A while back I won a “Writers Of The Future” award. This is a yearly award for science fiction and fantasy short stories. You’ll find my story, “The Girl Who Whispered Beauty,” in the Writers Of The Future anthology Volume 24.
“The Girl Who Whispers Beauty” is the story of a young woman who can use her breath to shape and grow other living things, but as she does so her own life diminishes. Such women are put into servitude to enhance the elite class, but our heroine, Etelka, has other plans.
Winning is quite a nice deal. The contest is judged by big name authors, so it’s great validation. Thousands enter, but only twelve are selected. There is, of course, a decent monetary award, plus they buy all the winning stories for their yearly anthology, paying a rather good rate. You’re flown to an award ceremony (ours was in L.A.) and put up for a week so you can attend a workshop and a awards ceremony filled with all kinds of well-known, respected genre authors.
Each story in the anthology has an illustration created by one of the winners of the “Illustrator’s Of The Future” contest. Stephen Knox of Philadelphia created mine, and an excellent piece of work it is! This print hangs nearby as I type. Thanks, Steve!
Rich Horton mentioned “The Girl Who Whispered Beauty” and the Writers Of The Future v24 in his yearly recap. He said there were usually multiple entries under “Anthologies of New Writers”, but in 2008 we owned it.
The stories I particularly liked were “Simulacrum’s Children”, by Sarah L. Edwards, and Al Bogdan’s “The Girl Who Whispered Beauty”.
Brent Knowles wrote about Writers Of The Future v24, and for my story he said the following:
If you write science fiction or fantasy you should look into the contest. It’s quite an experience.