I got an interesting lesson on the power of the simple press release this last week. Not sure if you have heard or not but Kris (Kristine Kathryn Rusch) and I have been asked to be judges in the Writers of the Future contest along with Kevin J. Anderson and Fred Pohl and Anne McCafferty and Dave Wolverton and K.D. Wentworth and Mike Resnick and others. Great honor.
We had both been asked once before, but at the time I was still editing Strange New Worlds for Pocket Books and didn’t feel it was right to be involved with two new writer contests, and Kris was just finishing up her stint as editor of F&SF Magazine and didn’t feel up for it. But now, as only freelance writers, we are honored to be asked again and said yes quickly.
What I found startling is that Writers of the Future did a press release about us being asked and it got picked up across the country by television and radio stations, by newspapers, by blogs, you name it.
As any writer does, I have Google Alerts set up to let me know when my name or names come up somewhere on the web or in the media. Since that press release, my Google Alert has exploded with one day alone over 50 news outlets. And for a week now it hasn’t let up much. Now normally I only get an alert when someone reposts my blog or mentions my name or gets angry at me in some blog somewhere. Or when someone is selling one of my books somewhere. I usually go look but never say anything. That happens about four to ten times a day normally, a few more when I post a new Sacred Cows blog.
But wow, the simple power of that press release from the Writer’s of the Future shocked me. Shows how really important that contest has become in 26 or 27 years of existence.
It was honor to be in the very first book all those years ago, and be the first one across the stage at the very first ceremony, and it’s an honor now to go back and be a judge and help the new writers today. Kris and I also hope to help out for a few hours at the workshop if they need us while we are down for the ceremony every year. Only time will tell on that.
Kris and I met at the very first Writers of the Future workshop. Amazing how the contest is really been a part of our lives from the start. Glad it’s back in our lives again.