My author's copies of Writers of the Future Volume 26, along with the trophy and copy of Tyler's illustration for "Lisa with Child" arrived this Saturday.
Many thanks to everyone at Author Services, which administers the contest and orchestrated a wonderful week in Los Angeles. The time spent there with my peers, the contest judges, and the instructors was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Hanging up the artwork on the wall and putting the trophy on the desk was certainly something of an emotional moment. I've always avoided calling myself a writer, because it sounded rather pretentious without having a published novel on the shelves of bookstores. However, having tangible signs my first publishing success is making me a whole lot more comfortable with the idea of being a writer and not just a hobbyist. That and the fact that friends have started referring to me as a science fiction writers helps.
Of course now I need to figure out a away to make this sustainable. The literary science fiction market is imploding, and if the trends of the past few decades continue to hold true, only a handful of individuals will be able to make a living writing original science fiction. It has already largely transitioned from a profession to a cottage industry, in which even published novelists write in their spare time.