My Writers of the Future Journey – Day 6 – 11th April 2014 – Part 2

We were buzzing after our trip to Bang Printing and, despite the bouncing of the bus, many of us took the opportunity to get our books signed by the other writers and artist contributors to the anthology (like Pokemon – one simply must catch them all!).

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The Challenger Learning Center at the Columbia Memorial Space Center is one of many Challenger Centers established by family members of the seven astronauts that passed away when the space shuttle Challenger disintegrated shortly after take-off in 1986. The role of the centers is to educate children about the wonders of space discovery so that they might also be inspired to dream big and perhaps take up this incredible field of science and adventure themselves.

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The center is an amazing place. Its ambition to inspire thinkers and dreamers to imagine and invent new possibilities for our future goes hand-in-hand with the reason many of us writers write some of the science fiction we do.

Our guide for the day:

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Inside the center, we were greeted by the wonderful June Scobee Rodgers, widow of Commander Dick Scobee and one of the founding members of the Challenger Centers. She has been a supporter of Writers and Illustrators of the Future for many years and even came to our awards ceremony. I was most honored to sign my story in her book.

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The center is full of amazing displays and interactive learning. Our group had a ball.

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I did not excel at paper plane design:

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Just like movie stars, astronauts have also made their mark in cement blocks.

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The center has a replica NASA mission-control room where groups of children can guide those in a neighbouring ‘space shuttle’ room to carry out missions on such remote places as the moon and Mars.

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In my happy place …

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We also got to visit the ‘space shuttle’ room, where interactive modules had been set-up to give us a taste of some of the duties one might need to perform as working astronauts. We even had to go through an airlock to reach it!

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We also got to program Lego robots to travel along set paths on a board and collect items. This was loads of fun and I wish we’d had more time as I wanted to perfect it!

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I found the collage at the entrance to the center in Downey very moving. Made up of hundreds of photos of the seven Challenger astronauts who died in their prime, both life and career-wise, it didn’t just represent the tragedy of losing such clever, talented, driven scientists and family members, but the joy and inspiration of seeing members of the human race striving to live out their dreams and passions.

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My Writers of the Future Journey – Day 6 – 11th April 2014 – Part 1

This was a great day! The winners of Writers of the Future and Illustrators of the Future were all taken to Bang Printing to see our anthology – Volume 30 of L Ron Hubbard presents Writers of the Future – come off the press.

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We traveled there by luxury coach. It was so rock-star, it even had a minibar and stripper pole (because you just never know what hidden talents a writer might chose to break out).

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Not that much bar-ring or pole-dancing occurred during the bus ride. Most of us still had to read the stories were we meant to be critiquing later that afternoon.

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At Bang Printing, we were given a brief induction over coffee (my first experience with coffee in a box!) and pastries …

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… before we were taken to visit the printing factory proper!

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One of the first machines we encountered took blocks of taped-together pages and reproduced them onto aluminium sheeting. This hardy sheeting was then used as the blueprint by the larger printing machines responsible for turning out the pages of the book.

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The taped together pages:

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A demonstration of how the laid out pages would convert into a formatted book.

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The pages of the book printed onto the aluminium sheeting:

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Heading further into the enormous factory space …

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… we learned about a range of printing modalities from our helpful guide:

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This massive, multi-million-dollar machine prints in black and white and full colour (CMYK). Instead of taking out a “cartridge” to top up one of the inks as one might do in a home printer, tins of ink are poured into the respective parts of the machine to top it up.

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Eventually, we reached the part of the factory where “our” book was being printed. This was the most extraordinary experience! The smell of the print, the roaring and clacking of the various machines!

This machine, fed by its huge rolls of paper, was printing groups of pages, using the aluminium sheet blueprints from the first machine we encountered.

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At this stage, the pages were arranged on the huge printed sheets several pages wide and deep (i.e. not in the form of a book), so these had to be cut in such a way that the pages could be arranged into book form in their correct sequence. The below photos show the huge printed sheets feeding into a machine which converts them to several smaller rows of pages.

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The pages which had been grouped together on each aluminium blueprint were then folded into small, manageable units, each of which would comprise one section (a line of pages) of a final book:

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The collections of pages (each unit coming along the above conveyor is identical) were stored together, ready to be fed, along with the many other groupings of pages which had been created, into the final machines responsible for putting them all together as a finished product.

