Illustration Alumnae Win Awards

Tiffany England and Karsen Slater from Los Angeles, CA, and graduates of Laguna College of Art & Design were honored Sunday night, April 14, at the 29th Annual L. Ron Hubbard Achievement awards at the prestigious Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles, California.   With Tiffany and Karsen three Laguna College students have now been honored at this event.  James Galindo was the first LCAD graduate receiving the Illustrators of the Future award in 2008.

The annual event celebrated the winners in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contests ( before a packed hall of over 1,200 guests and thousands more who were logged on to watch the event as it streamed live. The night’s keynote speaker was Mr. Brett Kennedy, Supervisor of the Robotic Vehicles and Manipulators Group at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena who spoke on the bleeding edge of mobile robotic applications, having worked the past 15 years at JPL on diverse systems, the most immediate being the Robotic Arm aboard the Mars Curiosity Rover.  He addressed writers and artists of the past who provided the inspiration for scientists such as him, and quoted L. Ron Hubbard from the opening line of his gritty space travel story written in the nascent days of science fiction, “Space is deep, Man is small, and Time is his relentless enemy.” He concluded his speech by asking the evening’s winners, “So, tell us, writers and artists of the future—what are we going to do next? What will motivate our Will and our Urgency? Is it something further, different, or more? And how will finding it show us ourselves? The future is in your minds and in your hands.”

The event celebrated the annual winners in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contests, where Tiffany England was one of the twelve illustrator winners making it further than some several thousand others who entered the international competition, and where she saw her illustration published in the bestselling Science Fiction anthology series –

L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume XXIX now available online at and and soon to be available in print wherever books are sold.

Tiffany was trilled to find out that she was one of the winners.  She said “Most of the time you never hear back from the contests you enter. I am honored to have received this prize which affirms that all the hard work is paying off but it also shows me how much further I can still go.”

Tiffany graduated from Laguna College of Art and Design in 2008. She said: “Laguna helped me catch up with the digital race.  I remember one teacher in particular: Ashiyn Pentony whose class really changed everything for me.  I learned structure and how to keep everything organized as well as having freedom to be creative.”  The education at Laguna was significant for her career and for her winning the L. Ron Hubbard Illustrators of the Future contest. “Another great thing about Laguna that set the stage for where I am now, was taking Marshall Vandruff’s class,“ Tiffany said, “his excitement and passion for teaching paired with all the great material he had to say about story and structure has really pushed my passion for storytelling.”

The second winner of the 2013 Illustrators of the Future Contest and recent graduate of Laguna College for Arts & Design, Karsen Slater, was surprised when she heard she had won and said: “To be honest, when I found out I had won, I didn’t believe it was true.  I had this surreal moment where the whole situation felt like a dream, or a joke, or something. Eventually it did sink in.”

Karsen also credits LCAD for the education she received which contributed to where she is today as an artist.  She said in part: “The most impressive thing I learned at LCAD was the advice I gleaned from my mentor and teacher, Lou Police.  He told me not to get caught up in becoming extremely specialized but to be the best painter and illustrator I can be. I got my bigger picture in terms of my art.”

With writers and illustrators coming from all walks of life, the winners attended a week long workshop taught by contest judges —including New York Times bestselling authors Dave Wolverton (Runelord series) and Kevin J. Anderson (Dune series), World Fantasy Award winner Tim Powers (On Stranger Tides, adapted as the 4th Pirates of the Caribbean film), multiple Hugo and Nebula award winner Robert J. Sawyer (Flash Forwardand The WWW Trilogy), Hugo and Nebula award winning author Larry Niven (the Ringworld series), and internationally acclaimed artists, Stephen Hickman (over 350 book and magazine covers), and Cliff Nielsen (cover artist for Chronicles of Narnia)—each one an experienced professional in the field providing sound advice based on hard-won experience.

Karsen said about the workshops: “I can tell already that my life has been changed forever.  This week came at a time in my career where I was in need of connections, directions and advice. The workshops gave me all of that and more. There have been so many moments this week that I’ll never forget, but perhaps the most memorable has been visiting Cliff Nielsen’s studio and drawing with him and the other winners and judges.”

Each illustrating and writing contest winner was presented their trophy by contest judges at the ceremony and combined cash prizes and royalties of over $30,000, and their story with artwork published in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Volume XXIX.

The Writers of the Future writing contest ( was initiated by L. Ron Hubbard in 1983 to provide a means for aspiring writers 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 276 past winners of the Illustrating Contest have produced over 4,500 illustrations, 356 comic books, graced 594 books and albums with their art and visually contributed to 36 TV shows and 46 major movies.

The 348 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.

Tiffany encourages illustrators to enter the contest and she said: “This contest is a great opportunity for aspiring artists to take a look into the publishing side of the field and getting the right direction to go further with their career.”

Karsen says about the contest overall:  “I think it is fantastic that L. Ron Hubbard was so intent on keeping this contest going.  The contest has grown and evolved over the years and I think it is currently one of the best opportunities for aspiring artists such as myself.”

For more information and to see the awards ceremony online, go to

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply