In 2005, shortly after leaving the nonprofit sector and going to work for local government, I won Writers of the Future on my second submission. My first had garnered honorable mention from AJ Budrys in 1999 or so.
In spring 2005, I learned I had won and that summer (just having finished the metal man story that would eventually become LAMENTATION) I jumped on a train (while drafting “Summer in Paris Light from the Sky”) to attend my workshop and award ceremony. I’m still friends with many of my WotF cohort and the judges I met along the way. One of them — Kevin J. Anderson — has gone on to publish me.
Anyway, it was a lovely chat with John Goodwin. Give it a listen.