Teen Writers from Across Los Angeles Can Enter the Tomorrow Prize Science Fiction Writing Competition

Los Angeles County high school students are invited to submit their original short science fiction stories to The Tomorrow Prize and The Green Feather Award writing competitions through January 9, 2023.

Selected finalists will be chosen to have their stories read in their honor by celebrity guests during the culminating event in May 2023.

First, Second, and Third place Tomorrow Prize winners will receive $250, $150, and $100 USD cash prizes.

The First place Tomorrow Prize winner will be published in L.A. Parent Magazine.

The Green Feather Award is a special prize category for an environmentally focused sci-fi story co-presented by the Nature Nexus Institute. The winner will receive $250 and online publication.

The 2022 – 2023 The Tomorrow Prize & The Green Feather Award Submission Guidelines are at the link. Includes advice about what they do and don’t want to see in the entries.The submission form is here.

The Tomorrow Prize & The Green Feather Award 2022 Honorees

The Tomorrow Prize and The Green Feather Award winners were revealed at the Celebrity Readings & Honors ceremony at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena on May 22

THE TOMORROW PRIZE

1st Place Award Winner

  • “House on Sand” by Angel Bran, Hollywood High School

2nd Place Award Winner

  • “Backstitching” by Madison Kay, John Marshall High School

3rd Place Award Winner

  • “The Mechanical Planet” by Luna Prieto Fernandez, John Marshall High School

Finalists:

  • “Genetic Slumber” by Tais Cortez, Port of Los Angeles High School
  • “They’re Coming” by Amy Cervantes, Port of Los Angeles High School

The Tomorrow Prize recognizes outstanding new works of science fiction written by Los Angeles County high school students. First, Second, and Third place Tomorrow Prize winners receive $250, $150, and $100 USD cash prizes. The first place Tomorrow Prize winner is published in L.A. Parent Magazine. 

The Green Feather Award is an additional special prize category for an environmentally focused sci-fi story. The winner receives $250 and online publication by the Nature Nexus Institute.

THE GREEN FEATHER AWARD WINNERS

  • “Eden” by Jennifer Wu, Downtown Magnets High School
  • “The Seagulls Save Culver City?” by Jonathan Kim, Culver City High School

The Tomorrow Prize – Honorable Mentions

  • “Final Breath” by Nyn Kim, Port of Los Angeles High School
  • “Idiosyncrasy” by Nancy Duran-Lopez, Port of Los Angeles High School
  • “Your Case is Quite Unique…” by Indrid Corddry, Girls Academic Leadership Academy

The Green Feather Award – Honorable Mention

  • “Gone” by Christine Wu, Downtown Magnets High School

2022 Tomorrow Prize Finalists

The Tomorrow Prize and The Green Feather Award: Celebrity Readings & Honors, an in-person event on May 22, will recognize outstanding new works of science fiction written by Los Angeles County high school students, as well as this year’s winning ecology-themed sf story.

The 2022 finalists’ stories will be read by celebrity guests on Sunday, May 22 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. Pacific at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena, CA. Register to attend the free event at Eventbrite.

The winners will receive cash prizes. 

  • First, Second, and Third place Tomorrow Prize winners will receive $250, $150, and $100 USD cash prizes.
  • The First place Tomorrow Prize winner will be published in L.A. Parent Magazine

The Green Feather Award is an additional special prize category for an environmentally focused sci-fi story. The winner will receive $250 and online publication by the Nature Nexus Institute.

CELEBRITY GUEST READERS:

  • Rico E. Anderson (The Orville)
  • JB Blanc (Arcane)
  • Shayne Eastin (The Monster Project)
  • Bonnie Gordon (Star Trek Prodigy)
  • Tamara Krinsky (Tomorrow’s World Today)
  • Allison Scagliotti (Stitchers)
  • Marcelo Tubert (Star Trek: Picard)

THE TOMORROW PRIZE FINALISTS:

  • Angel Bran – Hollywood High School (“House on Sand”) 
  • Amy Cervantes – Port of Los Angeles High School (“They’re Coming”)
  • Tais Cortez – Port of Los Angeles High School (“Genetic Slumber”)
  • Madison Kay – John Marshall High School (“Backstitching”)
  • Luna Prieto – John Marshall High School (“The Mechanical Planet”)

THE GREEN FEATHER AWARD WINNERS:

  • Jonathan Kim – Culver City High School (“The Seagulls Save Culver City”)
  • Jennifer Wu – Downtown Magnets High School (“Eden”)

THE TOMORROW PRIZE HONORABLE MENTIONS:

  • Nancy Duran-Lopez – Port of Los Angeles High School (“Idiosyncrasy”)
  • Nyn Kim – Port of Los Angeles High School (“Final Breath”)
  • Sloane Corddry – Girls Academic Leadership Academy (“Your Case is Quite Unique”)
  • Christine Wu – Downtown Magnets High School (“Gone”)

FINALIST JUDGES:

  • Bobak Ferdowsi – Spacecraft Engineer
  • Keenan Norris – Sci-Fi Novelist & L.A. History Expert
  • Lilliam Rivera – Award Winning Y.A. Novelist
  • Sherri L. Smith – Award Winning Y.A. Novelist

The event also will feature a musical guest, theremin player, Steven Collins, an actor and guidance and control engineer at NASA/JPL. Steve has degrees in Theater Arts and Physics from UC Santa Cruz and built his first theremin in 2001. A lifetime fan of theater, science, and science fiction, Steve spends his time dancing, doing Shakespeare, flying spacecraft around the solar system and recently did a bit of technical consulting for season 2 of Star Trek Picard.

