L. RON HUBBARD | BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILE
[inline|iid=51]If Battlefield Earth and Mission Earth constituted the final L. Ron Hubbard novels, they by no means constituted the end of his lifelong commitment to the art of writing. Years earlier, as president of the American Fiction Guild’s New York Chapter, he had ceaselessly lobbied on behalf of new writers: working to see them admitted as novices into the Guild’s professional ranks, generating instructional articles for the various profession journals, and otherwise helping the new or unpublished author take his place in what has traditionally been a closed marketplace.
Then in late 1983, declaring, “I initiated a means for new and budding writers to have a chance for their creative efforts to be seen and acknowledged,” he announced his Writers of the Future Contest. Specifically founded in the name of discovering and encouraging new writers of speculative fiction, the Writers of the Future’s L. Ron Hubbard Gold Award has become the genre’s most prestigious award of its kind. Indeed, it has become the largest, most successful and demonstrably most influential vehicle for budding creative talent in the world of contemporary fiction. Reflective of Mr. Hubbard’s concern for the aspiring artist, the only entry prohibition is that candidates must not have been previously professionally published. To ensure professional expertise in the selection of winners, past and present judges represent some of the very greatest names in speculative fiction, including: Larry Niven, Orson Scott Card, Robert Silverberg, Frank Herbert, Jerry Pournelle, Frederik Pohl, Jack Williamson and Anne McCaffrey.
[inline|iid=52]Given that Mr. Hubbard originally began his career in an era when popular fiction carried elaborate illustrations, it was only fitting that he would also inspire the companion Illustrators of the Future Contest. Founded to encourage the speculative fiction artist, it provides winning contestants with both cash awards and publication in the annual L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future anthology. That anthology, incidentally, has become the bestselling work of its kind and has proven the springboard to the publication of further works. In fact, the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest has, to date, helped place well over 500 trendsetting novels on American shelves.
“The artist is looked upon to start things,” wrote L. Ron Hubbard at the outset of his contest. “The artist injects the spirit of life into a culture.” Although he had been speaking of the authors to follow, these same sentiments certainly applied to himself. Today there are more than 250 million L. Ron Hubbard fiction and nonfiction books in circulation and with a schedule to release both earlier books and unpublished works, that figure will only grow. But in either case, the mark has been made. As Professor of English and Foreign Languages Stephen V. Whaley declared, “Without a doubt, L. Ron Hubbard is one of the most prolific and influential writers of the twentieth century.” As evidence, the larger body of his works has been honored with awards from such literary organizations as the French National Federation for Culture, the European Committee of Prestige and the European Academy of Arts. In further evidence stands his remarkably large and diverse body of readers and scores of colleges and universities where students study his work and strive, as he himself once put it, “to write, write and then write some more. And never to allow weariness, lack of time, noise, or any other thing to throw me off my course.”