Writers of the Future, Volume 31, featuring ME!

Some years ago – say around 2007-ish or thereabouts – I decided to start seriously writing short fiction. “Auston,” I said to myself, “you should get serious about writing short fiction.”

“But,” quoth Evil Auston, my brain-mate, “why waste your time in a form that few people read and that pays virtually nothing? Novels! That’s where the glory is!”

“True,” I said to my alter-self, “but short stories take less time, are easier to submit, and enable me to hone my craft through experimentation on a small scale. Plus, any success you garner there can translate to improved success with novels!”

“Touche.” said Evil Auston, and he retreated to his desolate manse in the dismal moors of my psyche.

And so here we are.

Since that time, I’ve written probably around 20-ish short stories (that I’d consider showing in the light of day, anyway) and published six. Published story number seven will be the one published in this upcoming Writers of the Future Anthology, which is available for pre-order now. (Oh, and additional news flash: published story number eight will appear in an upcoming issue of Stupefying Stories, who consistently put out a great anthology and of which I am proud to once again be part).

Now, in order to get into the Writers of the Future Anthology, I had to become a winner of the Writers of the Future Contest. For those of you not in the know, it is one of the biggest and longest running short fiction competitions in the world, drawing an international crowd of budding science fiction and fantasy authors numbering in the thousands every quarter. It is, in a sense, the American Idol of science fiction/fantasy writing and, after years of entering, an honorable mention, two semi-finalist finishes, and a finalist finish (ooo! So close!), I won in the first quarter of 2014, beating out who knows how many others for the coveted top three spots (I placed second). Now, in addition to having my story in the antho, I will get flown out to LA in April to participate in a week-long writing workshop with some top names in the genre and my eleven fellow winners. I’ll also get to be in a red-carpet awards show, I’ll get a little speech, a big party (I assume), and so on and so forth. W00t! Go me!

So, first off, I recommend this contest to anybody writing scifi/fantasy and looking to break into the business. Even if the award itself doesn’t pay off (and it’s my understanding that it does or can – I’ll let you know) and even if you never win, it gets you writing (you can enter four times a year!), you are only in competition with other starting-out writers, and you are being judged by real pros (judges include/have included Jerry Pournelle, Orson Scott Card, Anne McCaffrey, Larry Niven, Mike Resnick, Frank and Brian Herbert, and on and on and on…). Even an honorable mention or a semi-finalist finish is huge! It lets you know that YOU AREN’T CRAZY – you are talented! The rest of your success is just a mix of hard work and perseverance! For me, those early nods meant a hell of a lot to me. It can to you too.

Now, on to the plug portion of this post:


Do it! Be inspired today!

Do it! Be inspired today!

About aahabershaw

Writer, teacher, gaming enthusiast, and storyteller. I write stories, novels, and occasional rants.

Posted on January 21, 2015, in Fiction and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Congratulations!

    I’ve had the same feelings about writing short stories. I LOVE writing them, but it’s hard to work on those while writing a novel. I usually spend way too much time on those because it’s so easy to obsess on shorter works.

    I keep trying for Glimmer Train, but that’s pretty ambitious. I should really submit to more publications…hmmmm….

    Well thanks for the inspiration!

    • Thank you, and you’re welcome! And yeah – seriously, just submit. Well, let me amend that: once you feel as though you are writing something *as good* as stuff you’ve read (remember, no work of writing is ever finished – only abandoned), then start submitting. Let the rejection roll off you. Keep working. Keep submitting. Something will come of it.

      Oh, and don’t abandon novels, either. They are still my one true love.

  2. Congrats. I look forward to reading your story in the anthology. I actually submitted a story last summer but alas, all I got was a honorable mention.

    • Thanks! Oh, and keep working and submitting! An Honorable Mention means they think you have potential, but that the story you sent still needed some work. It’s a really good thing!

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