Dave Farland Wolverton (1957-2022)

Dave Wolverton. Photo (c) and taken by Andrew Porter.

By Dave Doering: What a challenge! How do I capture almost 40 years of working with Dave Wolverton here? He was the rarest of gems–a titan in tale-telling, an articulate teacher, a riveting writer, a major mentor–and the kindest man you could meet in Science Fiction and Fantasy. For everyone, he was ready to encourage you with “You can do it!”  (Even age didn’t matter to him. He listened when my daughter Serena, at 11 years old, asked if he’d visit her school to tell them about writing and he accepted. They were thrilled.)

I remember Dave joining our rollicking band of renegades at the university to do our SF journal Leading Edge and then our annual event Life, the Universe, & Everything.  I believe Dave and his welcoming attitude to new writers and creators was the secret sauce for LTUE to grow to be a major resource for professional development. No one knew the business side of writing better than Dave. From some muse, he immediately grasped what it took to succeed in publishing. I remember how he won as a quarter finalist in Writers of the Future. Lesser aspiring other authors might have luxuriated in being a quarterly finalist at the contest’s gala. Not Dave. Dave came to the event prepared with completed novels and outlines for a series or two. He left with his first book contract.

Dave continued to give us a incredible role model–canny editor at Scholastic (uncovering Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling–which changed young adult reading forever), being a New York Times bestseller, Coordinating Judge for Writers of the Future, co-founder of Superstars Writing Seminar, and then the Apex Writing Group

I never sat down with Dave without taking notes. He always had a fabulous personal story to tell. (Which reminds me, Dave. How could you leave us without finishing your Asian gangster story?? I was spellbound as you told me how you got an actual phone call from a couple of them who said they were at LAX with $1 million in a suitcase if you’d make your Runelords movie with them?? What happens next?? Arrggh!) 

Yes, I cry now because Dave had to leave and it is over , But I am very grateful that I can cry with a smile because it happened at all. Maybe Dave said it best in his work Runelords:

“Many men dream of doing well. But few give form to their dreams. {G]reatness is…the achievement of those who prove their greatness by their deeds.”

Dave has certainly earned his greatness with his deeds. Godspeed John David Wolverton in your journey now to the AfterCon. May your teaching and counsel continue to inspire many, many more writers and creators to come.

Update 01/15/2022: There has been an announcement by Dave’s family and friends to raise money on GoFundMe for funeral and family expenses. Here’s the link: Please Help the Family of Dave Wolverton-Farland (gofundme.com)

Discover more from File 770

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

7 thoughts on “Dave Farland Wolverton (1957-2022)

  1. Even though it’s been something like 3 decades since Mr. Wolverton and I last spoke, I’m sorry to hear about his passing. Rest In Peace, Dave.

  2. In re: Todd Bennett comment, I too regret not taking more opportunity to speak with Dave over the years. I promise to be better with my friends from now on.

  3. Pingback: Pixel Scroll 1/16/22 I Hereby Dub The Current Dominant Genre (Whatever It May Be) Punky McPunkcore | File 770

  4. Pingback: Jody Lynn Nye Announced as Writers of the Future Coordinating Judge | File 770

Comments are closed.