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Workers feeding the page groupings into the final binding machines:

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Our guide indicating how all the different groupings of pages that make up the book are aligned, folded-edges down. In the binding machine, these folded-edges are slathered with adhesive and pressed onto the inner aspect of the book-cover’s spine, thereby creating the bound book.

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The covers waiting to be added to the binding machine:

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Through the viewing glass, we could watch the process. Number 15 has the book’s pages and is about to press them onto the shiny white rectangle below, which is the book’s cover.

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The books came out of the binding machine and we finally got to see them!

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The books still needed cropping, so they were fed into a final machine to have this done:

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After which, they emerged as neat, rectangular, fully bound and coloured books!

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We each got to take one straight off the press. As a further surprise, our anthology was printed with full-colour illustrations – the first L Ron Hubbard presents Writers of the Future anthology to do so! Joy all round!

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Thus ended our trip to Bang Printing. Thank you guys at Bang!

But our day was not over yet! From there we were taken to visit the Challenger Center.

My Writers of the Future Journey – Day 5 – 10th April 2014.

The 24-hour short story challenge continued. After only three hours sleep, I awoke at 4am to continue my story. It was a touch-and-go process, time-wise. Fortunately, Leena bought me coffee and one of my favourite Starbucks egg sandwiches for breakfast. This kept me going until 3.30pm, whereupon my 7000-word story was completed, allowing me 30 minutes to make it back to Author Services for the 4pm deadline.

Me with my printed manuscript:

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Leena Likitalo – happy to complete her 24-hour challenge!

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The printed stories were taken away by Tim Powers and Dave Wolverton who chose three at random for the group to critique overnight. One of them ended up being mine and, needless to say, there was a great deal of critique leveled at it, which I was happy with because it gave me a lot of insight into how I need to polish it for market.

Megan E. O’Keefe and Anaea Lay also had their works chosen and I was most impressed with what they came up with in 24 hours. It’ll be exciting to see these works reappear in the future and know that I got to see them at their most raw!

After the 24-hour challenge, we were due for a treat and boy did the people at Author Services and Galaxy Press come up with one!

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We finally got to the see the artwork that the twelve winners of the Illustrators of the Future sister contest created in response to our winning Writers of the Future short stories! The artwork was simply phenomenal!

Me and Cassandre Bolan with the artwork she did for my story: Beneath the Surface of Two Kills.

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Leena Likitalo with Trevor Smith and Kristie Kim with KC Norton.

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Michael Talbot with Paul Eckheart.

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Megan E O’Keefe with Sarah Webb and C. Stuart Hardwick with Andrew Sonea.

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Anaea Lay with Bernardo Mota and Adam Brewster with Oleg Kazantsev.

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Liz Colter with Kirbi Fagan and Cassandre Bolan with Timothy Jordan.

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Vincent-Michael Corviello with Amanda Forrest.

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Terry Madden with art by Seonhee Lim and Randy Henderson with art by Vanessa Golitz.

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We had a great time mingling with the illustrators and enjoying all of the different artwork.

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Despite our epic 24-hour challenge, there was no rest for the wicked. After a quick dinner, we returned to Author Services for another three hours of masterclasses.

This time our tutors were Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta of Wordfire Press! Their presentation was on professionalism and the standards required of professional writers and it was a really good affirmation of many of the things I’ve always thought to be true and a timely wake-up call on other points I hadn’t even considered.

Some cool tips I gleaned:

  • You must write.
  • You must finish what you write.
  • You must put your work on the market.
  • You must keep it on the market until it is sold.
  • Start at the top – with the best publishing houses available – and work your way down as the rejections occur.
  • Refrain from rewriting or editing a completed novel unless you are given a guarantee by the publisher suggesting the changes that they will buy the book based on those changes. Don’t make changes purely based on one person/editor saying it’s bad.
  • As a writer, you should always have a business card ready to hand out as needed.
  • Aside from an actual card, one of the best business cards you can give is a copy of your book. This way the person you meet might even become a fan and presold buyer of your next work.
  • The best ad for your first book is a second book. Don’t waste your life ‘pushing product’ on your blogs or twitter or taking out adverts.
  • You are always on stage as a writer so never be a jerk! Don’t be a rabble-rouser on the net because this just alienates half your audience. Also, never bitch about other writers, their books or people in the publishing industry – everything gets back.
  • Be polite and nice to everyone in the industry – you never know when an assistant editor you were once nice to might end up the head of a major house! Also, the industry is small and everyone talks and you might find that you don’t just insult the one person, but all that person’s friends in the industry as well!
  • Never take on a reviewer or critic who writes something you don’t agree with! Ever!
  • Speak professionally in public – try to sound intelligent.
  • Never miss your deadlines ever and always deliver on word-count.
  • Get to know your business – the agents, publishing houses, new presses and so forth. Do not just leave it up to your agent. You are your best agent and best hope for your own career!
  • Read and understand your contract!
  • Build and maintain your reputation, including your branding.
  • Keep track of all your reviews! Any time someone writes nice stuff in the press about you and your work, you can put those on your books as puff quotes. The really generic ones can be put on all your books!
  • Don’t quit your day job until you can live off reliable royalties.