Guests are encouraged to wear a sci-fi themed outfit or accessory to get into the spirit of the readings!

[Based on a press release.]

Pixel Scroll 12/15/21 A Pixel Upon The Deep

(1) CHENGDU MARATHON LIVESTREAM CONTINUES. The Chengdu Worldcon bid livestream was noted in yesterday’s Scroll. Alison Scott took a look at it and reported in a comment here —

The Chengdu bid has been running a stream each evening (11:00 – 14:00 UTC) on Chinese Youtube/Twitch style site bilibili, featuring SF authors and other celebrities encouraging Chinese SF fans (of whom there are millions of course) to join DisCon III and vote for Chengdu.

The link to the stream is here. Although i couldn’t understand the stream, I used Google Translate to read the chat; full of SF fans, mostly students, talking about their favourite books, movies and tv shows and asking how to set up a local SF club in their area.

(2) TOMORROW PRIZE DEADLINE. There’s less than one week left for Los Angeles County high school students to enter their short sci-fi stories in The Tomorrow Prize and The Green Feather Award competitions. Full details at the Omega Sci-Fi Awards website. Those feeling the pressure should read “5 Things that Inspire” by Clare Hooper.

With the deadline approaching, many find it intimidating to start writing. Writer’s block is the worst. But the best cure for writer’s block is finding a good place to start, and that may mean inspiration. Here are five things that inspired previous winners and honorable mentions of The Tomorrow Prize and The Green Feather Award to write:

1: Anime

The accessibility and popularity of anime has only gotten wider in recent years. With so many shows in dozens of genres, it’s easy to find something you may want to put your own spin on. Omega Sci-Fi Awards Student Ambassador and Tomorrow Prize Finalist, Gwendolyn Lopez found inspiration through Studio Ghibli films. These films usually have a thin line between the mundane and the fantastical, thus inspiring Gwendolyn to give a more introspective feel to her story, Star Sailor. Ethan Kim, an honorable mention for The Tomorrow Prize, took inspiration from a different anime show, Dororo, which features a young man roaming the countryside fighting demons. Dororo inspired the themes of godlike figures and a battlefield setting in his story Cold Ashes….

(3) TOP GRAPHIC NOVEL. “Bechdel’s ‘Secret to Superhuman Strength’ Wins PW’s 2021 Graphic Novel Critics Poll” announced Publishers Weekly.

The Secret to Superhuman Strength (Mariner) by Alison Bechdel lands on the top spot of PW’s annual Graphic Novel Critics Poll, garnering seven votes from a panel of 15 critics. A groundbreaking queer author and a true household name in contemporary comics, Bechdel is best known for her widely acclaimed 2006 graphic family memoir Fun Home.

In The Secret to Superhuman Strength, her long-anticipated third memoir, Bechdel celebrates the fads and fanaticism of fitness culture—including her own obsession with physical self-improvement—using the phenomenon as a lens through which to examine both queer and American culture writ large…. 

(4) RAISING KANE. Cora Buhlert posted a new Fancast Spotlight, featuring The Dark Crusade, a podcast focused on the works of Karl Edward Wagner: “Fancast Spotlight: The Dark Crusade”.

… Therefore, I’m happy to welcome Jordan Douglas Smith of The Dark Crusade to my blog:

Tell us about your podcast or channel.

The Dark Crusade is dedicated to the life and work of writer/editor/publisher Karl Edward Wagner. We are systematically moving through his work, discussing it from a historical and literary lens. In addition to the podcast, we have a companion blog that covers additional facts about the stories, links to scholarship, and overviews of some of the collections Wagner has edited….

(5) TAFF VOTING OPENS TODAY. Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund administrators Johan Anglemark and Geri Sullivan are now accepting ballots for the 2022 TAFF race. It will close on April 19, 2022, after Reclamation (Eastercon) in London.

You can download the fill-in form ballot here (US Letter; A4 will follow shortly). It has the candidates’ platforms, the names of their nominators, and the voting instructions. Voting is open to anyone active in fandom before April 2020 who donates at least £3 (GBP), €3 (EUR), or $4 (USD) to TAFF. Voting is also possible online here.

