My story "A Man in the Moon" was the sole Published Finalist in the Writers of the Future Volume XXIV anthology. As a result, I got to go to the WOTF Workshop with K.D. Wentworth and Tim Powers -- and a whole cast of guest speakers -- and also to the WOTF XXIV Event in August 2008.
Despite still having some eligibility, none of my WOTF XXV entries won anything, so I wasn't going to be sent to the big 25th anniversary bash that WOTF had planned for August 2009 (and the 19th year for the Illustrators of the Future). But... the other day they announced that they were doing streaming video live -- the 8:30pm PDT start translated to 11:30pm EDT.
A Lovely Event
So I just spent about two hours watching my laptop. Frankly, it's not the greatest way to watch video, but it's far better than nothing. (grin) Sound quality was excellent, but the video was running at less than full speed. I ended up refreshing the page for every speaker and every award, to keep them more in sync and to see the illustrations, etc. Don't know how much of that was my DSL/WiFi connection. Firefox worked better than Safari in Windows XP Pro.
There are twelve stories in this volume, meaning no published finalists. This year they presented the awards in author-illustrator pairs, in the order they appear in the volume. It was really nice to see the illustrations in context with the story titles.
In Case You're Dying To Know
Gold Prize Illustrator Award went to Oleksandra Barysheva.
Gold Prize Writer Award went to Emery Huang.
There were many nice stories, but I particularly liked the twelfth and final pair. The author told of submitting stories when he was a kid twenty years ago. When he got serious about writing, he looked up WOTF and found it was still around. The illustrator told of putting a drawing on the shelf fifteen years ago, rather than send it in. That was one of the drawings he submitted which won his award. Hear this out there? It's never too late.
But I Know These People
Between Clarion in 2004, WOTF in 2008, cons, LJ, etc., I knew a whole lot of the judges and people who run the contest. That's fun. And fellow 2004 Clarionite Amelia Beamer, now an editor at Locus, was there to present an award to the contest for being there for new writers for 25 years.
One Tiny Omit
At the end they played credits which listed all the WOTF and IOTF winners, starting with Volume XXV. Of course, my name didn't appear with Volume XXIV, because I was a Published Finalist and technically not a winner. Okay.
What? They listed the Published Finalists for Volume XXI and other volumes? And NOT Volume XXIV?
Aw, gee. I got gypped. (frown) The story of my life. (grin) I'll show 'em! (double-grin)
I'm glad they ran the streaming video this year and hope they do it again in the future. Not the same as being there, but still -- it was nice.