David Farland was an award-winning, international best-selling author with over 50 novels in print, and a tireless mentor and instructor of new writers. He built an audience with his "Daily Kick in the Pants" for writers, launched an editing service with MyStoryDoctor.com, created the Apex writing group, and he was one of the Founders of Superstars Writing Seminars (with Kevin J. Anderson, Brandon Sanderson, Eric Flint, James Artimus Owen, and Rebecca Moesta).

As a writing instructor, Farland mentored dozens who have gone on to staggering literary success, including such #1 New York Times Bestsellers as Brandon Mull (Fablehaven), Brandon Sanderson (Wheel of Time), James Dashner (The Maze Runner), and Stephenie Meyer (Twilight).

For many years he was the coordinating judge for L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future Contest, perhaps the largest worldwide writing competition for new fantasy and science fiction authors, and he worked in Hollywood greenlighting movies and doctoring scripts.

In his own fiction, he won the Philip K. Dick Award for his first novel On My Way to Paradise, the Whitney Award for his historical novel In the Company of Angels, and the International Book Award for his fantasy thriller Nightingale. He is best known, however, for his New York Times best-selling fantasy series The Runelords, and his Star Wars novel, The Courtship of Princess Leia.

David Farland passed away in January 2022. WordFire Press is pleased to bring back into print this profoundly important and seminal book on writing.

Writers of the Future Volume 36 edited by David Farland

The sci-fi and fantasy of tomorrow selected by masters of today: 24 award-winning authors and illustrators

Who are the top science fiction writers and illustrators of the future? Get to know tomorrow's brightest creative talents chosen by some of today's bestselling authors and celebrated artists including Kevin J. Anderson, Orson Scott Card, Larry Elmore, Brandon Sanderson, Dan dos Santos, and Robert J. Sawyer.

Enter brilliantly realized worlds of dystopian politics, magical realism, post-apocalyptic adventure and romance, dark fantasy and more. Explore universes of unlimited possibility in which a cereal box becomes a Pandora's box of good and evil … a troupe of artistic androids risk everything to catch the eye of a critic … and the foundation of a family, the very key to their existence, is not only inhabiting a home, but becoming it. Discover the writers who push the boundaries—and break beyond them … the illustrators who envision the impossible—and render it real … the stories that challenge the way we see ourselves—and see the world in a new way.



  • "This hefty, competent anthology showcases 12 consistently solid short stories, each accompanied by a full-color illustration. A worthwhile survey of new voices in the field."

    – Publishers Weekly
  • "This popular series features prize-winning stories and illustrations from new writers and artists. It is amazing that there are so many talented writers and artists out there."

    – Tangent Online
  • "With stories ranging from sf to fantasy, as well as some genre mash-ups, this collection offers something for both adults and teens to enjoy."

    – Library Journal



Writers of the Future 36 Story Descriptions

How does one interpret the word of God so that an alien can understand? —A Word That Means Everything by Andy Dibble

The cereal-box toy looked like a TV remote, but the children discovered that it could fix anything, heal anyone—or change everything. —A Prize in Every Box by FJ Bergmann

A troupe of mobile drama androids risk everything by transforming during a play, desperate to win their way into the Moto-Odeum theater tour. —Automated Everyman Migrant Theater by Sonny Zae

Robo actors over-step their marks to win a spot in the Moto-Odeum theater tour and save their troupe. —Automated Everyman Migrant Theater by Sonny Zae

Know there is nothing here to harm you. Only your choices. Only yourself. The educational tapes will prepare you for your choice, "I accept" or "I decline." There are no other options. —Educational Tapes by Katie Livingston

On the outskirts of a war zone scarred by endless conflict, a lonely landmine decommission expert struggles to connect with his nonhuman partner. —As Able the Air by Zack Be

An alien invasion leads to a suicide epidemic on Earth, and years later one of the survivors, a hotel clerk, struggles to make sense of the events and reconnect with the world. —Molting Season by Tim Boiteau

Whether you catch a good death or a bad one determines the course of your life, unless you find a way to break free of the cycle. —Catching My Death by JL George

A house is supposed to protect its family, not turn on one of its own. —Foundations by Michael Gardner

An artist leaves her homeworld to perform for humans across the galaxy, but finds that everything the humans have given her people may pale in comparison to what they've taken. —Stolen Sky by Storm Humbert

An alien visits the International Space Station to provide a potential solution to climate change, for a price! —The Trade by C. Winspear

A guilt-ridden cargo captain on a remote mining colony decides to help a fallen angel who desires to die. —Trading Ghosts by David Elsensohn

Nathan Reed steals the opportunity to repeat his life and prevent his wife's untimely death. —Yellow and Pink by Leah Ning