Sunday, July 31, 2022

Interview with John Goodwin, the President of Galaxy Press




Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.

My name is John Goodwin, and I am the President of Galaxy Press. In addition to publishing all the fiction works of L. Ron Hubbard, Galaxy Press also publishes the Writers of the Future series. I have been involved with the L. Ron Hubbard Writers & Illustrators of the Future program since 1986, beginning with Volume 2. We just now published Volume 38.

Shortly after the publication of "Battlefield Earth" in 1982, which was written in celebration of 50 years as a professional writer, L. Ron Hubbard initiated the Contest. In his essay published in that first volume, he wrote:

“A culture is as rich and as capable of surviving as it has imaginative artists. The artist is looked upon to start things. The artist injects the spirit of life into a culture. And through his creative endeavors, the writer works continually to give tomorrow a new form.”

“In these modern times, there are many communication lines for works of art. Because a few works of art can be shown so easily to so many, there may even be fewer artists. The competition is very keen and even dagger sharp.”

“It is with this in mind that I initiated a means for new and budding writers to have a chance for their creative efforts to be seen and acknowledged. With the advent of the Writers of the Future competition came an avalanche of new material from all over the country. . . .”

“Judging the winners for this book could not have been an easy task, and I am sincerely grateful to those professionals and top-flight veterans of the profession for their hard work and final selections which made this book possible.”

“And my heartiest congratulations to those they selected for this first volume.”

“Good luck to all other writers of the future.”

“And good reading.” —L. Ron Hubbard (1985)

The Contest has now grown to where we have received entries from over 175 countries and have published winners from nearly 50 countries.

What inspired you to author this book?

This series was inspired by L. Ron Hubbard. He announced the Writer Contest in 1983, with the first volume published in 1985. While he passed in 1986, he directed the continuation of the Contest into perpetuity through his Estate, and it has flourished since.


Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?

The cover was created by internationally acclaimed artist Bob Eggleton, winner of 7 Hugos and 11 Chesley Awards, who is also an Illustrator of the Future judge.



Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?

Since its inception, the Writers and Illustrators of the Future have had as its judges many of the top names in speculative fiction who all agreed with Mr. Hubbard’s vision of providing for the future of science fiction and fantasy in the form of a Contest open to any amateur writer or illustrator of any age, nationality, or ethnicity, free to enter, and judged blind. It leveled the playing field in one move, allowing the best to rise to the top.

The Contest year is broken into four quarters. There are three writer winners and three illustrator winners selected every quarter. All winners receive a cash prize upon announcement.

Each year, the Contest flies out the winners from wherever they are to Hollywood for a week-long workshop, taught by Contest judges. In the last two years, winners and workshops have been held at the famous Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. The week is capped with a black-tie gala in Hollywood replete with red carpet, dozens of media, and beautiful trophies. The grand prize winners each receive a check for $5,000.

As the purpose of the Contest is to provide that helping hand to the aspiring writer or artist, we also endeavor to get a minimum of three media placements for each winner and at least one bookstore event.

A recent review from Midwest Book Reviews stated, “Writers of the Future is the gold standard of emerging talent into the field of science fiction fantasy that has contributed more to the genre than any other source.”

At the outset, the Contest started with writer judges that included Algis Budrys, Frank Herbert, Anne McCaffrey, C.L. Moore, Fred Pohl, and Jack Williamson, and carrying on to this day with judges such as Kevin J. Anderson, Nnedi Okorafor, Brandon Sanderson, Dean Wesley Smith as well as Brian Herbert and Todd McCaffrey, having picked up the baton from their parents. For the full list go to

Illustrator judges began with legends such as Leo & Diane Dillon, Will Eisner, Frank Frazetta, Frank Kelly Freas, Jack Kirby, and now with celebrated artists including Echo Chernik, Ciruelo, Bob Eggleton, Larry Elmore, and Rob Prior. For the full list go to:

Over the 38 years, the writer and illustrator judges have contributed their advice and tips in essays published in every volume. Almost every one of these professionals have been friends of mine and every bit as proud to be judges as Mr. Hubbard was to found the Contests.

Tell your readers about your book.

“L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 38” contains 12 winners’ stories plus 1 published finalist, with stories illustrated by the 12 winning artists. In addition, we have a short story written by Frank Herbert, one of our original Contest judges. He also provided a very important piece of writing advice, published in this volume, which was the last article he wrote.

