One of the reasons I was gone from DeviantArt for so long was my appointment as the Coordinating Judge for the international Illustrators of the Future competition in Hollywood, CA.
For those who don't know - Illustrators of the Future is one of the most reputable competitions for aspiring illustrators in the world.
Here is why I think it is the best of all of them:
- It's free to enter.
- Submit work you have already done.
- You keep the copyright of all of your work.
- Rolling submissions: You can submit every 3 months (but only win once).
- Twelve winners every year win $500 and a statue.
- One Grand Prize Winner wins an extra $5,000 and a bigger statue.
- Win an all-expense trip to Hollywood, CA from anywhere in the world.
- Win a week long seminar on the business of illustration from the top names in the industry.
- Win a black-tie award ceremony on a Hollywood stage streamed live and on youtube.
- Get published in a best-selling book: Writers of the Future
The complete list of judges (past and present) is here: www.writersofthefuture.com/ill…
Here is a short list of other judges, past and present:
- Frank Frazetta
- Wil Eisner
- Jack Kirby
- Frank Kelly Fries
- Larry Elmore
- Dave Dorman
- Bob Eggleton
- and me
As Coordinating Judge, my job has several responsibilities. First, I go through all of the submissions and narrow them down to a select few as nominations for the rest of the judges to consider. I lead the seminar and coordinate with other Judges and Guest Lecturers. Best of all, I get to announce the Grand Prize Winner on stage and hand them their award statue, seeing the tears in their eyes.
This year I am taking on a new role. Every Illustrator Winner is given an assignment to illustrate one of 12 stories from that year's volume of Writers of the Future. Those stories are the winning entries from the sister competition Writers of the Future
, with such amazing judges as Larry Niven, Nnedi Okorafor, and Orson Scott Card. As the new art director for these stories, I will be personally assisting winners create their best work for that publication. From those final 12 illustrations, the Grand Prize Winner will be selected.
Previous winners of Writers of the Future include Pat Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind
), Nnedi Okorafor (Binti
), and Dave Wolverton (The Runelords
Enter as an illustrator here: www.writersofthefuture.com/ent…
Enter as a Writer here: www.writersofthefuture.com/ent…
Writers of the Future and Illustrators of the Future are the legacy of L. Ron Hubbard, funded by his Trust and managed by Galaxy Press, developed for the exclusive purpose of promoting the best from new generations of science fiction and fantasy.
Ignore the trolls: So far, none of the winners have ever been Scientologists and no one has converted. I don't know a single judge of the writers or illustrators who is a member of the COS, either. It's an altruistic competition run by people who love the genres and want to encourage the future of it. If you are serious about writing or illustrating science fiction and fantasy, and are still considered an amateur - enter immediately. You literally have everything to gain and nothing to lose.