2023 Contest Winners

It's time to announce of Dream Foundry Contest winners! This year, we once again had entrants from every continent other than Antarctica. Every year we are extremely pleased to see so many creatives come out to participate. It's clear the current wave of emerging creatives are poised to push the field into new levels of excellence and it's a great privilege to be able to reward some of that effort.

Writing Contest Art Contest
1st Place - Albert Nkereuwem
2nd Place - Fatima Abdullahi
3rd Place - Jessica Andrewartha
1st Place, Monu Bose Prize for Art - ReYtzin
2nd Place - Ahmed Asi
3rd Place - Brave Burattino

In addition to their cash prizes, all of the winners will be offered special showcases at Flights of Foundry 2024, and their choice of the convention’s workshop and limited seating sessions. Congratulations to the winners! This was a very competitive year and we're proud to showcase these winners. Thanks also to everyone who participated. Our gratitude also to contest coordinators Julia Rios and Dante Luiz and this year's contest judges: Suzan Palumbo, John Wiswell, Solomon Enos and Sloane Hong.


A green, red, and white infographic with the Con or Bust and Glasgow WorldCon logos prominently displayed over a field of stars. In the center: Goldman Fund for Palestinians

Goldman Fund Applications for Palestinians Attending Glasgow WorldCon Are Open

Dream Foundry is thrilled to announce that applications for grants from the Goldman Fund for Palestinian creatives and fans seeking to attend the 2024 World Science Fiction Convention in Glasgow are now open! The preferred application window is 31 July - 5 November 2023, though applications outside this window may be considered for any remaining funds. 

This is the Goldman Fund’s inaugural year. Offered through Dream Foundry’s Con or Bust program, the fund has a total of £8,000 per year for five years, and will assist citizens of Palestine and self-identified members of the Palestinian diaspora with expenses incurred from travel to and attendance at the annual WorldCon. The fund was created by Farah Mendlesohn in memory of her mother, Carole Goldman. 

Con or Bust is a grant-making program that provides greater access for creators and fans of color to science fiction conventions, events, and professional development opportunities. Since its relaunch as a Dream Foundry program in 2023 it has provided direct support to fifteen individuals, and hosted multiple networking and support events. Dream Foundry is actively accepting donations and endowments to expand this program.

The find more information about Con or Bust, or apply for support from the Goldman Fund, visit www.dreamfoundry.org/dreamfoundry.org/con-or-bust/


A dragicorn laying down and dreaming, an overstuffed wheeled suitcase with

Dream Foundry Announces Fund to Bring Palestinian Fans to WorldCon

Dream Foundry announces a new initiative under its Con or Bust program to assist Palestinian creators and fans of speculative fiction in attending the World Science Fiction Convention through 2028.

Con or Bust was conceived as a program to provide greater access for creators and fans of color to science fiction conventions, events, and professional development opportunities. Thanks to the generosity of Farah Mendlesohn from the estate of, and in memory of her mother, Carole Goldman, Dream Foundry has been granted £40,000 to assist self-identified citizens of Palestine and members of the Palestinian diaspora to pay travel and membership expenses to five Worldcons beginning in 2024. Awards from the Goldman Fund will be in the form of direct cash grants.

Applications to the Goldman Fund for the 2024 WorldCon will open from July through September of 2023. For more information about Con or Bust, visit www.dreamfoundry.org/dreamfoundry.org/con-or-bust/


Announcing the 2022 Dream Foundry Contest Winners

Happy December, everyone! It's time to announce of Dream Foundry Contest winners! Every year we are extremely pleased to see so many creatives come out to participate. It's clear the current wave of emerging creatives are poised to push the field into new levels of excellence and it's a great privilege to be able to reward some of that effort. Without further rambling, our winners!

Writing Contest Art Contest
1st Place - Audrey Obuobisa-Darko
2nd Place -  Takim WIlliams
3rd Place - Davida Kilgore
1st Place, Monu Bose Prize for Art - Eryk Souza
2nd Place - Daniela Ivanova
3rd Place - Elemei

 

In addition to their cash prizes, all of the winners will be offered special showcases at Flights of Foundry 2023, and their choice of the convention’s workshop and limited seating sessions. Congratulations to the winners! We've had a very competitive year and we're proud to showcase these winners. And a BIG thank you to everyone who participated. Another massive thanks to contest coordinators Julia Rios and Dante Luiz and contest judges L.D. Lewis, Sarah Gailey, Mateus Manhanini and Daniela Viçoso.


A background of sparkly silver stars and the words

Announcing the 2021 Dream Foundry Contest Finalists

As 2021 comes to a close, so do our Emerging Writer and Artist contests! We have been astounded by the increasing turn out year after year and it's been humbling to watch. We were especially excited to see entrants from so many in the international community. This year, our contests had around 465 submissions from across 41 countries (as were declared by those submitting): Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China, Cyprus, Denmark, DR Congo, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Sweden, UK, USA, and Vietnam.

