News Blog for Seattle's Wedgwood and View Ridge Neighborhoods


Stephen Merlino wins Writers of the Future Contest

February 14th, 2016 · No Comments

One of our neighbors, Stephen Merlino, has been officially announced as a winner in the Writers of the Future Contest. The contest, one of the most prestigious writing competitions, is in its 32nd year and is judged by some of the premier names in speculative fiction.

Mr. Merlino was chosen from a group of 8 finalists with the win earning him a cash prize, a trip to Hollywood for a week long intensive workshop, an Oscar-style awards ceremony which draws in excess of one thousand attendees as well as having his winning short story published in the annual bestseller, L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume XXXII.

Stephen teaches English and American History at Mountlake Terrace High School and lives in Seattle. He is an alumnus of the University of Washington with a degree in English and a Master’s in Teaching.

Contest judges include, Tim Powers, author of On Stranger Tides, Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert, Dune, Robert J. Sawyer Flash Forward, Robert Silverberg, Sailing to Byzantium, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, A Mote in God’s Eye, Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game, and Nnedi Okorafor, Who Fears Death, 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 writing contest ( in 1983 to provide a means for aspiring writers of speculative fiction to get that much-needed break. Due to the success of the Writing Contest, the companion Illustrators of the Future Contest was created in 1988.

The intensive mentoring process has proven very successful. The 368 past winners of the Writing Contest have published 838 novels and nearly 4,000 short stories. They have produced 27 New York Times bestsellers and their works have sold over 50 million copies.

For more information about the contest, click here.

Congrats Stephen!