Geir Lanesskog of Seattle to be Honored as Winner of Worldwide Writer Contest Three Years After Winning the Illustrators Contest

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Best-Selling Authors, Famous Illustrators to Fete Newcomers at Festive Gala in Hollywood

The Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contests have proven to be the most effective means for contestants to make their break in the publishing industry, an industry renowned for being closed to the newcomer

Twelve winning writers and twelve winning illustrators from around the globe—including Geir Lanesskog of Seattle, the second person to ever win both the writer and illustrator contests—will be honored during the 27th Annual L. Ron Hubbard Achievement Awards in the famed Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, where the first Academy Awards event was held back in 1929.

Geir entered the writers contest 18 times before finally winning this year. A friend had suggest that Geir enter the writers contest years ago. Geir tried the illustrator contest and won at his first attempt. "Geir is a very talented person", Joni Labaqui, Director of both contests stated. "This is only the 2nd time in history that someone has won both contests. The first was Stephen Stanley of Eugene, Oregon 3 years ago."

The highlight of this year's ceremony will be the announcement of the year’s two Grand Prize winners who will each receive $5,000. Quarterly writer winners also receive cash prizes from $1,000 to $500 before attending the awards event. Their winning stories and illustrations will appear in the annual anthology, L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future, volume 27 (Galaxy Press, 2011).

Participating in the ceremony will be best-selling authors and judges of the contest. Some of the famed author judges include: Kevin J. Anderson - Dune, Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle - The Mote in God's Eye, Tim Powers - On Stranger Tides, Sean Williams - Star Wars:The Force Unleashed, and Robert J. Sawyer - Flash Forward.

Throughout the Contests’ 27-year history, over 500 writers and illustrators have been recognized as winners. “What’s amazing to me is that a good 60 to 70% of winners go on to successful careers,” says New York Times’ best-selling author Anderson (Dune prequels, Seven Suns series). “You could call it ‘The American Idol’ for writers—long before there ever was such a show.”

The Writers of the Future Contest was initiated by L. Ron Hubbard in 1983 to provide a means for aspiring writers to get a much-needed break—its winners have gone on to publish over 550 novels and 1,400 short stories, selling an impressive 31 million copies of their works combined—enough books to fill the payloads of 6 NASA space shuttles.

Because of the success of the Writers’ Contest, the format was expanded to include a companion Illustrators of the Future Contest in 1988. Many of the illustration winners have gone on to highly successful illustration and design careers, including this year's Academy Award winner for Animated Short Film - Shaun Tan - The Lost Thing.

“The Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contests have proven to be the most effective means for contestants to make their break in the publishing industry, an industry renowned for being closed to the newcomer,” said Joni Labaqui, director of the contests. “Well over six million fiction and non-fiction manuscripts make the rounds annually to find a publishing home, yet only 2,500 new science fiction and fantasy titles are published each year, and many of these are from already established authors."

“That’s why these Contests were created – because it’s so hard to get published and there are so many talented people who give up on their dreams to see their works in print.”

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