Amazon.com and Penguin Group have announced the fourth annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition. Due to the popularity of the additional young adult category in 2010, the competition will again award two grand prizes: one for general fiction and one for best YA novel. Each grand prize winner will be published by Penguin Group. The 2011 competition will again be open to unpublished and self-published novels.
Eligible writers with an English-language novel manuscript can submit their work between January 24 and February 6, 2011. Submission details are at www.amazon.com/abna. Up to 10,000 total initial entries will be accepted, with up to 5,000 each in the general fiction and young adult fiction categories. Amazon.com editors will select 1,000 entries from each category to advance to the next round. In the subsequent round, Amazon.com editors and at least one top reviewer on Amazon.com will read excerpts of the 2,000 entries and narrow the pool to 500 quarter-finalists (250 in each category). Reviewers from PW will then read, rate and review the full manuscripts, and will select 50 semifinalists for each category. Penguin editors will evaluate the manuscripts of the 50 general fiction and 50 young adult fiction semifinalists, and choose three finalists for each award.
The top three manuscripts in each category will then be read and reviewed by two panels of publishing professionals. The 2011 panelists for the general fiction category are Time book critic Lev Grossman, literary agent Jennifer Joel of ICM, and Marysue Rucci, v-p, editorial director of Putnam. The panelists for the YA fiction contest are journalist and author Gayle Forman, literary agent Julie Just of Janklow & Nesbit, and Jennifer Besser, v-p and publisher, Putnam Books for Young Readers.
Finally, Amazon.com customers will vote for a Grand Prize Winner in each category. The two Grand Prize Winners will be announced June 13, 2011. Each winner will receive a publishing contract with Penguin, which includes a $15,000 advance.