Mechanical Engineer and Space Enthusiast Started the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award to Help Promote Space Travel

William Ledbetter's Award idea is now an annual event at the International Space Development Conference.

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Jim Baen Memorial Award

Ledbetter was himself an L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future winner in 2012 with his story, 'The Rings of Mars' being published in the 28th Volume of the anthology.

Prosper, TX (PRWEB) June 19, 2014

William Ledbetter from Prosper, gets grand ideas, and they tend to stick. The original incarnation of the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award contest was conceived in 2006 by William Ledbetter to find moving stories about humanity’s near future in space and was co-sponsored by Baen Books and the National Space Society (NSS). The award was presented the following year at the 2007 International Space Development Conference to UK author Mike Wood for a story called “A Better Sense of Direction.” Since the contest successfully represented the NSS philosophy of human expansion into space and the spirit of adventure and exploration fostered by Baen Books, it was deemed an appropriate tribute to Jim Baen who had passed away the previous year. The contest is now annual, with winners from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Australia and New Zealand.

Ledbetter was himself an L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future winner in 2012 with his story, "The Rings of Mars" being published in the 28th Volume of the anthology. He is proud to note that many of the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Awards have gone to other former Writers of the Future contest winners Mike Wood, R.P.L. Johnson, Patrick O’Sullivan, Martin L. Shoemaker, Brad R. Torgerson, Marina J. Lostetter, Patrick Lundrigan and David D. Levine.

Now in its 31th year, the Writers of the Future Contest began in 1983 and attracts entries worldwide in science fiction and fantasy. Twelve quarterly winners receive prize monies and, along with selected finalists, are published in an annual anthology, L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future (Galaxy Press). The book is sold in bookstores and at Amazon.com and gives the winners the exposure that they need.

Inspired by multiple New York Times best-selling author L. Ron Hubbard, the merit-based Writers of the Future Contest was initiated by him to discover and encourage talented beginning writers of science fiction and fantasy, and thus launch careers.

The idea has proved very successful. Hundreds of winners have had successful writing careers following their win and publication in the anthology, and to date has launched the careers of 12 New York Times bestselling authors including: Jo Beverley, Tobias S. Buckell, Nancy Farmer, Eric Flint, Karen Joy Fowler, Tim Myers, Patrick Rothfuss, Lisa Smedmen, Dean Wesley Smith, Elizabeth Wein, Sean Williams, and Dave Wolverton aka David Farland.
Prospective entrants should visit http://www.writersofthefuture.com for more information on how to enter the contest.