Kevin J. Anderson, Rebecca Moesta, Dave Wolverton (David Farland), Eric Flint and many others conduct a course called “Superstars Writing” every year. This is a course purely on the business of writing. You can find it here.

 

 

 

 

My Writers of the Future Journey – Day 4 – 9th April 2014

This was the day of the 24-hour writing challenge – a Writers of the Future tradition designed to illustrate to us newbie writers that the story-well never runs dry, that we are never “out of ideas” and that stories can be “made to happen” at will and from the most disparate of story prompts imaginable. It also showed us that, yes, at a pinch, you can write a short story draft within a mere day.

It was a day I’d been dreading in the lead up to the trip after being told how hard it was by other previous Writers of the Future winners (who I now suspect were having more than a little fun at my expense). It wasn’t that bad, by the way, though it did turn out to be hard work and many hours without sleep!

After a morning session on character development and improving character dialogue, hosted by the fantastic duo of Tim Powers and Dave Wolverton (David Farland) …

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… we all headed off to the local library for our second writing prompt.

You’ll recall that my first writing prompt was an object:

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Us heading to the library:

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Tim Powers and Dave Wolverton accompanied us:

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And, as always, our wonderful cameramen and women were there to catch every moment (image courtesy of Randy Henderson):

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The library:

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The 24-hour challenge requires the writer to create a story from three story prompts – a random object; a random book (or books) and a random conversation with a stranger. The Boulevard being what it was, we were advised to choose our strangers very carefully and not get into any cars. Needless to say, me and Leena Likitalo, as foreigners to the States, decided to stick together for the walk back to Author Services.

After leaving us with final instructions on finding appropriate books and strangers …

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… Tim Powers and Dave Wolverton left us to our own devices.

Below is a picture of me jotting down notes from the books I chose. Even though we had three hours to get our book/s and talk to our strangers before the 24-hour challenge started in earnest (4pm), the time flew by and, eventually, I gave up trying to rewrite the text I was looking at and just took pictures of the books with my phone.

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The books I chose (story prompt two):

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My stranger (story prompt three):

For my stranger, I met the most wonderful guy with the most wonderful story of how he had come to be a security guard in his present job. Without going into the details of his story or identity, what struck me the most about him was how non-judgemental he was and how much he cared for the poor and homeless and regular clientele he was acting as security guard both on behalf of and, sometimes, at odds with.

He was also really driven, presenting himself four times a year to a company, which was promising future paid adult education courses to a select few people who could ‘prove’ their punctuality and dedication by being on time to the quarter-yearly role-call. He told me how, when he had first applied, he had been one of some 800 people. Now, he was one of only 190. He said he was going to keep turning up to role-call and that, eventually, he was going to get his position in that course.

Having gotten our three story prompts, Leena and I headed back to Author Services, stopping for a wonderful Italian lunch on the way. Leena was very hungry!

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At 4pm, Tim Powers and Dave Wolverton sent us back to the Loews Hotel. The 24-hour story challenge had begun. All us writers spread out around the hotel and began to write.

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Which was how I remained until 1am the next morning …

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Thus ended day 4 at Writers of the Future.

 

 

 

The Amazing Writers of the Future Rooms at Author Services

On our first official day of lectures at Writers of the Future, the contest winners were treated to a tour of the Author Services building. I was so impressed with the aesthetics of the place, I decided to dedicate a pictorial post to it.

