Earlier this week, I received a phone call informing me that my final submission to the Writers of the Future contest (first quarter 2018) had been selected as a finalist. However, after contemplating the information1 that past winners have shared about the contest in recent weeks, I have withdrawn my finalist story from consideration.
I would not judge anyone for their past (or future) decisions to be involved in the contest, whether or not they act(ed) out of ignorance. After all, many writers – myself included – have long treated this contest as a normal fixture of our community. I hope my choice will help encourage others to reexamine that assumption.2
For myself, no award is worth supporting an organization that has hurt and misused so many friends, fellow authors, illustrators, and human beings.
• More links in footnotes (8/12/2018)
• Dream Foundry info (10/26/2018)
• SFWA statement added to footnotes (12/5/2018)
- References: start with these five links. Also, here’s a new summary which adds some additional material, a detailed story by a 2016 winner of his wildly inappropriate post-win experience, and a statement of concern/investigation by SFWA.
- If you would like to support a different organization with a healthier approach to supporting early-career creators of speculative fiction, I recommend the Dream Foundry.