Writers of the FutureWriters of the Future (WOTF to its friends) is a science fiction story contest that was originated by L. Ron Hubbard in the early 1980s as a way of "giving back" to the field that had defined his professional writing life. The contest may be entered quarterly, and is open to writers who have no, or few, professional publications (the definition of professional publication is generally one paying more than a certain amount per word). Manuscripts are blind-judged, and are separated out in quarterfinal and semifinal award rounds by the Contest Judge (originally and currently Algys Budrys, although Dave Wolverton was the judge during much of the 1990s). Finalists are sent to a panel of professional sf writers, who determine the quarterly awards. The four quarterly first place winners compete for a separate annual award. The first place winners and a selection of the other finalist stories are published annually.
While Bridge Publications, Inc, the sponsors of the contest, are closely connected with the Church of Scientology founded by L. Ron Hubbard, they appear to be quite scrupulous about separating the contest from Church operations. Entering or winning the contest does not imply or create a relationship between the Church of Scientology and the author.