One of the illustrations created and submitted by Mariah Salinas, helping her become a winner in the Illustrators of the Future contest

From Writers of the Future

Apopka resident, Mariah Salinas, will travel to Hollywood, CA as a winner in the Illustrators of the Future Contest! Besides winning a cash prize, her art will be published in the international bestselling anthology, L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 37.

Anticipating that the pandemic will be over and large events able to occur once again with visitors from around the world, Salinas will travel to Hollywood this fall for a weeklong workshop and be honored at a black-tie awards gala.

Mariah Salinas

Salinas was born in 2001, and has been drawing as long as she can remember—possibly even longer. Either doodling on the wall with crayons or scribbling in her notebook in the middle of algebra class, Salinas was always creating. She tried her hand at many different methods and mediums of creation: sewing, marker, watercolor, acrylic, clay, 3-D animation, and her favorite, digital art.

A graduate of Wekiva High School, Salinas won many accolades through her years, including the title of Senior Representative of 2-D Art during her 2020 senior year award night, the Senior Art Legacy award, the Presidential Scholarship from Ringling College of Art and Design’s pre-college program (which happens to be the college she is currently attending), and now the Illustrators of the Future Contest!

She is working toward a degree in illustration and hopes to create her own comics with her best friend, who is joining her on her journey at Ringling. She says she can’t wait to see where this road takes her.

One of the illustrations created and submitted by Mariah Salinas, helping her become a winner in the Illustrators of the Future contest

The Illustrators of the Future Contest is one of the most prestigious writing and illustrating competitions in the world, currently in its 38th year, and is judged by some of the premier names in speculative fiction. These judges include Bob Eggleton (11 Chesley Awards and 7 Hugo Awards), Larry Elmore (Dungeons & Dragons book covers), Echo Chernik (graphic designs for major corporations including Celestial Seasonings tea packaging), Rob Prior (art for Spawn, Heavy Metal comics and Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Ciruelo (Eragon Coloring Book).

The Writers of the Future Contest (a co-running contest) has judges that include Tim Powers (author of On Stranger Tides), Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert (Dune prequel series), Robert J. Sawyer (Quantum Night), Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn series, The Stormlight Archive), Larry Niven (Ringworld), Orson Scott Card (Ender’s Game), Nnedi Okorafor (Who Fears Death), David Farland (Runelords), and Katherine Kurtz (Deryni series) to name a few.

Following the 1982 release of his internationally acclaimed bestselling science fiction novel, Battlefield Earth, written in celebration of 50 years as a professional writer, L. Ron Hubbard created the Writers of the Future (writersofthefuture.com) in 1983 to provide a means for aspiring writers of speculative fiction to get that much-needed break. Due to the success of the Writers of the Future Contest, the companion Illustrators of the Future Contest was inaugurated five years later.

The intensive mentoring process has proven very successful. The 370 past winners of the Illustrating Contest have produced over 6,000 illustrations, 360 comic books, graced 624 books and albums with their art and visually contributed to 68 TV shows, and 40 major movies.

The 440 past winners of the Writing Contest have published 1,150 novels and nearly 4,500 short stories. They have produced 32 New York Times bestsellers and their works have sold over 60 million copies.

The Writers and Illustrators of the Future Award is the genre’s most prestigious award of its kind and has now become the largest, most successful and demonstrably most influential vehicle for budding creative talent in the world of contemporary fiction.

Since inception, the Writers and Illustrators of the Future contests have produced 36 anthology volumes and awarded over $1,000,000 cumulatively in prize moneys and royalties. For more information about the Contests, go to www.WritersoftheFuture.com.

Congratulations Mariah Salinas! You make Apopka proud.

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