Guest Post: L. Ron Hubbard Presents: Writers of the Future, Volume 40


The month of April is half finished, and I suspect I’m not the only one wondering how a month could rush by so fast. Whether we are busy with work, family, or creative endeavors it seems there is little time for recreation, and the time we do have is easily sucked away by less intentional sinks, like the exhausted scroll of social media, so while I have been anxiously awaiting the latest Volume of Writers of the Future, I admit I was reticent and slow to start reading my ARC copy. I knew it would be good based on past volumes, but my fatigue and the demands of my ever-refilling list of projects held me back. Once I dug in and started reading, however, it became effortless, and more than that, I couldn’t stop, had no desire to stop, and instead let the stories flow over me like a tidal wave of wonder.

The first story I read, from somewhere in the middle, was a science-fiction offering, Ashes to Ashes, Blood to Carbon Fiber by James Davies, featuring a dystopian world both unique and painfully familiar. Another time, another planet where those that have are few, and those that have not are many. To get by and survive, dire sacrifices must be made. I connected with it so viscerally, that I wept reading it, and yet, I felt uplifted at the finish. My appetite for story now sharpened to a fine edge, I read the first story in the volume, The Edge of Where My Light is Cast by Sky McKinnon. I found myself gripped by the heart and pulled along on a journey that was as human as it was strange, a cat that was the formless computer-generated rendering of a lost pet’s personality and so much more than that—Science fiction at its best, the kind that connects to what makes us human and inspires us to new heights of wonder. I held my breath, I cried, I made little sounds of dismay and worried I’d wake my sleeping teens upstairs and they’d find me with tears streaming down my face and a smile of awe on my lips.

Volume 40 isn’t just the delightful diversion that we all need between work and more mindless play, it is a gift. Inspiration, adventure, comfort, depth, excitement, and wonder, crafted and pulled together by the best debut authors writing today under the mentorship of our old and oh-so-dear favorites. I said it last year and I say it again with renewed certainty, Volume 40 is the most inspiring Writers of the Future anthology to date. It features twelve stories by the winners of Writers of the Future 2023 plus four bonus stories by best-selling authors, all illustrated by winners of the Illustrators of the Future contest.

Cover art detail for Writers of the Future, Vol. 40

Starcatcher (detail) by Dan dos Santos

Now for the good news, Volume 40 is up for preorder now and there are preorder bonuses at this link: Preorder here. Preorder bonuses include early access to audio and ebook copies of a Volume 40 story, wallpaper for desktop and phone of the V40 cover art, and other ebook treats. The release date for Writers and Illustrators of the Future Volume 40 is May 7th so you’ve no time to lose and little time left to wait!

Writers and Illustrators of the Future anthologies are an invaluable resource for readers as a means to finding stories, novels, and whole worlds in fresh new voices from around the globe. Each volume is diverse thanks to a blind judging process and the judges’ commitment to bringing us stories from multiple perspectives and styles of writing. While the stories in volume 40 have depth and complexity, they are suitable for sharing with middle-grade readers. Volume 40’s cover image is graced by a moonlit sorceress amid the tusks of mammoths. The artist sets a tone of mysticism that feels unbridled by time or genre. In an age of AI saturation, this masterful art is human-made as are the lush illustrations inside.

Writers of the Future Trophies For authors and Illustrators, volume 40 contains articles on story and illustration craft written by industry professionals and an even more useful tool, the stories themselves. I have learned more reading the winning stories of Volume 40 than any craft book and highly recommend reading Volume 40 cover to cover if you are looking to improve your skills, especially if you are looking to win Writers and Illustrators of the Future.

If you want to springboard your writing or illustrating career, the Writers and Illustrators of the Future contest has more to offer aspiring authors and artists than any other contest, with zero entry fee, prize money, and a professional publication in your name. Each winner participates in a book signing, award ceremony and gala, and a week-long training and mentorship from industry professionals like Jody Lynn Nye, Kevin J. Anderson, Bob Eggleton, Echo Chernik, and so many more greats including two new judges (congratulations to them both) Mark Leslie Le Febvre, and Hugh Howey. The official website has an easy-entry submission portal with the contest rules and guidelines. On the website, there is a forum of over 10,000 writers and illustrators where you can find support for learning about, entering, and winning the contest. The website has a free online writers training course on the fundamentals of short story writing.

The Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contest creates a unique training ground for authors and Illustrators with clear deadlines and goals—four quarters a year to enter and four opportunities to win. If you write or illustrate, don’t self-reject. Enter and see what happens. You’ll either win, get close, or learn what it takes to win and improve along the way.

By CL Fors

CL Fors

CL Fors lives and breathes stories in multiple mediums: the written word, illustration in watercolor, acrylic, digital, and ink, and the creation of custom jewelry and other artifacts of story. She is an artist with a myriad of interests and experiences that inform and flavor her writing and illustrating. A multipotentialite, mother, author, and adventurer, CL is a science and science-fiction enthusiast with a passion for research based sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and speculative fiction in general.

CL’s debut novel, Cradle of Mars, is the first installment of the Primogenitor series and is releasing with a shiny new cover on April 20th (available for preorder now). The second, third, and final books in the series are all available on Amazon and will be getting new covers soon.

CL just won Illustrators of the Future for Quarter one, Volume 41. If you’d like to see her non-fiction work, she also writes science articles and short stories and has articles published at Genetic Literacy Project and Midwifery today Magazine. To explore CL’s writings and illustrations check out her Website:

Or subscribe to her newsletter at Epitome Press

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