Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

Today's post has to be another quick one. The final proof for Avempartha has come in and I have to turn my attention to it. But I wanted to make sure that before the February 8, 2009 I mentioned this award and encourage all authors enter. I'm going to summarize some of the needed information below but here is a link to the award itself.

It is a great opportunity for unknown authors to get discovered. There are great prizes and no entry fee so it is a contest with no downside. This is the second year Amazon has done this. It is for an "unpublished" work so you can't submit anything that has been printed (even self-published) and it must be a novel written in English (50,000 - 150,000) words. There are a few restrictions on content (no pornography, offensive, illegal, or plagrism, etc.)


  • First 10,000 entries or deadline of 2/8/2009 whichever comes first (last year had more than 5,000)
  • Must be 50,000 - 150,000 words (English)
  • 1 submission per person
  • Grand Prize: Contract with Penguin with $25,000 advance
  • 3 first prizes: Trip to Seattle WA for awards dinner (airfare, hotel, and $100 cash)
  • 500 second prizes: Review from Publishers Weekly
  • Submission Fee: None


  • A finished manuscript (will submit it in word format 12 pt Times, double spaced, 1" margins)
  • An excerpt - first 3,000 - 5,000 words
  • The Pitch - 300 words pitching your idea (like you would in a query)
  • Blurb - 300 words that would be on the back of the book
  • Author Picture
  • Biographical Information


  • Submissions are done online by using CreateSpace the word file is uploaded, other information is cut/pasted into text fields
  • 10,000 entries are narrowed to 2,000 by Amazon Editors reading "the pitch"
  • 2,000 entries are narrowed to 500 Quarter-finals by editors and Vine Reviewers
  • Publishers weekly editors read 500 Quarter final full manuscipts for: Originality, Plot, Prose, Character Development, Overall Strength
  • From the 500 Penguin will pick 100 as Finalists (Presumably from reading Publisher's Weekly Reviews)
  • Publisher Weekly Reviews of the 100 Finalists are posted on Amazon
  • Penguin Editors read all 100 Finalists full submission - decide on 3 finalists
  • Amazon Customers will read 3 Finalists and vote


  • 02/02/2009 - Submissions open
  • 02/08/2009 - Submission closes
  • 03/16/2009 - 500 Quarter-finals listed on Amazon
  • 04/15/2009 - 100 Finalists Selected, Publisher Weekly Reviews Posted
  • 05/15/2009 - 3 Finalists posted
  • 05/22/2009 - Judges use their reviews and customer reviews to choose winner

This is an extremely important award that can go a long way to propelling a new or unknown author. There are no down sides to this competition and every author that has a work they have not published should enter.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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