Writers of the Future: Day 7

Ironically, today was the least exhausting part of the week thus far. The only item on the schedule for this morning was a haircut with an amazing barber-in-training, an interesting guy who I enjoyed chatting with. While waiting in line for my haircut, I talked with another guy who turned out to be the owner of Kindlepreneur, a major resource for indie authors. As well as geeking out about the Red Rising series together, he explained the importance of mailing lists to me, and told me the exact reasons why social media like Twitter and Facebook are actually fairly useless tools for writers.

After changing into our tuxes, limos carried us off to the Taglyan Complex for the main event. The food was amazing–bread rolls, and salad, and steak, and roast veggies, and delicious salmon, and coffee, and the most scrumptious, richest mousse I’ve ever had for dessert. Everyone seemed to be equally nervous about giving their acceptance speeches, but they all went pretty well. There were a couple times I teared up listening to my fellow winners, and plenty of laughs.

When it got to my turn, I was so nervous under the lights that I forgot half of what I planned to say. I neglected to thank my parents and teachers, the workshop instructors, and, most glaringly, my illustrator, Daniel Watson, who ended up winning the Golden Brush award for his incredible depiction of my main character. Daniel, if you’re reading this: you deserved the success! You’re so talented, and brought so much depth to your illustration. I talked to Dan Dos Santos for a few minutes earlier in the evening, and he gushed about how talented you were.

A huge congratulations to the grand prize winners from both volumes 36 and 37, including Barbara Sorenson Lund from 37! You’re amazing, and you deserve your success. I can’t wait to watch your careers take flight.

If you missed seeing the livestream of the event, you can find it here:

Only one day left, and then I fly home! What a strange, wild week it’s been. I’m excited to see my wife and dog again, and to return to an ordinary sleep schedule.

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