Cover Art Contest

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve wandered down a strange and interesting new road.  It began with an e-mail from my friend Scot Noel asking if I’d mind taking a look at some information he was putting together for a cover art contest he and his wife, Jane, had decided to sponsor on their website, .

Color Your Worlds

Color Your Worlds

I did.  I liked what I saw.  Both cover art and amateur art hold great interest for me.  Next thing poor Scot knew, I was asking if I could get involved.

(Oh!  You can learn about how Scot, Jane, and I became friends on the Wednesday Wandering for 10-24-12.  Not surprisingly, it involves both art and storytelling.)

The contest is just getting started.  Take a look at for details.  I’m not going to be a judge, but I am sponsoring one of the prizes.  I’m also going to write a short story based on one of the winning pieces.  The contest web pages are works of art in themselves.  (Scot and Jane are professional website designers.)   The pages also very clearly spell out the guidelines, both technical and artistic.  If the contest cover page doesn’t give you enough detail, try the FAQ.  We tried to anticipate more specific questions there.

The featured art is by my friends Rowan Derrick and Tori Hansen.  As well as being very good, their contributions show the wide range of approaches that are welcome.

While you’re browsing, don’t forget to take a look at the Science Fiction and Fantasy Fiction site.  It has reviews, short fiction for free download, and some other interesting stuff.

So, what’s an author doing getting involved in an art contest?  Is this where you learn that I paint and draw in my spare time?  Actually, the reason I’m getting involved is precisely because I can’t paint or draw.  People who can do so seem downright magical to me.

Also, I’ve always been thrilled when fans show me art that my stories have inspired.  I’m looking forward to letting someone’s art inspire a piece of my fiction.  Additionally, Scot and I plan to have a chat or two about how visual art can inspire written art.

So, I hope some of you will choose to enter.  Feel free to pass this information along to any of your artistically inclined friends.   Pieces will be posted on-line, so even if your art doesn’t win, you’ll have the pleasure of sharing it with a different range of viewers!

So, ready?  Set!  Get out your pencils and start drawing!


4 Responses to “Cover Art Contest”

  1. Nicholas Wells Says:

    Well this should be an interesting challenge. To take an image a write a story to fit it. I’ll have to file that idea away for future reference. The idea of someday teaching writing has not been ruled out for me. Giving students this as an assignment would be a good way to test their creativity.

  2. Paul Says:

    There was a time when writers actually did that. They would visit the magazine publisher on the day they knew the cover art was due, then say “Hey, I have a story that would fit that.” Then if they got the assignment, they’d go home and write it – very fast. So this is maintaining a long-ago tradition for the SF field.

    • Louis Robinson Says:

      Yep. In fact, John Campbell would challenge his writers that way – he did it 2-3 times, IIRC, although I’m blanking on the specific stories involved.

      It’s still happening, too: Eric Flint’s story in each of the paper Grantville Gazettes was written to the cover art. The art itself usually wringing a change on a 17th-century masterpiece.

  3. janelindskold Says:

    I think art has been and will continue to be inspiration for writers.

    Both Roger [Zelanzy] and I kept/keep collections of illustrations, just because the right picture can cause something to fall into place. What inspires who, though, varies a great deal. What works for me won’t work for you. That’s one of the reasons why I didn’t sign on to automatically write a story about the first place winner in the contest. What if another of the winners inspired me more?

    Down the road, I’m going to be talking about a short story I have coming out (yes, I’m deliberately being coy) that was directly inspired by the combination of a dream and the cover art for the collection.

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