Bettendorf writer places in international fantasy, science fiction short story contest | Local News


To David Hankins, bedtime tales are a rip-off. Rather than drifting off to sleep with a line about fortunately ever after, his daughter remained awake to demand one other — and finally suss out inconsistencies in plot traces. 

“Kids are brutal when it comes to the accuracy of fairy tales,” Hankins stated. “So I had to start writing stuff down, and as I wrote it down it turned into two and a half novels.” 

What started as an try to maintain the Bettendorf resident’s characters and conflicts straight become a ardour for writing tales, a ardour that has gained worldwide recognition. 

Hankins’ quick story, titled “Death and the Taxman,” received third place within the Writers of the Future contest — a worldwide science fiction and fantasy writing competitors. The story will likely be included in “L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume 39,” out subsequent spring. 

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Dan Hankner, a Davenport resident, was a semifinalist within the competitors, and two different Iowans acquired honorable mentions. 

“Death and the Taxman” explores what would occur if the Grim Reaper grew to become human, for as soon as dropping at his rigged sport. Hankins requested the query of whether or not Death would cling to life like humanity does with humor and wit, he stated, taking inspiration from Terry Pratchett’s writing type. 

Hankins had no information of Writers of the Future earlier than submitting his work. After getting rejections from publishers for his full-length novels the retired Army serviceman determined to show to quick fiction, submitting items to contests and anthologies. 

“I found them on a Google search for short story contests,” Hankins stated. “I pulled it up and went, ‘Oh, hey, look at that, this has pretty good prize Money. I’ll write a story and win that no-problem.’ I had no idea at the time that it was the largest writing contest of its type.” 

His first submission to Writers of the Future was a kind of prequel to “Death and the Taxman,” and garnered an honorable point out from judges. The fifth time was the attraction, and along with a money prize and having his story revealed, Hankins will even journey to Hollywood subsequent yr for per week to attend a writing convention and gala. His daughter will come alongside as a plus-one, he stated. 

With the win beneath his belt and different tales getting revealed, Hankins stated he’d prefer to return to writing full-length novels sooner or later and additional his writing profession. He’s been in a position to discover the neighborhood surrounding Writers of the Future within the 18 months since he submitted his successful story, discovering a brand new community to faucet into. 

Thousands of individuals from 175 nations submit works for every quarterly competitors, Galaxy Press President John Goodwin stated. Galaxy Press handles publishing of the competitors’s anthologies and the works of L. Ron Hubbard. Judges embrace fantasy and science fiction icons Orson Scott Card, Brandon Sanderson and Todd McCaffrey.

Having an accolade from Writers of the Future helps up-and-coming writers stand out from the gang. 

“If someone puts in their pitch letter ‘I won Writers of the Future,’ their work is automatically taken out of a slush pile and read by an editor because they know that this person is past the trial by fire to win this contest,” Goodwin stated. 


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