Virtual Author Event - Winners of Writers of the Future, Vol. 40 (James Davies, Steve Bentley, Jack Nash, and Stephannie Tallent)

  • Posted on: 20 May 2024
  • By: TanyaMills

Cover of Writers of the Future, Volume 40



Once again we are hosting a panel discussion of some of the winning authors and illustrators included in the latest volume of L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future, edited by Jody Lynn Nye. Along with 15 illustrated short stories, Volume 40 has bonus stories and art and writing tips by such SciFi and Fantasy luminaries as Gregory Benford, Bob Eggleton, Nancy Kress, Dean Wesley Smith, and S.M. Stirling.

This year's panel features Authors James Davies ("Ashes to Ashes, Blood to Carbonfiber"), Jack Nash ("Son Spirit Snake"), and Stephannie Tallent ("Life and Death and Love in the Bayou"), as well as Illustrator Steve Bentley ("Five Days Until Sunset").


Winning Illustration for "Ashes to Ashes, Blood to Carbonfiber"          Headshot of author James Davies


When James Davies isn’t repairing linear accelerators or parenting his eighteen daughters—four feral humans and fourteen well-mannered hens—he reads, writes, and fells trees. James was raised among the rolling green hills of England’s “home counties” but was introduced to fantasy and science fiction when he stumbled across David Farland’s The Sum of All Men in a random bookstore in Kenya when he was ten. After devouring the entire Runelords series, James joined the Runelords online community where David Farland then introduced him to the Writers of the Future Contest and urged him to write. Various stages of life have interrupted James’s passion for writing (living in China with Shaolin monks, a master’s degree in electronics, falling in love, and relocating to Maryland, US). But two years ago, he approached it from a new direction: no longer writing for the sake of writing, but studying the craft with a focus on improvement. “Ashes to Ashes, Blood to Carbonfiber” is the amalgamation of a vivid dream and an extrapolation of technology under the shadow of human nature at its worst. And its best. “Ashes” asks: If you could sacrifice body parts to make anything of equal mass, what would you create? What would you sacrifice? James also has a complete epic fantasy novel that he is hoping to publish in the near future.


Winning Illustration for "Five Days to Sunset"          Headshot of Steven Bentley, Illustrator


Steven Bentley was born in 1964 in the city of Leeds in the north of England. He started drawing at an early age, at first on the walls with his crayons, then on any scrap of paper he could lay his hands on or that his father could provide. His love of art continued into school. If you would have asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, he would have said he wanted to draw and paint movie posters and book covers. Life however took him in other directions, but he continued to draw and paint every day developing his work until the opportunity came along for him to attend art school. There he gained a degree with honors in animation art and design. His passion always remained in illustration, and it is there he has continued to concentrate. He works almost exclusively in traditional media as he enjoys the process and having something tangible to hold is important to him. However, he has been known to dabble in the digital realm. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon, where he hopes to continue to grow his freelance career.


Winning Illustration for "Son, Spirit, Snake"          Headshot of author Jack Nash


Jack Nash started writing when he became a ghostwriter for a former head of state and Nobel Peace Prize winner. After his non-accredited work appeared in places like The New York Times, The Economist, and received standing ovations at the Nobel Foundation, he began to wonder what he could achieve if he turned toward fiction. He began seriously writing speculative stories in late 2021, and he received the call that he would be published in Writers of the Future one year plus one day after his first professional sale to The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. As a result, he is now strongly superstitious. Jack’s fascination with world mythology and folklore translated into a degree in anthropology, and later a career in international relations. “Son, Spirit, Snake” is his love letter to the world’s tales that the fantasy genre often neglect. Instead of knights in shining armor and medieval castles, Jack crafts a narrative about average people struggling to navigate a society where belief, community, and the duties of tradition reign supreme. French, which Jack speaks fluently, features prominently in the story. Originally from the deserts of the American West, Jack now wanders the urban forests of Virginia with his wife and daughter.


Winning Illustration for "Life and Death and Love in the Bayou"          Headshot of author Stephannie Tallent         


Stephannie Tallent writes various subgenres of fantasy, as well as dabbling in science fiction, mystery, and romance. She’s collected a variety of degrees over the years: a bachelor of science in English literature from the United States Military Academy at West Point; a bachelor of science in zoology from the University of Texas, Austin; and a doctor of veterinary medicine from Texas A&M. A small animal veterinarian, she jokes she’s a vet-vet, having served as an Army Military Intelligence officer during Desert Storm. Stephannie Tallent’s earliest memories are of gathering mussel shells and kelp at the beach and carting the stinking mass home. After living around the world, she moved back to California to be near the ocean. Many evenings she’ll be sipping a cocktail or glass of wine, watching the sun set over the water from her deck with her husband Dave and English cocker spaniels Orry and Rosie. About her story, “Life and Death and Love in the Bayou,” Stephannie says: “Sometimes the start of a story is simple. A photo of a gloriously decaying steamer in a bayou, Spanish moss dripping off the surrounding trees and the steamer itself, set my brain down that swampy road. And of course I can’t find the photo. Magic is like that—slippery, sneaky, forcing you to rely on yourself and your own smarts and memory.”




Event address: 
Online via Zoom
St. George, UT 84770-4087
L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 40: The Best New SF & Fantasy of the Year By L. Ron Hubbard, Dean Wesley Smith, Nancy Kress Cover Image
ISBN: 9781619867741
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Galaxy Press (CA) - May 7th, 2024