Wave Staff Report
HOLLYWOOD — David Henrickson and Dao Vi were the big winners at the 39th annual L. Ron Hubbard Achievement Awards Gala for writers and illustrators of the future contests in the genres of science fiction and fantasy held at the Taglyan Cultural Complex April 28.
Henrickson from Sterling, Virginia, was the 2023 grand prize writer winner and Vi from Sylmar, was born the 2023 illustrator grand prize winner.
“I never imagined I would be here,” Henrickson said. “I’ve loved science fiction all of my life. When I was 9 I was first inspired by the genre of science fiction after reading Andre Norton’s ‘Star Guard.’
“When somebody asks what I do and who I am, I give them an easy answer, ‘I am an Application architect.’ That’s what I do, but that’s not who I am. Five years before I retired I started writing. I told myself if I could write 100,000 lines of code, I can write a novel.
Vi, who was born in Vietnam, said he was “humbled and honored to be surrounded by so many talented writers and illustrators.”
He thanked writer Samuel Parr for his story, “The Last History,” for which he provided the winning illustration.
Henrickson and Vo were presented with checks for $5,000 and a trophy.
Winners from this year’s competitions hailed from all over the United States, as well as from Canada, China, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Romania, South Korea, United Kingdom and Vietnam.
Robert J. Sawyer, who wrote sci-fi and fantasy classics like “The Terminal Experiment” and “Flashforward,” and has served as a judge in the writers since 2005, was presented with a lifetime achievement award.
Dan Farr, founder and CEO of the FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention, served as the keynote speaker.
“Fashion, costumes, characters, dance, film, cyberculture, music, art, literature, television, and radio — none of it would exist without the writer or the artist creating that script, that picture, that song, that universe,” he said. “Writing and art has always been and will always be a healing influence. As writers and artists, you carry a large responsibility for the future. Because it is you who carry that powerful torch to unite, while others are trying to tear it down.
Twelve quarterly winners were honored in both the and writers and illustrators contests.
In addition to Henrickson, writers honored included Samuel Parr of the United Kingdom; Spencer Sekulin of, Canada; L.H. Davis of Florida; Devon Bohm of Connecticut; Arthur H. Manners of England; David Hankins of Iowa; J.R. Johnson of Canada; Elaine Midoch of Florida; Marianne Xenos of Massachusetts; Jason Palmatier of Pennsylvania; and T.J. Knight of New York.
Other winning illustrators included Alexandra Albu of Romania; Clarence Bateman of New York; Sarah Morrison of Massachusetts; Ximing Luo of Maryland; Alaya Knowlton of Florida; Kristin Hadaway of Maryland; José Sánchez of Costa Rica; Helen Yi of South Korea; Chris Binns of Oregon; April Solomon of Laguna Beach, and Chris Arias of Costa Rica.
Author L. Ron Hubbard created the Writers of the Future Contest in 1983 to honor aspiring writers of speculative fiction. He added the Illustrators of the Future Contest in 1988.