Finalists were chosen by Vajra Chandrasekera and Dante Luiz for the writing and art contests respectively and their names have been passed along to our contest judges Premee Mohamed, Charis Loke, and Juliana Pinho for final deliberations.

Without further ado, we are delighted to announce the finalists in the 2021 Dream Foundry contests:

Writing Contest Art Contest
• Shinjini Dey
• Sigrid Marianne Gayangos
• Brienne D. Hayes
• Amy Johnson
• Kellye McBride
• Kay Orchison
• Robin Sebolino
• Cat T.
• Jarred Thompson
• C. Bradley White

• Yue Feng
• Ellen He
• Mikoto
• Albokhari Mohamed
• Nair Nascimento
• Alex Pernau
• Vinnia Kemala Putri
• Julia Quandt
• Mols Slom
• Cathlyn Vania

Congratulations to all our finalists! The winners will be announced early December so stay tuned and keep an eye on this space!


A 2020 Wrap-Up from the Dream Foundry

Relevance is one of the four cornerstone values we laid for Dream Foundry, and 2020 has been a year that destroyed context so thoroughly that relevance was easy to lose.  As an organization that focuses on the speculative arts, engaging with what ifs and possibilities, however implausible, is at our core.  Dedication to relevance forces us to make sure we’re doing that, freshly and deliberately, with everything we do.  People always need information, support, guidance.  Resources.  Care.  That doesn’t change.  The details are where everything changes.

This year, the details changed a lot.

We aren’t even three years old yet, but 2020 could have turned us into a fossil.  We had a five year plan and a setup that said, “Hey, grow this way.”  In March we hit a pause button on the plan and started breaking down and reconceptualizing the setup.  March of 2020 did not have the same needs as January of 2020.  To remain relevant, to be absolutely true to our values, we had to let go of how we thought we were going about ourselves.  The forums are gone, long live the Discord.  Kickstarter no more, but welcome, Flights of Foundry.  The Official Media Exploration Club is still around, but thriving in the new setup very differently from its prospects under the old.  It’s been joined by watch parties, productivity pacts, an upcoming seminar series, cooking live streams, and more.  We have a community room available to the world, and if that isn’t the most big-tent, Dream Foundry dreaming big thing ever, I don’t know what is.  

Relevance, and jumping on the moment to make sure we embraced it, means we’re never going to unpause that five year plan.  It was meant to chart our way to being an organization with a thriving community who counts on us for support, with representation from across the industry and around the world.  We have more growing to do, roots to send deeper, foundations to build on.  But we have, more or less, reached the destination we were mapping our way to.  

A generous endowment for the Monu Bose Memorial prize in art means that all our contest winners received meaningful cash prizes this year.  Over 1,200 people came to Flights of Foundry, the madcap pandemic party of a convention put together in seven weeks and chock full of information and resources.  We’re publishing a lot of that content on our YouTube channel, something we never foresaw having until it was suddenly vitally important that we do.  We’ve published our processes and reached out to others to share what we’ve learned, helping everyone hit a level of professionalism and excellence that should and can be the fundamental norm across the industry.  We’ll do more of that, and will always be available for questions and inquiries along those lines.

My personal high point?  We paid our staff.  Not enough, not remotely enough, but they got a stipend.  Raising enough funds to guarantee I would get to do that was my favorite part of Flights of Foundry.  The kindness and generosity showered on us by people willing to volunteer their time is amazing and appreciated.  But volunteering is a gift, and we cannot remain relevant, or worthy, if we depend on gifts from the community we want to build and nurture.  Taking this step was important to me, and the fact that this year, where crisis has folded over crisis, is the one where we made it?  

I am so proud of what we’ve done.

What do you need?  What do you want?  What do you hope for?  These are the questions we’ve been asking from the beginning.  We’ll keep asking.  From one month to the next, or week to week, whatever 2021 demands of us.  So much was lost in 2020.  We’re determined to stay.  We’re determined to grow.

We have plans for next year, because of course we do.  Flights of Foundry is happening again, from April 16-18.  We have Goals and Planning support underway that will help you with accountability and planning throughout the year.  A market rubric, translator toolkits, cross-role mentoring, are all projects we’re working to bring off the backburner and make real.  The contests will happen again, and I haven’t told the coordinators yet, but I’m hoping to double the submission pool.  

We’re going to meet next year head on and ready.  

Thanks for dreaming with us.  We’ll see you next year.


Dream Foundry Contest 2020 Winners

Dream Foundry is delighted to announce the winners of our speculative short story contest and the sister contest for artists working in the speculative arts. These contests are designed to provide a boost to beginners in the field, with professional judges and significant cash prizes. We're pleased to have had 454 contestants, with entries from every inhabited continent. We're grateful to have been able to reach so many people across the globe. This year’s first place art prize is the Monu Bose Memorial Prize and is funded by a generous donation. In addition to cash prizes, all six winners will receive first pick of workshop seats at Flights of Foundry and showcase events at the online convention in April 2021.

