing I've ever done, and now I have to go write more books so that I can do it some more!' In fact, before we left San Diego I came up with an idea for a novel, and my husband and I spent much of the time that we were waiting for our homebound flight brainstorming the plot out.

"This contest is the real deal. It's the best and biggest chance that an up-and-coming writer has to break in. And on top of it, you get a really nifty award ceremony and a gorgeous book! (I mean, really, how many times does the average person get the chance to go to a full-tilt formal event? Especially as an honoree!)

"Thanks again for a fantastic week. I hope to come back in a few years as a judge."

Writer Diana Rowland at the Writers of the Future awards ceremony with Dune prequel co-writer Brian Herbert

The illustration to Diana's story, "Schroedinger's Hummingbird"
by Daniel Harris