Hollywood Awards Honors Black Female Authors

HOLLYWOOD, CA – Ms. Azure Arther of Dallas, Texas and Ms. Em Dupre of Naples, Florida were honored at the L. Ron Hubbard Achievement Awards Event in Hollywood as winners in the Writers of the Future Contest earning them cash prizes in addition to having their stories published in the international bestselling anthology, L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 38.

The trade paperback was released on June 28th in stores everywhere, including Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million.

The awards event at the Taglyan Complex on April 8th was a black-tie gala honoring all the writer and illustrator winners as well as announcing the grand prize writer and illustrator winners.

The Writers and Illustrators of the Future winners, judges, and the contests’ executive staff. Photo: Author Services, Inc.
The Writers and Illustrators of the Future winners, judges, and the contests’ executive staff. Photo: Author Services, Inc.

Writers of the Future judge and award-winning author, Nnedi Okorafor, was a presenter at the black-tie event with nearly five hundred attendees. Nnedi currently has stories in development by HBO and Media Res.

Azure Arther is a native of Flint, Michigan, who resides in Dallas, Texas, with her husband, son, and Blazion, the Betta fish. Azure began writing at a young age, and while her inspiration began with Grimm fairytale stories and the Sleepover Friends, much of her current style has been heavily influenced by Octavia Butler and Henry James.

She is obsessed with literature and has found that her passions are evenly distributed between writing, teaching, parenting, and reading books with her son. Azure’s stories and poems have appeared or are forthcoming in more than a dozen publications, but Writers of the Future is her first professional sale.

About “Agatha’s Monster,” Azure says, “Agatha began with some random questions. One day, I found myself wondering: what if monsters were born out of trauma? What would the world look like? How would humanity stay safe? Thus, Agatha came to life as a Hunter, a mage, a regular person with basic needs and worries. The ride Agatha and her monsters go on surprised me at times, and every rewrite shifted the narrative just enough to keep me, and hopefully future readers, guessing about what would happen next. The ending actually surprised me, too, and I feel it is one of my best-written endings thus far.”

Em Dupre’s present incarnation largely believes she was born on the wrong planet and writes all manner of speculative fiction, with or without permission. “The Greater Good” began in Orson Scott Card’s literary boot camp in 2013. She has been published in Daily Science Fiction and won the first prize for flash fiction in the UA Anthology Obvious Things.
About “The Greater Good,” Em says, “I’ve always been interested in the concept of justice and knowing that the world may change, but humans and their base desires remain the same. I often wondered if there had been one adult in Lord of the Flies, how would that have affected the outcome? And how could we implement hands-on guidance in a speculative future?”

The Contest, one of the most prestigious illustrating competitions in the world, is currently in its 39th year and is judged by some of the premier names in speculative fiction.
The Writers of the Future Contest judges include, Tim Powers (author of On Stranger Tides), Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert (Duneprequel series), Robert J. Sawyer (Quantum Night), Brandon Sanderson (Mistbornseries, The Stormlight Archive), Larry Niven (Ringworld), Orson Scott Card (Ender’s Game), Nnedi Okorafor (Who Fears Death), David Farland (Runelords), and Katherine Kurtz (Deryniseries) to name a few.

The Illustrators of the Future Contest judges include, Bob Eggleton (11 Chesley Awards and 7 Hugo Awards), Larry Elmore (Dungeons & Dragons book covers), Echo Chernik (graphic designs for major corporations including Celestial Seasonings tea packaging), Rob Prior (art for Spawn, Heavy Metalcomics and Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Ciruelo (Eragon Coloring Book).

Following the 1982 release of his internationally acclaimed bestselling science fiction novel, Battlefield Earth, written in celebration of 50 years as a professional writer, L. Ron Hubbard created the Writers of the Future (writersofthefuture.com) in 1983 to provide a means for aspiring writers of speculative fiction to get that much-needed break. Due to the success of the Writers of the Future Contest, the companion Illustrators of the Future Contest was inaugurated five years later.

The intensive mentoring process has proven very successful. The 382 past winners of the Illustrating Contest have produced over 6,000 illustrations, 360 comic books, graced 624 books and albums with their art and visually contributed to 68 TV shows, and 40 major movies.

The 452 past winners of the Writing Contest have published 1,150 novels and nearly 4,500 short stories. They have produced 32 New York Times bestsellers and their works have sold over 60 million copies.

The Writers and Illustrators of the Future Award is the genre’s most prestigious award of its kind and has now become the largest, most successful and demonstrably most influential vehicle for budding creative talent in the world of contemporary fiction.

Since inception, the Writers and Illustrators of the Future contests have produced 36 anthology volumes and awarded over $1,000,000 cumulatively in prize moneys and royalties.

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