The entire building is lined with beautifully crafted wooden panels and bookshelves containing posters of L Ron Hubbard’s fiction, as well as his novels, awards and memorial plaques. The floor is crafted in exquisite parquetry and the ceiling lights are wide and square, giving off a soft, creamy glow.

day-6-wotf87There is also an entire museum dedicated to the achievements of previous winners of Writers and Illustrators of the Future, as well as the judges and tutors of the contest. It’s very cool to think that I am now considered a graduating alumnus of such prestigious company and that, one day, novels and New York Times Bestseller lists bearing my name might also be added to this room for future winners to view and be inspired by.

 

The main foyer of level four of Author Services where we were greeted on day 1:

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If you pass through a wide doorway to the right of the couches you enter …

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The room where our Writers of the Future lectures were held.

This room is entirely lined with bookshelves containing L Ron Hubbard books, essays and memorabilia as well as artwork, trophies and sculptures.

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The back wall contains more bookshelves and also a striking paper sculpture:

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The museum dedicated to the works and successes of previous winners of Writers and Illustrators of the Future, as well as past and present judges and tutors of the competition.

The view from the doorway:

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Is that not the best coffee table ever?

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The first wall you encounter (just inside the doorway) is an honorary wall with photos of past and present Writers of the Future judges; New York Times Bestseller lists containing past winners whose works have made the grade and editions of every past Writers of the Future anthology including a spiral-bound edition of the very first Writers of the Future anthology!

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On the other wall adjacent the door are numerous photos of the first place (Golden Pen and Golden Brush) winners accepting their Writers and Illustrators of the Future awards.

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Joni proudly showing us the photos.

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Opposite the wall of photos were three alcoves lined with book shelves. These contained the books written by past Writers and Illustrators of the Future winners as well as those by  Writers of the Future judges and previous winners who became judges.

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The little plaque above this bookshelf says “Contest Winners”

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Winners who are now judges:

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In addition to bookshelves, one of the alcoves contained time capsules. In these, past winners of Writers and Illustrators of the Future have placed their predictions of what the world will be like in several decades. My group had to address what Mars would be like 20 years from now. It will be opened on the 50th year of Writers of the Future. Amazing!!!

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Another alcove contained the Writers and Illustrators of the Future trophies:

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Seeing this room and the quality and success of the writers and illustrators whose illustrious company I’ve now entered with this competition really brought home to me just what a huge deal winning Writers of the Future is. I highly recommend the competition to anyone looking to seriously make it in the world of fantasy and science fiction writing. If nothing else, I had a really really great week!

My Writers of the Future Journey – Day 3 – 8th April 2014

The 8th of April marked the first day of our Writers of the Future workshops.

Leena Likitalo and I got up bright and early and went to Starbucks, where I indulged in venti skim latte with 2 raw sugars and an amazing egg sandwich (American bread is sweet – I am not sure why this is) and she indulged in coffee and oatmeal.

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We then accompanied Joni Labaqui, Brad Torgersen, Tim Powers and Dave Wolverton and the other eleven Writers of the Future winners down Hollywood Boulevard to the Author Services building where the workshops were to be held.

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The Author Services building had been decorated with banners for our arrival:

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On the fourth floor, we were greeted warmly by the staff of Author Services and Galaxy Press who, until now, had mainly just been names on an email list, helping us with our flights and media/publicity and travel planning. It was great to finally put faces to names.

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The Author Services building is truly amazing. It is tastefully adorned with warm, wooden paneling and lined with beautiful bookshelves bearing the works of L Ron Hubbard in all different languages and editions and covers as well as the trophies and awards and plaques he received. There is also an entire room dedicated to the past winners and judges of Writers and Illustrators of the Future which we were shown around before our tutorials started. The interior is such an impressive tribute to the man who started Writers of the Future and its previous winners, I have given it its own pictorial post.

 

Our first day of tutorials was spent with the fantastic Tim Powers and Dave Wolverton (also known as Dave Farland). These guys were both great to talk to and very approachable and knowledgeable about the writing industry.They were also hilarious! I’ve never had such a fun series of lectures.

The writing notes I took on this first day of lectures is contained in its own post.

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Dave Wolverton (in red) looking on while Tim Powers illustrates what he means.

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I’m not quite sure what Tim just said … but it was funny!

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Our every move, throughout our time at Writers of the Future, was documented by camera crews and many of the beautiful photos contained in my posts are courtesy of them. The cameras were on hand to make a future Writers of the Future documentary, but they were also there to provide us with stunning photos for our own collections and memories. I am grateful for all the work they put in (these guys took pride in every shot, to the extent that they were regularly going around to ensure there were no unsightly  jackets or sunglasses or coffee cups on tables).