Volume 38 was edited by David Farland, who passed away earlier this year. David had also been our Contest Coordinating Judge for ten years. His last story, based on the cover art from Bob Eggleton, is also included, called “A Word of Power.”

A key thing to know about the Writers of the Future anthologies is that these winners are who our judges—your favorite authors and artists—chose as the best new voices in science fiction and fantasy. It is why I can safely promise that if you like science fiction or fantasy, you WILL find something to your taste in each volume. Guaranteed!


Here are a few reviews so far to give you an idea:

“Writers of the Future Vol 38 is a literary smorgasbord where each new story comes with a feeling of excitement and mystery. With so many short stories one might imagine it easy to put down between breaks, but instead, it’s a binge read. Just one more, you think, and the next thing you know the entire book is gone!” —The International Review of Books, Gold Badge

“Thirteen original stories described as powerful, unpredictable, nicely crafted, appealing with many twists.” —Tangent Online

“Captivating, compelling, and exceptionally well edited. It delivers.” —OnlineBookClub.Org

Who is your target audience, and why?

We have two target audiences. One is fans of science fiction and fantasy. Writers of the Future contains short stories that are rated appropriate for middle school on up.

The second audience is aspiring writers and artists. Each year, they can see what level the bar is now set to, so they know how good they have to be to win.

And each volume has essays by the Contest judges to provide writing tips. For example, in volume 38 we share Frank Herbert’s “The Single Most Important Piece of Advice.” Frank was a judge for the contest and wrote this before he passed away. It is a real gem.


What do you consider your greatest success in life?

The growth of the Contests has been such that writers and illustrators include an Honorable Mention in their resumé.

Our Writers of the Future Forum ( won the Critters Award, a major fan competition, as the best forum.

The Writers and Illustrators of the Future Podcast was a finalist in the People’s Choice Podcast Awards. It is now over 3 years old. About 1 1/2 years ago, it was syndicated on the United Public Radio network where it really took off. The show now routinely gets over one-million listens per episode. The over 180 episodes have included our Contest judges and winners, as well as industry professionals, editors, publishers, and other international bestselling authors and artists. You can see the full list of guests here:

Two years ago, at what turned out to be the outset of the pandemic, we released the free L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Online Workshop. We were hoping to get 1,000 students by the end of the year. Instead, we had 2,000 students within 48 hours, and it has grown to over 6,000. The course includes 12 video presentations featuring Writers of the Future judges: David Farland, Tim Powers, and Orson Scott Card. There are 11 lessons with practical exercises as well as essays from Contest Founder, L. Ron Hubbard, and Founding Contest Coordinating Judge, Algis Budrys. The result has been a very marked increase in the quality of stories being submitted to the Writers of the Future Contest.

And of course, we are most proud of the winners that have gone on to successful careers with their work. The 535 past winners and published finalists of the Writing Contest have published over 1,900 novels and nearly 6,200 short stories. In addition, they have produced 36 New York Times bestsellers, and their works have sold over 60 million copies.

The 382 past winners of the Illustrating Contest have produced over 6,200 illustrations, 390 comic books, graced 624 books and albums with their art, and visually contributed to 68 TV shows and 40 major movies.

And now, as we approach September 30, we are coming to the close of Contest Year 39 when we will start once again to assemble what has proven to be the bestselling science fiction and fantasy anthology,

…and the Contest begins anew for Year 40!


What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?

The biggest difference that sets this anthology apart from others is these are the best of the best debut authors and illustrators in speculative fiction. The Writers of the Future anthologies are best described by the Contest judges:

“Science fiction as a genre has always looked to the future and the Writers of the Future looks to the future of science fiction.” —Kevin J. Anderson (co-author of the Dune sagas)

“Some of the most excellent speculative fiction that you can find. They’re cutting edge.” —Nnedi Okorafor

“These are the people who are going to be creating trends.” —Brandon Sanderson

“Writers of the Future, as a contest and as a book, remains the flagship of short fiction.” —Orson Scott Card

“The best new stories by new writers, anywhere.” —Larry Niven

“See the best of the best culled for you, curated and selected in a single volume every year.” —Robert J. Sawyer

“An absolute wealth of imagination, adventure, excitement, stimulation and joy, every possible human emotion.” —Sean Williams