By Mayra S. Ventura
The 32nd annual L. Ron Hubbard Achievement Award celebrated the winners of the Writers and Illustrators of the Future contest on, April 10 at Wilshire Ebell Theatre.
The awards ceremony celebrated and honored 12 writers and 11 illustrators from all over the globe and the contribution that Hubbard made to the sci-fi industry.
“This contest is to inspire (and honor) future writers and illustrators,” Galaxy Press president John Goodwin said.
The celebration’s theme this year was Steampunk, a subgenre of science fiction and fantasy, incorporating elements and designs of technology inspired by the industrial steam-power machinery of the 19th century.
The ceremony opened with a steampunk rhythmic body percussion “Stomp” inspired performance and was followed by keynote speakers and past and present winners.
Sergey Poyarkov was the past winner of the Future Golden Brush Award and after his 25th anniversary this year, he was the recipient of the L. Ron Hubbard Silver Star award. Poyarkov is the first recipient of the award.
Keynote Speaker Kellie Gerardi shared her love for science fiction and science, as she has been one of the 100 candidates elected to colonize Mars via the nonprofit, Mars One.
The theme correlated with this new era of discovery and futuristic aspects of the new centuries.
In addition to electing the winner, the judges review the prize-winning entries and grant additional grand prizes, the Golden Pen Award and the Golden Brush Award to a writer and illustrator.
“I never felt I would be in an event this big and be the star and be with incredible people that share my same passion,” one of the 11 winning illustrators, Maricela Ugarte Peña, said.
This year the Golden Pen Award was given to Matt Dovey for his story, “Squalor & Sympathy,” alongside a grand prize of a $5,000 check.
The recipient of this year’s Golden Brush Award and the grand prize of $5,000 was Adrian Massaro for his illustration for Dovey’s story.
“This is the first step into pursuing my career as an illustrator. I am very grateful to Matt for his story. He is an incredible writer,” Massaro said.
Following the awards ceremony, attendees had the opportunity meet the winners.Attendees were also able to get their copies of the new 32nd volume edition of this year’s “Writers of the Future Anthology,” autographed by the contest winners.