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We took a break for lunch at a sandwich and hamburger bar diagonally opposite Author Services (image courtesy of Randy Henderson). The cafe owner was not expecting about sixteen people to descend on her tiny cafe so it took a while for us to get our food, but when it came out, it was hot and fresh and the bread-crumbs covering our burger patties deliciously crunchy.

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After lunch, there were more lectures from Dave and Tim, which took us up to 6pm.

We also each received a random “object” from Tim Powers. This object (and it was different for each of us) was to serve as one of three “story prompts” we were each to receive in order to complete our 24-hour story challenge later in the week. The following images are of us each receiving our “object” from Tim.

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My object was an old pressure and temperature gauge:

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Once the lectures were over, Dave Wolverton accompanied the winners of Writers of the Future to a restaurant across the road from the Loews Hollywood Hotel where I got to indulge in some truly American fare. The restaurant was called Tinhorn Flats and it was a Hollywoodised version of a country-style, southern steakhouse. The food was amazing!

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Moose antler light fittings:

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The best nachos I’ve ever had. In the US, nachos have their own purpose-cooked dipping chips, unlike the CCs and Doritos we make do with in Australia.

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After that, we all went to the Loews bar to talk with the tutors awhile before Leena and I headed upstairs to complete our reading assignments from the L Ron Hubbard book of essays we were given at induction.

My Writers of the Future Journey – Day 2 – 7th April 2014

My Finnish  room-mate and first-place winner of third quarter of Writers of the Future, Leena Likitalo, arrived around midnight. A sweeter person you have never met! She and I immediately hit it off and decided to go on a trip to Warner Brothers Studio together the following day.

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Warner Brothers is a massive, working movie studio started many decades ago by four brothers (and no, not Yacko, Wacko and Dot from the Tiny Toons cartoon …) and if you want to get an idea how movies and TV series (especially sitcoms) are made, this is the studio tour to do!

We were taken to the studio by LA City Tours (this was organised for us by the concierge of the Loews Hollywood Hotel). The bus ride took us over the Hollywood hills to the San Fernando Valley, where many of the huge movie studios lie (the region is called Burbank). This location is possibly the reason so many movie stars live up in the Hollywood hills (places like Beverly Hills and Bel Air) – their houses are halfway between the ritzy shopping and cafe precincts of Rodeo Drive and the studios they are working in.

Many of the tourists disembarked at Universal Studios, which is apparently part movie tour and part theme-park (it’s on my list for next time I return to LA).

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At Warner Bros, you have to go into the gift shop to get your VIP tour passes. Just pass between the huge Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck (squee!) statues to get there.

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Hint for overseas travellers – take your passport with you! Security to get into Warner Bros studios is as strict as any airport and you have to pass through metal detectors and have your bags checked to get in.

After running the gauntlet of security and buying a Big Bang tee-shirt and tiny Sylvester hat pin and coveting an amazing Harry Potter Chess set, the tour started. It began with a small theatre and moving video montage of Warner Brothers films.

After that, our tour-guides appeared. Me and Leena had a tour-guide called Kipp and his enthusiasm was absolutely infectious – you could tell he loves showing folks around the studio (either that or he’s in the right place for his budding acting career!) and his insight into the place was amazing.

The huge golf-carts we toured around in (wear sunscreen):

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The driveway (famous Warner Brothers water tower in the distance) and boom-gates leading into the studio lot. The studio is backed by lovely, treed hills with no overlooking houses (Kipp wasn’t sure if this was a deliberate request by the studio or if it was just chance no-one was living up there):

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The studio lot is full of different street-scapes designed to look like everything from New York to 1950s Chicago to small-town America. The buildings are literally all front (many just have front rooms for the benefit of the cameras), which is why, when viewed from the side, they are so narrow. Anyone is allowed to knock anything down and tack anything onto any of the buildings, so long as any damage done is returned to the way it was afterward.

You’ll notice there are no leaves on the trees in the second shot, yet Spring was in full-bloom. When shooting winter scenes, the greens department have to pluck all the leaves from the trees that will be seen in the movie. What an onerous job!

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This is the front that was used as the orphanage in the musical: Annie:

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This is the little subway entrance Billy Peltzer has to go down to find the shop selling the Mogwai in Gremlins.

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This fire escape has appeared in many movies, but you might remember it from the “Hard Knock Life” scene in Annie.

