Writers of the Future ( WOTF ) is a science fiction and fantasy story that was established by L. Ron Hubbard in the early 1980s. A sister contest, Illustrators of the Future, presents awards for science fiction art. Hubbard characterized the contest as a way of “giving back” to the field that had defined his professional writing life. The contest has no entry fee and is the highest-paying contest for amateur science fiction and fantasy writers. Notable past winners of WOTF include Stephen Baxter , Karen Joy Fowler , Alan Gardner James , Nina Kiriki Hoffman , Jay Lake, Michael H. Payne , Patrick Rothfuss , Robert Reed , Dean Wesley Smith , Sean Williams , Dave Wolverton , Nancy Farmer , and David Zindell .  The winning stories are published in the yearly anthology L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of Future .  The contest enjoys a favorable reputation in the science fiction community, yet its connection with the Church of Scientology has caused some controversy.