Writing Contest

WINNERS
1. “Surat Dari Hantu” by Lisabelle Tay
2. “The Failed Dianas” by Monique Laban
3. “The Loneliness of Former Constellations” by P. H. Low

FINALISTS

  • Tehnuka Ilanko
  • Nick Thomas
  • Allison King
  • Julia Leef
  • Jennifer Bushroe
  • Finn McLellan
  • Rodrigo Assis Mesquita

Art Contest

WINNERS
1. Thaleia Demeter
2. Lauren Blake
3. Michaela Matthews

FINALISTS

  • Aya Sabry
  • Sam Hutt
  • Thaleia Demeter
  • Michaela Matthews
  • Lauren Blake

We would also like to extend our thanks to contest coordinators Vajra Chandrasekera, William Ledbetter, and Dante Luiz and also to our contest judges S.L. Huang, Neil Clarke, and Grace P. Fong. We are incredibly grateful for the gift of their expertise and time to help us uplift emerging voices in speculative writing and illustration.


End of Year Goal Setting

Last month's Free-Fall Challenge turned out to be a success! We hope that everyone who participated picked up something valuable from it, whether it be learning your limits and how to take breaks or how to find the right "get to work" headspace.

With the upcoming new year, we've decided to two communal goal setting and business planning events, for all your productivity New Year's Resolutions. We'll have two community events (one in December and one in January) to help you work through your 2021 goals. Our first guided meeting will be 19 December 2020 at 2PM CST here for two hours, unrecorded. Fill out the form to start thinking about your goals and sign up for check-ins and support from Dream Foundry.

Our second guided meeting will take place January 23rd from 2-4 PM CST.

Want some extra support? Join our Discord server for a community eager to give advice, keep each other accountable, or just general cheering on. Failure or success, the goals of these events is to help you figure out your workflow and capabilities without over-extending yourself. We want to encourage growth responsibly, with plenty of community support to help everyone along.


Dream Foundry's Free-Fall Challenge

Fall has arrived for those of us in the northern hemisphere and the second month of the global phenomena of using October and November as creative "make a thing" months. Here at the Dream Foundry, we brainstormed ideas on how to pull together an event to encompass creatives of all kinds, forming a community space to encourage attaining goals, fostering skills, and honing craft.

Starting November 1, the Dream Foundry presents The Free-Fall November Challenge: prepare to stretch your creative muscles, set goals, leap into new feats, and cheer each other on!

The goal of the challenge is to foster skills that will help you translate your current workflow into something sustainable as you learn your limits, expand your boundaries, build endurance, and how to work without burning yourself out. Build a plan! Set goals! Make a schedule! And cheer each other on! And if you don't succeed, that's okay too! In fact, failing is also a valuable learning experience and we're here to help guide you through it.

You're writing a novel this November? Or maybe a series of short stories? Awesome. This is for you. You're thinking of making a new interactive fiction game? Good! This is for you, too. Want to stretch your drawing practice or try a new medium for a month? This challenge is all yours. Want to translate a poem a day, or write the scripts for your next SFF podcast? Jump right in! Whatever your project is, if you’re dedicating the month to doing something bigger than you ever have before, the Free-Fall November challenge is for you.

We're running the challenge through our Discord server, complete with a whole new channel for co-working, tips, and encouragement.

How it works!

  • The Dream Foundry is providing space for co-working, accountability, and scheduling help. 
  • Come over to our Discord server and find the #free-fall-challenge channel. 
  • Let us know what your plans and goals are - and if you’re not sure how to set goals that are the right level of challenging, we’ll help you out! 
  • When you have your plan ready, you can sign-up here. If you want to join the official co-working sessions, you’ll need to sign up.  
  • You can also share your progress and join in on twitter with the hashtag #freefallchallenge.  
  • And if you stumble along the way? We’ll help you recover, with some cheerleading from the other folks working on their own challenges. 

Sign up here!

Preparations for your jump can start now! Drop in, get hyped, and prepare to make November a challenge that gives you life!

The official launch of our Free-Fall Challenge will take place here in our virtual co-working space November 1st. Details and invites will be sent to those who have signed up using our form. We look forward to seeing everyone there!


OMEC Returns!

Are you ready for six months of incisive, multi-media discussion? The OMEC is back and coming to an internet near you. The theme for this cycle is “vulnerability” and we’ve got six discussion leaders lined up and ready to guide us through all of the theme, craft, and mechanics talk you can stand. Check out the schedule below for the dates, leaders, and the works we will be examining.

 

Illustration, Rhea Ewing: April 13 - May 10

Podcasts, Christian Kelley-Madera: May 11 - June 14

Film/TV, TJ Berry: June 15 - July 12

Comics, Christopher Eric: July 13 - August 9

Prose, Edward A. Hall : August 10 - September 13

  • TBD

Games, N. Theodoridou: September 14 - October 11

  • TAKE by Katherine Morayati

 

Don’t feel like you have to wait to start on the OMEC fun. The discussion thread is up and ready for your thoughts, progress reports, and chat.