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.
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.
The Author Services building had been decorated with banners for our arrival:
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.
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.
Dave Wolverton (in red) looking on while Tim Powers illustrates what he means.
I’m not quite sure what Tim just said … but it was funny!
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).
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.
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.
My object was an old pressure and temperature gauge:
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!
Moose antler light fittings:
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.
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.