Amazon Breakthough Novel Award

Hi Writers,
There’s another new contest bringing the Web 2.0 concept to the publishing world. Here’s a blurb, “Publishers seek talent online” that ran in yesterday’s New York Times:

Joining the growing list of publishers that use public votes to decide what to publish, Penguin Group is teaming with and Hewlett Packard for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. From today through Nov. 5, contestants from 20 countries can submit unpublished manuscripts of English-language novels to Amazon, which will assign a small group of its top-rated online reviewers to evaluate 5,000-word excerpts and narrow the field to 1,000. The full manuscripts of those semifinalists will be submitted to Publishers Weekly, which will assign reviewers to each. Amazon will post the reviews, along with excerpts, online, where customers can make comments. Using those comments and the magazine’s reviews, Penguin will winnow the field to 100 finalists who will get two readings by Penguin editors. When a final 10 manuscripts are selected, a panel including Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of the current nonfiction paperback best seller “Eat, Pray, Love,” and John Freeman, the president of the National Book Critics Circle, will read and post comments on the novels at Amazon. Readers can then vote on the winner, who will receive a publishing contract and a $25,000 advance from Penguin. Separately, Borders Group, the bookstore chain, is teaming with, the social networking site, and Court TV to solicit unpublished manuscripts from mystery or crime writers. A panel of judges that includes the writers Harlan Coben and Sandra Brown will crown the winner from a pool of finalists selected by voters on The winner will receive a $5,000 advance and will be published by Borders itself.

Go to Amazon for more info. and to register. Send your entry asap, they’re only taking the first 5,000 submissions!

And please keep me posted if you’re planning on entering this contest. What a fabulous opportunity for a new novelist. Best of luck to all who enter.

Keep Writing,

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7 thoughts on “Amazon Breakthough Novel Award

  1. Maria Schneider

    Oh, Writing Frump! You should know I don’t follow rules very well. But as a consolation, and in the spirit of the game, here are 3 things you probably didn’t know about me:

    1. I hate wearing socks
    2. I can cut a deck of cards with one hand
    3. I once published a story about having my photo taken at Glamour Shots and the story featured a picture of me wearing a feather boa (turquoise).

    And that’s all I’m willing to divulge. : )

  2. JohnOBX

    Hey Maria,

    Thanks for the heads up on this one. My entry is in the hopper.

    For those who may not have registered yet, there’s a little tricky part on the registration page that hung me up for awhile. It asks for a synopsis of your story of "1000 characters" I kept thinking "words" instead of "characters" and couldn’t figure out why it wouldn’t take my submission. As it turns out, "1000 character" equals about 150-175 words.