Author claims top spot in an international science fiction and fantasy writing contest

Matt Dovey (centre, left) and Adrian Massaro (centre, right) with members of Star Wars Steampunk Universe which performed at the event. Photo: Author Services. Inc.
Matt Dovey (centre, left) and Adrian Massaro (centre, right) with members of Star Wars Steampunk Universe which performed at the event. Photo: Author Services. Inc.

A former Skegness man has won 5,000 US dollars after taking top spot in an international science fiction and fantasy writing contest.

Ex-Richmond Primary and Skegness Grammar pupil Matt Dovey, 31, has been named Grand Prize-winning writer in this year’s L Ron Hubbard’s Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contest.

The 32nd annual achievement awards ceremony for the competition was held last Sunday at Los Angeles’ Wilshire Ebell Theatre.

Matt, who lives in Horncastle with his wife and three children, won for his work Squalor and Sympathy, in addition to $5,000 won for the Golden Pen award.

It is a tale of an alternate industrial revolution, where the factories are powered by a magic of deprivation and so the working class are deliberately kept oppressed and poor, to take advantage of them.

Argentinian artist Adrian Massaro who provided an illustration for Matt’s work was named Grand Prize-winning illustrator and received $5,000 and the Golden Brush award.

Illustrators who enter the competition are assigned a text that judges feel would best suit their style and Matt’s was chosen for Adrian.

It is the first time in the contest’s 32-year history the Grand Prize-winning writer and illustrator have won for the same text.

In his acceptance speech, Matt, who works at Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School, said: “Moments like this are unique and life-defining.”

Speaking to The Standard, he said he was unsure how he would spend the prize money, explaining: “I honestly hadn’t anticipated winning it.”

He did say, however, he planned to take his wife away somewhere after she spent a week-and-a-half taking care of their children on her own.

Matt’s work will now feature in the 32nd volume of L. Ron Hubbard presents: Writers of the Future.