A Horncastle author will be packing his bags and heading for Hollywood after winning an international writing competition.
Matt Dovey, 31, won $1,000 and a trip to Hollywood after triumphing in an international science fiction and fantasy writing contest.
While in Hollywood, he will attend a week-long writers’ workshop and take up an invitation to an awards ceremony.
His winning short story will also be entered in the annual bestseller L Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future awards when he could end up with another cash prize.
The married father of three, who works in the IT department at Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School in Grantham, has been writing seriously for about three years and said it felt ‘very surreal’ to have won.
He said he was inspired to enter the contest by the chance to spend a week with top writers at the workshop.
Matt added: “These are people who have spent 20 or 30 years at the top of sci-fi and fantasy.
“They are best-selling authors who’ve shaped the field, so I reckon it’s worth knowing what they know.”
The competition was founded by L Ron Hubbard and hundreds of entrants have gone on to have successful writing careers following their publication in the anthology.
Matt’s success means he is following in the footsteps of 12 New York Times best-selling authors.
He said he is taking his recent success as a vote of confidence in his writing.
He added: “It’s all very surreal. It’s taken a while to sink in, to be honest.
“It means I can believe I’m on the right path and not completely wasting my time in pursuit of a mad idea.
“It’s validation, especially as the contest is judged by professional authors who know what to look for.”
Matt is unable to reveal details of his short story, as his work will be judged anonymously to decide who wins the annual grand prize of $5,000.
And what about the future? Matt said: “It means a lot of hard work, but that, with a bit of luck, there’s a writing career for me.
“People like Stephen Baxter and Patrick Rothfuss got their careers started here, and they’re bestsellers now.
“It means a mark of approval against my name that gets me a foot in the door with publishers.”