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More street-scapes of all different flavours:

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The last remaining front from Casablanca:

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The fake courthouse whose steps were used in the movie, Argo:

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The stretch of “Chicago” railway used in ER:

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What I loved about Warner Brothers was their clever use of space. Most of the street-scapes and houses have been used in numerous movies, but you wouldn’t know because the crews just put fake fronts up to cover what is already there and create a unique look. Many of the houses have “fronts” at the rear of the house so that they can appear to be two entirely different houses depending which entrance you take. The car parks and offices of the staff are also fair game – if a film has need of a specific place, the staff are simply moved out to make way for the movie crews. One of the carparks we saw had a huge H painted on it and became the helipad at the top of the hospital in ER. It was, on another occasion, covered with sand for a beach scene.

Believe it or not, this is an office block. It has been designed to look like a seedy motel, just in case a movie has need of a seedy motel.

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This is one house. On the front, it is the Gilmore Girls house. From the back, it is one of the homes on Pretty Little Liars. It is over the road from one of the homes used in the movie, Gremlins.

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Streets are built on curves disappearing around trees or other buildings so that the movie audience has the impression the streets and houses keep going. To create a sense of depth, the buildings, doors and windows are built on a smaller and smaller scale the further along the street you go. This is ‘forced perspective’ and it’s really effective.

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Everything on the street can be changed around. Even the lamp posts, which seem solid and permanent, have power cords and can be removed as needed.

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The buildings not-currently-in-use have no door knobs, handles or front light fittings. The electricals hang out: a blank canvas for whatever adornments the next movie crew would like to place.

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You think this brick work is real? No. It’s been painstakingly painted on.

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Not even plants are permanent. Plants are put on set in pots for ease of removal later.

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Traveling further along, we came to the massive sound stages the various shows are filmed in. These are massive curve-roofed hangars with numerous, open-front sets inside (for intellectual property reasons, photography was not allowed inside the sound stages). Many of them had “extras” (now called “background actors”) loitering outside, awaiting their cues.

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Each sound stage has a plaque on the front, showing the films and TV shows filmed in them. We went into the Big Bang Theory stage – Stage 25.

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We also went into the stage where Friends was filmed. For tourism reasons, they kept the Central Perk set intact so people could see it.

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Being a “behind the scenes” tour, we also got to travel through the design sections where all the props were housed. Anything you could ever want to decorate a room or put as a back-drop for a speech is there.

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Skeleton anyone?

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Props from Argo:

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Costumes from The Last Samurai:

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All the lamps and light fixtures you could ever want:

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Presidential seals? You got it.

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A huge warehouse holds the workshop used to create the various sets and building frontages. Stuff for each film is stacked together. The ones on the right were labeled with Big Bang Theory.

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Warner Brothers also has a collection of cars used in their films. The Great Gatsby Rolls is there as well as the General Lee from Dukes of Hazzard; several batmobiles; cars from the Matrix; the Gran Torino from the Clint Eastwood film and the Ford Anglia from Harry Potter.

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Last but not least, there is also a museum where costumes from such films as: The Great Gatsby; The Hangover; The Dark Knight Rises and Gravity are on display. There is also a massive Harry Potter collection upstairs.

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The Harry Potter room!

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I adore the Weasley costumes:

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Look at that fabric!

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The room also has amazing props and monsters!

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Here is an uncanny, creepy model of a petrified Hermione:

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Concept art:

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All in all, Leena and I had a fantastic time at Warner Brothers!

After going on a tour through the surrounding suburbs of Hollywood and looking at some of the enormous star homes in Beverly Hills and Bel Air, we arrived back at the Loews Hotel in time to catch the other winners of Writers of the Future as they made their arrival and were greeted at the hotel entrance by Joni Labaqui from Author Services.

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We were then taken to the top floor of the hotel where, overlooking Hollywood, we all got a chance to meet one another and our tutors: Dave Wolverton and Tim Powers. We were briefed on the fun week awaiting us and each given a wonderful book of writing essays by the late L. Ron Hubbard, which would constitute our assigned reading for many evenings.

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Gold Pen winner – Randy Henderson – is delighted to receive his book from Tim Powers while Amanda Forrest waits with baited breath!

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Past winner, Brad Torgersen (nominated for two Hugo awards this year), and Contest Director, Joni Labaqui, addressing the room upon a background of LA:

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The 2013-14 Winners of Writers of the Future:

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