Competing for the honor are these four great fans: Anders Holmström (Sweden), Fia Karlsson (Sweden), Mikolaj Kowalewski (Poland), and Julie Faith McMurray (UK). One of them will make a TAFF trip to Chicon 8, the 80th World Science Fiction Convention in September, 2022.

(6) CAST A WIDE NET. [Item by Cora Buhlert] The Pulp Net has an article about Fritz Leiber, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser by Don Herron: “Three sought adventure”. What struck me about this is that Herron not only knew Leiber, but also met Harry Otto Fisher, on whom Mouser was based and the resemblance was apparently uncanny.

… “Two Sought Adventure” saw print that August in the pulp Unknown — the first professional sale for Fritz Leiber Jr., who would go on to become one of the most-awarded writers in 20th-century imaginative literature.

The characters introduced, the barbarian Fafhrd and the wily Gray Mouser — the two best thieves in Lankhmar, and the two best swordsmen — would have many more adventures with the author till the end of his life….

(7) I’VE HEARD THAT NAME BEFORE. It appears to be Fritz Leiber month, because Grimdark Magazine also has an article about him by Ryan Howse: “The works of Fritz Leiber”.

… During their adventures, they battled men, magicians, and monsters, were in the power of two bizarre wizards who obviously did not have their best interests at heart, faced down the incarnation of death, survived the poverty of lean times in Lankhmar, climbed the world’s largest mountain on a whim, and plenty more. Their quests were often them following a rumour for fun or profit, with no grander schemes in mind….

(8) RAMA LAMA. “Dune Director Denis Villeneuve to Adapt Arthur C. Clarke’s Rendezvous with Rama”Tor.com has the story.

Filmmaker Denis Villeneuve is heading from Arrakis to Rama. After he finishes up Dune: Part Two (which was greenlit after Dune: Part One’s commercial success), the director will take on a feature adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke’s Rendezvous with Rama….

(9) OFF THE BEAM. Camestros Felapton has his own cat-themed series – Timothy the Talking Cat in the spirit of Zelig: “Missing Moments from Movie History: The Carbonite Manoeuvre”. Picture at the link.

An infamous cat-related accident on the set of the Empire Strikes Back resulted in this unfortunate outcome….

(10) ON THE DIAL. At BBC Sounds, The Exploding Library series begins with “Mother Night, by Kurt Vonnegut”.

In this new literature series, a trio of comedians explode and unravel their most cherished cult books, paying homage to the tone and style of the original text – and blurring and warping the lines between fact and fiction.

“We are what we pretend to be. So we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”

So reads the warning at the beginning of the novel Mother Night, in an author’s introduction written by Kurt Vonnegut himself. Yet in this world of unreliable narrators, editor’s “corrections” and weirdly omniscient first-person testimony, nothing is really what it seems.

Purportedly the “confessions of Howard J. Campbell Jr”, an American expat-turned Nazi propagandist-turned Allied spy (allegedly), Vonnegut’s warped collection of bizarre characters and slippery narratives invite us to cast aside our black and white notions of morals and guilt and survey the gazillions of greys in between.

Comedian Daliso Chaponda considers the strange world of people playing versions of themselves in public – comedians, spies, politicians and, to an extent, all of us. How do you deal with people perceiving you differently to your “real” self? And, for that matter, how do you know who you “really” are?

(11) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

1974 [Item by Cat Eldridge.] Forty-seven years ago, Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein premieres. The screenplay was co-written by Brooks and Gene Wilder who plays the lead role. The rest of the cast was Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, Cloris Leachman, Teri Garr, Kenneth Mars and Madeline Kahn. 

The film was shot in black and white with the lab equipment there originally used as props for the 1931 film Frankenstein as created by Kenneth Strickfaden.

Brooks has often said that he considers it by far his finest although not his funniest film as a writer-director. Reception for it was generally very good with Roger Ebert saying it was his “most disciplined and visually inventive film (it also happens to be very funny).”  It won a Hugo at Aussiecon. It was a fantastic box office success earning eighty-six million on a budget of just three million. Audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes give it near perfect rating of ninety-two percent. 

Mel Brooks would later adapt this into a musical that would run both off Broadway and on Broadway.

