May 19, 2022

Apopka artist Mariah Salinas was honored at the L. Ron Hubbard Achievement Awards Event in Hollywood as a winner in the Illustrators of the Future contest, and her art is published in the international bestselling anthology, Writers of the Future Volume 37Salinas, a graduate of Wekiva High School, is currently earning a degree in Illustration from Ringling College of Art and Design and living in Sarasota.

The awards event at the Taglyan Complex on October 22nd was a black-tie gala honoring all the winners of Volume 36 and Volume 37 as well as announcing the grand prize writer and illustrator winner from each volume.

Salinas 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, Mariah 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.

Salinas has won many accolades, including the title of Senior Representative of 2-D Art during her 2020 senior year award night, the Senior Art Legacy award from her high school, 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 can’t wait to see where this road takes her!

The Contest, one of the most prestigious writing competitions in the world, is currently in its 38th year and is judged by some of the premier names in speculative fiction.

The Writers of the Future Contest judges 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, 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.

Illustrators of the Future Contest 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 Seasons tea packaging), Rob Prior (art for SpawnHeavy Metal comics, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Ciruelo (Eragon Coloring Book)

Following the 1982 release of his internationally acclaimed bestselling science fiction novel, Battlefield Earth, written in celebration of 50 years as a professional writer, Hubbard created the Writers of the Future ( 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 successful. 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 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 Writers 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 its inception, the Writers and Illustrators of the Future contests have produced 36 anthology volumes and awarded over $1,000,000 cumulatively in prize money and royalties.

Hundreds of winners have had successful writing careers following their win and publication in the anthology, and to date has launched the careers of 12 New York Times bestselling authors including Jo Beverley, Tobias S. Buckell, Nancy Farmer, Eric Flint, Karen Joy Fowler, Tim Myers, Patrick Rothfuss, Lisa Smedman, Dean Wesley Smith, Elizabeth Wein, Sean Williams, and Dave Wolverton aka David Farland.

For more information about the Contests, go to


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