Providing writing tips and art advice from Contest Judges and Winners for writers and artists wanting to take their next step, along with needed inspiration to keep on going! Based on the world-famous Writers of the Future Contest created in 1983 by L. Ron Hubbard.
100. Toni Weisskopf, Publisher of Baen Books, discusses history of Baen and future of publishing
Writers of the Future and Toni originally met in New York in 1989 where she was a volunteer helping at the Awards event! She has since worked with Jim Baen, working under him as an editor and wearing every hat in a publishing house. With Jim's passing, Toni became the owner and publisher of Baen Books and is going strong!
In this interview, we talk about the future of publishing and we also talk about one of her book projects from 1995, "Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts."
99. Alan Smale is a NASA engineer and award winning alternate history author
With a Bachelors in Physics and a Ph.D. in astrophysics from Oxford in England, Alan Smale came to America in the late 80s to work with NASA and never went back. In addition to being a research scientist with NASA, Alan writes alternate history and historical fantasy, and is an a capella vocalist. He was a WOTF 13 winner with his story, "Wings."
Alan discusses his process in writing alternate history and the extent of his research to provide an accurate base and then weave in his alternate history aspect.
He also covers how he manages a full time job with NASA, performing his music, and writing...including an immense amount of research that results in a lengthy novel a year.
Discover his many works at www.alansmale.com
98. Lazarus Chernik gives the role of an art director and what they are looking for
Lazarus Chernik has been an art director for over 20 years working with Fortune 100 giants as well as small businesses in need of reaching their next level.
He was asked to discuss do's and don'ts of working with an art director.
He provides key and vital things artists need to know to work with an art director and things to avoid. He does this by explaining what the art director's job is and explaining what the artist's job is.
97. Larry Niven creator of Known Space discusses writing hard sci fi
Larry discusses how to write hard science fiction and pitfalls to avoid based on what he learned in writing "Ring World." He does concede that readers will forgive a mistake if it's a really good story.
We also discuss his laws of collaboration and what is important to make collaboration work, discussing writing with Jerry Pournelle.
Larry also explains how he became an author and the two times he felt like a real writer.
Discover the various works by Larry at www.larryniven.net
96. Nancy Kress gives the 3 key points of world-building
Nancy Kress is the author of thirty-three books, including twenty-six novels, four collections of short stories, and three books on writing. Her work has won six Nebulas, two Hugos, a Sturgeon, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, and has been translated into two dozen languages, including Klingon. In addition to writing, Kress often teaches at various venues around the country and abroad, including a visiting lectureship at the University of Leipzig, a 2017 writing class in Beijing, and the annual intensive workshop Taos Toolbox, which she teaches every summer with Walter Jon Williams.
In this interview, Nancy discusses world-building addressing these key topics:
1. How much do you have to do?
What are the resources? Who and how is the authority? What is the power line? What is the finance line? How are resources allocated? How is authority enforced? Who has rights? What are the caste levels in that society?
A great start to Nancy's writing is her novel, the near-future speculative fiction "Beggars in Spain."
If you prefer thrillers is "Stinger."
For space opera read "The Probability Series."
95. Dave Chesson, the Kindlepreneur, discusses the evolution of self-publishing
Dave Chesson created Kindlepreneur to help authors get started with Amazon. In our interview, he discusses the evolution of self-publishing and the relevance of self-published authors comparing them to free-agents in sports. Self-publishing makes it easier for a publishing house to know who to take on. Self-publishing used to be the junior varsity team but this has evolved.
The con to self-publishing includes such things as no backing of a publishing house; not have access to specific editors, no professional formatting, to name just a few of the points. With self-publishing, you need to learn to do these things yourself and have to learn marketing.
Extremely important whether with a publisher or not, is to learn how to market and the importance of building an email list that will enable you to grow on other social platforms.
Go to kindlepreneur.com as a way to get started and also to reach out to Dave.
Customer ReviewsSee All
So Glad This Podcast Is Available!
I just listened to the January 13 interview with Robert Silverberg. Just superb! Mr. Silverberg was a delight.
Considerable candor as he looked back over 50 (or was it 60) years of writing; a bit of probably misplaced criticism on how easy it is for anyone to be "published" these days; and a slew of opinions on many topics (not all writing-related).
Sprinkle in a bit of light self-deprecation and you get a great look at a man who wrote and wrote and wrote and also put in 30 wonderful years as a judge of the Writers of the Future contest.
A Staple for Aspiring Writers and Illustrators!
I was ecstatic when I discovered there was a WoTF podcast and so far it has more than fulfilled my expectations! The interviews with Joni and the judges have been very informative and have helped me, as an aspiring writer, to get a much clearer idea of what they’re looking for in this contest. Plus, if you’ve ever gotten an award in the contest, the interview with Dave Farland helps explain why your piece may have placed as it did.
I’m also totally loving the interviews with the volume 35 winners as well. Each of their stories (both their IRL backstories and WoTF ones!) has been inspiring and they’ve all given some great advice. It’s refreshing to hear from others who are just breaking into this industry!
Finally, though I haven’t been entering the illustrator’s contest, I’ve also appreciated hearing their stories. Visual art was my first love, and it’s so awesome to hear that there are people out there making a living from it. Even if you’re not into visual art, I highly recommend their interviews, too! A lot of it is applicable to writing, and it’s also just cool to hear about their processes for creating their WoTF-featured pieces.
So, in conclusion: if you are entering writers or illustrators of the future, you need to be listening to this podcast!
Thanks, John, and anyone else that’s helped put this together! It really has proved to be a great resource so far.