Welp, I did it: I finally got my name up on ol’ L. Ron’s shortlist. My story entry for the 1st quarter of 2023 was voted a Writers of the Future semifinalist.
Check out these RESULTS. My name’s the sixth one down on the semifinalist list: “Austin Gunderson from Utah.” Out of a sea of over 400 honorable mentions, my story broke into the top 2% of officially-recognized entries, and into the top fraction of a percent of total entries.
As was the case with my two previous WOTF honorable mentions, this semifinalist entry was an unaltered chapter pulled directly from THE HEIR AND THE HERALD, my epic fantasy series now available on Kindle and in paperback. I can say with complete honesty that the only quality which sets this chapter apart from its many fellows is that it, as a flashback narrative, is relatively self-contained. I invested no more than my usual care in its crafting. It’s a representative example of my prose.
So if you’re looking for a 1,100-pages-and-counting epic noir fantasy adventure with WOTF semifinalist-grade work on every single page … if you’ve always wished someone would write an Indiana Jones-goes-to-Narnia yarn and care how the story was told … then you won’t regret taking a portal to the world of Arlam.
But this is a bittersweet pitch. WOTF is a contest for amateurs. The fact that I can now attempt to sell you on my novels means that I’m no longer eligible to submit—I’ve officially “pro’ed out.” I sent in my semifinalist story twelve days before signing with my publisher. Little did I know how high would be the note upon which I was about to go out.
But in the close of one chapter, there’s the opening of another. And this new chapter is all about you, Dear Reader. You’re the judge now. And I’ve submitted to you a vast and ambitious entry.
I hope you like it.