(12) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born December 15, 1923 Freeman Dyson. Physicist best known in genre circles for the concept he theorized of a Dyson Sphere which would be built by a sufficiently technologically advanced species around a sun to harvest all solar energy. He credited Olaf Stapledon in Star Maker (1937), in which he described “every solar system… surrounded by a gauze of light traps, which focused the escaping solar energy for intelligent use” with first coming up with the concept. (Died 2020.)
  • Born December 15, 1937 John Sladek. Weird and ambitious would be ways to describe his work. The Complete Roderick Is quite amazing, as is Tik-Tok, which won a BSFA, and Bugs is as well. He did amazing amounts of short fiction, much of which is collected finally in the ironically named Maps: The Uncollected John Sladek. He is generously stocked at the usual suspects. (Died 2000.)
  • Born December 15, 1951 David Bischoff. His “Tin Woodman” which was written with Dennis Bailey and nominated for a Nebula would be adapted into a Next Generation story. He also wrote the Next Gen story “First Contact” (with Dennis Russell Bailey, Joe Menosky, Ronald D. Moore and Michael Piller.) And he continued the Bill the Galactic Hero story with Harry Harrison.  He’s also written a kickass excellent Farscape novel, Ship of Ghosts. (Died 2018.)
  • Born December 15, 1952 Marta DuBoi. Her first genre role is on the Starman series as Dr. Ellen Dukowin the “Fever” episode though you’ll likely better recognize her as Ardra on the “Devil’s Due” episode of the Next Generation. She also had roles on The Land of The LostThe Trial of the Incredible Hulk and Tales of the Golden Monkey. (Died 2018.)
  • Born December 15, 1953 Robert Charles Wilson, 68. He’s got a Hugo Award for Spin, a John W. Campbell Memorial Award for The Chronoliths, a Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for the “The Cartesian Theater” novelette and Prix Aurora Awards for the Blind Lake and Darwinia novels. He also garnered a Philip K. Dick Award for Mysterium. Very, very mpressive indeed. 
  • Born December 15, 1954 Alex Cox, 67. Ahhh, the Director who back in the early Eighties gave us Repo Man. And that he got a co-writer credit for the screenplay of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas before it was completely rewritten by Gilliam. As you know he directed a student film version of Harry Harrison’s Bill, the Galactic Hero at University of Colorado Boulder just a few years ago!
  • Born December 15, 1963 Helen Slater, 58. She was Supergirl in the film of that name, and returned to the 2015 Supergirl TV series as Supergirl’s adoptive mother. Also within the DC Universe, she voiced Talia al Ghul in in Batman: The Animated Series. Recently she also voiced Martha Kent in DC Super Hero Girls: Hero of the Year. And Lara in Smallville… And Eliza Danvers on the  Supergirl series..   Her other genre appearences include being on SupernaturalEleventh HourToothlessDrop Dead Diva and the very short-lived Agent X
  • Born December 15, 1970 Michael Shanks, 51. Best known for playing Dr. Daniel Jackson in the very long-running Stargate SG-1 franchise. His first genre appearance was in the Highlander series and he’s been in a lot of genre properties including the Outer LimitsEscape from MarsAndromeda (formally titled Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda and there’s a juicy story there), SwarmedMega Snake, Eureka, Sanctuary, Smallville, Supernatural and Elysium. Wow! 

(13) TIME TO CROW. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In the Financial Times behind a paywall, Tom Faber reviews Death’s Door, a game he feels is strongly influenced by Legend Of Zelda, Dark Souls, and Hollow Knight.

Coming from tastemaking indie publisher Devolver Digital, I should have known better than to judge the game harshly.  Its mechanics are familiar but the plot is original and compelling, told with an economy that threads through every element of the game’s design.  You play a fledgling crow who is a new employee at a supernatural bureau of avatar grim reapers.  Your job is to collect the souls of those who have passed on.  Yet when a soul you have collected is stolen, your immortality (a handsome job perk) is compromised, meaning you will age and ultimately die if you cannot recover it….

Death’s Door is a game about being a small, fragile thing in a mysterious, dangerous world.  This is deftly constructed with certain characters and safe spaces scattered across the map which are colourful and memorable: the interminable bureaucracy of the celestial reaper’s office; your companion Pothead, whose skull has been replaced with a vat of soup; the gravedigger who gives touching elegies for those enemies you slay. The spare lines of dialogue tinkle with humour and specificity, helping you empathise with the mute reaper crow on his lonely journey to understand the meaning of death.

(14) BUHLERT AT VIRTUAL WORLDCON. Best Fanwriter Hugo finalist Cora Buhlert has posted her virtual DisCon III schedule: “Cora goes virtually to DisCon III, the 2021 Worldcon”. Her first panel is Thursday.

(15) COMING DOWN A CHIMNEY NEAR YOU. The Washington Post’s Michael Dirda rescues last-minute shoppers with his list of “Gift books 2021: Mysteries, ghost stories and other treats”.

‘The Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories: Volume 5,’ edited by Christopher Philippo (Valancourt)

This latest in an annual series again demonstrates that chills and frights still linger in the browning pages of old magazines and Christmas albums. Philippo reprints two fine tales I’ve read elsewhere — Amelia B. Edwards’s “My Brother’s Ghost Story” and Barry Pain’s “The Undying Thing” — but all his other choices were unfamiliar to me. Since James Skipp Borlase is represented by two stories, I decided to read them first….

(16) YA BOOK SUGGESTIONS. Tara Goetjen on YA horror, paranormal, and ghost story novels crime fiction fans might like. “Genre-Bending YA Novels Perfect For Crime Fans” at CrimeReads.

… To me, this is the great intrigue of a genre-bending thriller. There should always be, without fail, a human face behind the mystery or the bloodshed, just like there is in No Beauties or Monsters [her new book]. But whether or not there is a shadowy, inexplicable, perhaps unbelievable force also wielding terror… well, that’s why we read on till the very end. Here are some other genre-bending young adult novels with speculative elements that kept me reading till the very end too….

(17) LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS HOBBITS. GameRant’s Alice Rose Dodds delves into the books to help fans of the LOTR movies answer the question  “What Exactly Is Shire Reckoning?” — “What exactly is this measurement of time, and how does It differ from others in Middle Earth?”

…It is little known that there was a vast long period of time before which any hobbits ever came to rest in The Shire. Hobbits, being of a homely nature and loving their beautiful holes beyond all else, dislike to remember this fact, for they see those days as terrible days, before the comfort of a simple life was discovered… 

(18) IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK AT LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS. But don’t be fooled.  “Christmas Movies Show How Fake Snow Evolved, From ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ To Harry Potter” at LAist.

Watching classic holiday movies is a journey through the technology used to create yuletide joy in different generations. We once used asbestos as movie snow — now the technology ranges from computer graphics to a special type of paper.

In the early days of film, Hollywood “snowmen” would take anything that could be seen as white and flaky and put it to use, author and Atlas Obscura editor April White told LAist. Those sources of flaky whiteness included bleached cornflakes, gypsum, salt, concrete dust, asbestos, and even chicken feathers….

(19) THE LATEST STRANDS. Richard Lawson sorts the cycles of Spider-Man movies for Vanity Fair readers and comments on the new trailer in “Spider-Man: No Way Home Is a Very Tangled Web”.

…Well, to be fair, Spider-Man was always a Marvel property; he just lives at Sony because of deals that long predate Kevin Feige’s Disney-backed conquest of the content cosmos. In that sense, No Way Home is mostly just a triumph of studio executives agreeing on things and actors making their schedules work. A feat unto itself, I suppose…

(20) WEB CASTER VS. SPELL CASTER. Doctor Strange and Spider-man battle it out in the mirror dimension in this clip of the Spider-Man vs Doctor Strange fight scene from Spider-Man: No Way Home.

[Thanks to Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Rob Thornton, Cora Buhlert, Jeffrey Smith, Johan Anglemark, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Steve Davidson, part of “The Hugo Pixel Scroll Winners” series.]

Aspiring Teen Writers from Across Los Angeles to Participate The Tomorrow Prize Science Fiction Writing Competition

Los Angeles County high school students are invited to submit their original short science fiction stories to The Tomorrow Prize through December 21, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. The finalists’ stories will be read by celebrity guests live in May 2022 and the winners will receive cash prizes. A nonprofit program presented by the Omega Sci-Fi Awards, The Tomorrow Prize is an opportunity for students to shine as the thinkers of the future.

The Tomorrow Prize is open to all students attending high school in Los Angeles County, and it is free to submit. Students may submit up to two original stories of 500 to 1,500 words, each. Science fiction is a uniquely inspiring medium that has enabled many of our greatest thinkers and scientists to imagine the heights — and limits — of human achievement. Teen writers are encouraged to explore scientific, social, technological, environmental, moral and philosophical themes and issues in their writing and always, at the core, to master the art of great storytelling.

“The Tomorrow Prize inspires and motivates high school students of diverse backgrounds and from every region of Los Angeles County to test the limits of their imaginations and explore the issues they care about through science fiction writing,” says Omega Sci-Fi Awards Director Rosalind Helfand.

Up to five finalists will be chosen and their stories read by celebrity guests live in the May 2022 culminating event. First, second, and third place cash prizes will be presented following the reading. The first place winner will be published by L.A. Parent Magazine.

“The Green Feather Award” Recognizes Outstanding Eco-Themed Sci-Fi Stories: The Nature Nexus Institute (NNI) is partnering with The Tomorrow Prize to present “The Green Feather Award.” This special award recognizes an outstanding science fiction short story by a teen author [or team of authors] that centers on overcoming today’s environmental challenges. Strong entries will highlight the importance of ecology and biodiversity. The winner’s story will also be read at the culminating event and the winner will receive a cash prize and publication by the NNI.

The Omega Sci-Fi Awards are a program of Sci-Fest LA and the arts and education nonprofit, Light Bringer Project. Sponsors also include B5 Events, L.A. Parent Magazine, and Nature Nexus Institute.

Prizes: The Tomorrow Prize 1st Place – $250; 2nd Place – $150; 3rd Place – $100; The Green Feather Award – $250 and online publication

More information and to submit: Click here.

[Based on a press release.]

Omega Sci-Fi Awards Are Taking Entries

The Lightbringer Project is taking submissions for its four Omega Sci-Fi Awards – the Roswell Award, Feminist Futures Award, Tomorrow Prize, and Green Feather Award – until December 21.

THE ROSWELL AWARD. The Roswell Award is an international short science fiction story competition from writers age 16 and older. The complete guidelines are here.

  • Selected finalists will be chosen to have their stories read in their honor by celebrity guests during the Culminating Event on May 21, 2022.
  • First, Second, and Third place Roswell Award winners will receive $500, $250, and $100 cash prizes.
  • The First Place Roswell Award winner will receive a UCLA Extension Writers’ Program sponsored 11-week or shorter online course.

FEMINIST FUTURES AWARD. The Lightbringer Project has announced a new feminist prize they are co-presenting with Artemis Journal — the Feminist Futures Award. The complete guidelines are here.

The Feminist Futures Award is an additional special prize category for a feminist themed sci-fi story. The winning story will be published by co-presenter Artemis Journal.

THE TOMORROW PRIZE. Los Angeles County high school students are invited to submit their short science fiction stories to The Tomorrow Prize. Full guidelines are here.

  • Selected finalists will be chosen to have their stories read in their honor by celebrity guests during the Culminating Event on May 22, 2022.
  • First, Second, and Third place Tomorrow Prize winners will receive $250, $150, and $100 USD cash prizes.
  • The First place Tomorrow Prize winner will be published in L.A. Parent Magazine

THE GREEN FEATHER AWARD. The Tomorrow Prize partner, the Nature Nexus Institute is co-presenting The Green Feather Award, which highlights an environmentally focused sci-fi story. For more details see the submission guidelines here.

  • The Green Feather Award is an additional special prize category for an environmentally focused sci-fi story. The winner will receive $250.00 & online publication by the Nature Nexus Institute.

Tomorrow Prize and Green Feather Award 2021

The Tomorrow Prize and Green Feather Award Virtual Celebrity Readings and Awards, held May 23, revealed the winner of a science fiction short story contest for Los Angeles County high school students. The Omega Sci-Fi Awards’ second ceremony of the weekend began with dramatic readings of the finalists’ stories, including the already-announced winner of the Green Feather Award for eco-themed sf stories.

THE TOMORROW PRIZE for original short science fiction by Los Angeles County high school students

FIRST PLACE

  • “Star Sailor” by Gwendolyn Lopez (Pasadena High School)

SECOND PLACE

  • “Returning Home” by Sofia Orduno (Mt. SAC Early College Academy)

THIRD PLACE

  • “EP-1M Contamination” by Britney Cruz (Susan Miller Dorsey High School)

OTHER FINALISTS

  • “Äerd” by Tessa Kennedy (John Marshall High School)
  • “The Plague” by Flora White (Geffen Academy at UCLA)

Tomorrow Prize winner Gwendolyn Lopez is a sophomore at Pasadena High School. She is trilingual and speaks English, Spanish, and Mandarin. Outside of school, Gwendolyn enjoys reading, looking at cloud patterns in the sky, and writing fiction that has sci-fi or fantasy elements. Her short story, “Star Sailor,” was inspired by the 16th-century explorers in her history textbook and the mysteries of outer space.

Featured celebrity readers included: Joanna Cassidy (Blade Runner, Who Framed Roger Rabbit), Rico E. Anderson (The Orville), Kirsten Vangsness (Criminal Minds), Duane Henry (Captain Marvel), and more.

Finalist judges for The Tomorrow Prize were: volcanologist, explorer, and author Jess Phoenix (Ms. Adventure), and author Charles Yu (How To Live Safely In A Science Fictional Universe, Interior Chinatown), author Jennifer Brody (The 13th Continuum, 200), American Flight engineer Bobak Ferdowsi.

THE GREEN FEATHER AWARD for original short eco-themed science fiction by Los Angeles County high school students

WINNER

  • “Corn” by Sienna Koizumi (Culver City High School)

HONORABLE MENTION

  • “The Great Forgotten” by Jonah Guardino (High Tech LA)

The Tomorrow Prize and Green Feather Award Virtual Celebrity Readings & Awards is co-presented by L.A. Parent Magazine. The Green Feather Award is a special ecology-themed award co-presented by the Los Angeles Audubon Society.

The Omega Sci-Fi Awards is a nonprofit program founded in 2014 by Sci-Fest L.A. that aims to recognize and encourage emerging sci-fi writers, and Light Bringer Project, a Pasadena-based nonprofit arts and education organization. The awards ceremony is hosted in conjunction with LitFest Pasadena 2021.

[Based on a press release.]

Roswell Award and Tomorrow Prize 2021 Finalists and Honorable Mentions

Omega Sci-Fi Awards has announced the 2021 finalists and honorable mentions for both The Roswell Award and The Tomorrow Prize. They also have revealed the winner of the Women Hold Up Half the Sky Award, their feminist themed prize, and the winner of the Green Feather Award, their eco-themed prize.

THE ROSWELL AWARD for original short science fiction from writers worldwide

FINALISTS

  • “The Rite to Vote” by Matthew Cushing (Connecticut, USA)
  • “Imagine Dandelions” by Andrea Goyan (California, USA)
  • “Autonomous” by Ben Hennesy (USA/Tanzania)
  • “Run” by Tenzin Phillips (South Africa)
  • “Biomimicry” by Ven Pillay (South Africa)
  • “Realtiger” by Susan Wachowski (Illinois, USA)

HONORABLE MENTIONS

  • “When The Books Were on Paper” by Evgeniy Bondarev (Russia)
  • “Logistics” by Christian Dark (United Kingdom)
  • “Buddy and I” by Bryan Leong Jing Ern (Malaysia)
  • “Opt-In” by Susan Harper (California, USA)
  • “Way Out” by Larry Herbst (California, USA)
  • “Starchild” by Mayor Prosper Ihechi (Nigeria)
  • “Eclosion” by Alice Laciny (Austria)
  • “Rate Me!” by Lexus Ndiwe (United Kingdom)
  • “Mittens Aurelius: Meowditations” by Mark Thomas (Canada)

THE WOMEN HOLD UP HALF THE SKY AWARD for original short feminist themed science fiction

WINNER

  • “Never Turn Your Back on the Water” by Courtney Watson (Virginia, USA)

FINALISTS

  • “Yes” by Marie Cartier (California, USA)
  • “Unfrozen” by Libby Marshall (Illinois, USA)
  • “Fish Hunting Fish” by Archie Nicholson (Canada)
  • “Virgintillion” by Anna O’Brien (Maryland, USA)
  • “The Shadows of the Baobabs Fall Long” by Bailey Sweatman (Texas, USA)

THE TOMORROW PRIZE for original short science fiction by Los Angeles County high school students

FINALISTS

  • “EP-1M Contamination” by Britney Cruz (Susan Miller Dorsey High School)
  • “Äerd” by Tessa Kennedy (John Marshall High School)
  • “Star Sailor” by Gwendolyn Lopez (Pasadena High School)
  • “Returning Home” by Sofia Orduno (Mt. SAC Early College Academy)
  • “The Plague” by Flora White (Geffen Academy at UCLA)

HONORABLE MENTIONS

  • “Cold Ashes” by Ethan Kim (Crescenta Valley High School)
  • “The Gorm” by Jakob Wedel (Wedel Academy Independent Homeschool)

THE GREEN FEATHER AWARD for original short eco-themed science fiction by Los Angeles County high school students

WINNER

  • “Corn” by Sienna Koizumi (Culver City High School)

HONORABLE MENTION

  • “The Great Forgotten” by Jonah Guardino (High Tech LA)

On May 22 and 23 there will be Virtual Celebrity Readings & Awards events hosted in partnership with actress and stunt person Patricia Tallman’s (Babylon 5, Star Trek) B5 Events.

These events are free to attend with registration. Registration and more info is available here.

  • Saturday, May 22 at 11am PDT: The Roswell Award and Women Hold Up Half the Sky Virtual Celebrity Readings and Awards. Register here.
  • Sunday, May 23 at 5pm PDT: The Tomorrow Prize and Green Feather Award Virtual Celebrity Readings and Awards. Register here.

The Roswell Award and Women Hold Up Half the Sky Virtual Celebrity Readings & Awards will honor the best emerging science fiction writers from across the United States and worldwide. The Women Hold Up Half the Sky Award, a special feminist-themed award, is co-presented by the feminist publication Artemis Journal and KPFK’s Feminist Magazine radio show. The first place winner will also be presented with a free online course from the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program.

Featured celebrity guests for The Roswell Award Virtual Celebrity Readings & Awards on May 22 include: LaMonica Garrett (Arrow, Dc’s Legends Of Tomorrow), Ruth Connell (SUPERNATURAL), Nana Visitor (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), Phil Lamarr (Samurai Jack, Futurama), Tiffany Lonsdale-Hands (Siren), Kari Wahlgren (Rick And Morty), and David Blue (Stargate Universe).

Finalist judges for The Roswell Award include: Author Steven Barnes (Lion’s Blood, The New Twilight Zone), paleontologist Alyssa Bell (Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Dinosaur Institute), author Wesley Chu (The Lives Of Tao, The Walking Dead: Typhoon), author and engineer S.B. Divya (Runtime, Escape Pod), author Rebecca Moesta (Star Wars: Young Jedi Knights, Star Wars: Junior Jedi Knights), writer and director Philippe Mora (Communion, Continuity), author Larry Niven (Ringworld, The Integral Trees).

The Tomorrow Prize and Green Feather Award Virtual Celebrity Readings & Awards is co-presented by L.A. Parent Magazine. These include five all-female Finalists for The Tomorrow Prize original short sci-fi competition, this year’s Honorable Mentions, and the Winner of the Green Feather Award, a special ecology-themed award co-presented by the Los Angeles Audubon Society.

Featured celebrity guests for The Tomorrow Prize Virtual Celebrity Readings & Awards on May 23 include: Joanna Cassidy (Blade Runner, Who Framed Roger Rabbit), Rico E. Anderson (The Orville), Kirsten Vangsness (Criminal Minds), Duane Henry (Captain Marvel), and more.

Finalist judges for The Tomorrow Prize include: volcanologist, explorer, and author Jess Phoenix (Ms. Adventure), and author Charles Yu (How To Live Safely In A Science Fictional Universe, Interior Chinatown), author Jennifer Brody (The 13th Continuum, 200), American Flight engineer Bobak Ferdowsi.

This will be Omega Sci-Fi Awards’ sixth year hosting celebrity guests to read finalists’ stories. Gary Phillips, sci-fi and mystery writer and Omega Sci-Fi Awards board member says, “I was thrilled to read the entries for this year’s awards and am looking forward to hearing the Finalists’ stories read aloud by this stellar line-up.”

Their 6th annual Virtual Celebrity Readings & Awards events, with dramatic readings of the finalists’ stories followed by the prize announcements, will be on:

The Omega Sci-Fi Awards is a nonprofit program founded in 2014 by Sci-Fest L.A. that aims to recognize and encourage emerging sci-fi writers, and Light Bringer Project, a Pasadena-based nonprofit arts and education organization. The awards ceremony is hosted in conjunction with LitFest Pasadena 2021, a series of literary panel discussions that will be held on May 15-16 from noon to 6:00 p.m. Pacific.

[Based on a press release.]

Tomorrow Prize for LA County Student SF Writers Now Accepting Submissions

The Tomorrow Prize sf writing contest is taking entries from students attending high school in Los Angeles County. The deadline to submit is February 1, 2021.

The Tomorrow Prize for short science fiction, by an L.A. County high school student, showcases the best in creative, critical thinking, as well as great storytelling, by students from throughout Los Angeles. The Tomorrow Prize is free for students to submit up to two original short stories of 1,500 words or less.

PRIZES

  • First place: $250.00 & L.A. Parent Magazine publication online (in full) and in print (excerpt).
  • Second place: $150.00
  • Third place: $100.00
  • The Green Feather Award presented by Los Angeles Audubon: $250.00 & online publication (see below)

The Green Feather Award, presented by the LA Audubon Society, is a special prize for the best environmental conservation themed story.

Students who wish to be considered for The Green Feather Award for best environmental themed story must indicate this in their cover email. Stories submitted for The Green Feather Award will be considered for the other prizes if they are not a Green Feather Award winner.

For more information and submission guidelines visit: here.

Interested educators and students can register for one of two free info Q&A sessions.

The sessions will be available for free on Zoom from 5pm-6pm PDT. This is your chance to learn tips for a great short sci-fi submission for The Tomorrow Prize and engage in a Q&A in with the competition organizers. For more information and to register for either session:

2019 Tomorrow Prize for LA Student SF Writers Now Taking Entries


The 2019 Tomorrow Prize is accepting entries from students attending high school in Los Angeles County. The deadline to submit is February 18, 2019.

Contest entries must be original short science fiction stories, not fan fiction, of 1,500 words or less.

Sci-Fest L.A. and Light Bringer Project seek to nurture imagination, creativity and excellence in writing amongst Los Angeles high school students. Science fiction writing provides a unique opportunity for students to develop the ideas and narratives that will shape the future of humanity from how we address pressing scientific, social, philosophical, and environmental issues to inspiring us to develop new technologies and explore outer space. We are seeking narratives that are imaginative, original, thoughtful, well told, and well written.

Five finalists’ stories will be dramatically read on stage by sci-fi celebrities during LitFest Pasadena on Sunday, May 19, 2019, followed by an awards presentation.

The Grand Prize Winner will receive $250, with second and third place winners each receiving $150 and $100, respectively.

This 2018 contest’s 1st Place story was “Addiction” by Kalila Papanikolas of Westridge School.

The Tomorrow Prize for short science fiction was created by Sci-Fest LA in 2014 “to identify and encourage the next generation of science fiction writing talent.”

Entrants may also choose to be considered for the “Green Feather Award” presented by Los Angeles Audobon.

[The “Green Feather”] award recognizes an outstanding science fiction short story by a teen author [or team of authors] that centers on overcoming today’s environmental challenges. Strong entries will highlight the importance of ecology and biodiversity in some way, and we would be especially excited to see the local ecology, geography, culture, and environmental concerns of Southern California emphasized. We also recognize that issues of social and environmental justice strongly overlap with those concerning wildlife conservation, sea level rise, water conservation, climate change, and energy. Keeping that in mind, a story about a single neighborhood or school overcoming an environmental challenge would be just as valid as a story that tackles a much broader scale.

The “Green Feather” winner will receive a $250 cash prize and a one year Los Angeles Audubon membership.

Stories are eligible for only one prize but stories submitted for The Green Feather Award will be considered for other prizes if they are not a Green Feather Award winner.

Complete rules and submission guidelines are on the The Lightbringer Project’s Tomorrow Prize/Roswell Award information page.