I hope you all had a wonderful week and are gearing up for a fun weekend. I know, I know, most of you are worn out from the holidays. BUT, while you are relaxing, put some thought into entering the Amazon Breakthrough Award contest. You still have a few weeks to dust off that ms and polish it until it blinds you.
What is the Amazon Novel Breakthrough Award contest you ask? Well for those of you who have followed me this year will certainly know, so please bear with me. But, for those who are new friends and don't know I will inform you.
Two years ago I was introduced to this amazing writing contest by a friend. I had just finished what I thought was a polished manuscript. A 125,560 word Y/A fantasy. I know you are all laughing at this ... Needless to say I had to spend over a year and a half polishing this novel. Amber and the Whispering Willows is now at a slim 62,000 words.
MY second novel, THE BLINDED GARDNER was way more polished when I entered it into the contest last year. Both years I managed to get through the pitch rounds... Sorry, I am getting ahead of myself.
Before I tell you about the contest itself. I would first like to tell you how this contest launched me into the writing world.
It began with the entry. After finding out I made it through the first/pitch round, I was flying high. I began to visit the threads, eventually commenting. At first my comments amounted to nothing. Many of the contestants knew each other from previous years and chatted back and forth with each other. While waiting for the second round announcements, I managed to be heard here and there. Even though I wasn't "in" the group, I still enjoyed being in the thick of things.
On one faithful day I had the courage to start a thread. I had just received my critiques from my Vines excerpt. And asked the community for some feedback. I was upset because one of the reviewers called my writing amateur. In the thread someone commented that I didn't add to the conversation and then it happened.
Erica from erica and christy came to my rescue. Thank you Erica! Kind, supportive, and boisterous, Erica told them what of .... that the reviewer never should have wrote that, and theoretically we were all amateurs until we were published.
Eventually she and a few other kind souls helped me with what later became a major edit and restructure. Months of twelve hour days it took to pull my novel together. So you see, this is where it all began.
Erica then joined Christy and created there wonderful blog erica and christy http://lynneawest.blogspot.com/ I began to follow the blog world and three months ago I created In Time ...
Now for the contest .....
As you might have guessed it is sponsored by Amazon and Penguin Group and Create a Space. This is their fifth year running it. There are two grand prizes, one for Adult Fiction the other for Young Adult Fiction. The winners receive a $15,000.00 dollar advance and a publishing contract with Penguin. The contest is open to unpublished novels. Yes, self published authors can enter.
Open submissions for manuscripts begin on January 23rd, 2012 and run through February 5th, 2012. They take the first 5000 received in each category. And you must register with Create a Space ... it costs nothing to register. Manuscripts can be from 50,000 to 150,000 words
What you need to submit is a pitch: max-300 words. An excerpt from 3000 to 5000 words. Personal information on entry form. And of course, the manuscript itself. There are a lot of do's and don'ts, so expect to put in some time. It is well worth your effort.
Click here for the official rules.
After submission the waiting game begins. You wait to see if you make the first cut. Everyone's on the forums relieving their stress and anxieties. You will meet some fantastic people. Threads run like fire, so don't be intimidated. If you feel like participating do it! Eventually you will find your niche.
Here are the dates and phases in the contest.
Submission: Jan. 23- Feb. 5, 2012
First round: Feb.6 - Feb 21, 2012 ... They read the pitch and select the top 1000 entries in each category.
Second round: Judging for the Quarter finalists - Feb. 23 - March 11, 2012 .. Reviewing and judging of excerpts.
On or about March 22nd excerpts are posted on Amazon for everyone, yes everyone ... your friends included, to read and score. Top 250 make the quarter finals. Not the easiest thing to do....
Quarter finals are judged between March 20th and April 23rd ... the full manuscript. Top 50 in each category advance to Semi finalists.
If you are lucky enough to make it this far you advance to Finalist. On or about May 16th you will be notified. Only 3 from each category. Finalist are flown to the host city and judged.
In June the winner is announced.
Well that's the Reader's Digest version everyone. I highly recommend it to all of you that have polished manuscript. It doesn't have to be perfect, but if you want to win, I suggest you perfect it.
This contest is excellent for getting your work seen by our community as well as the publishing community. So take advantage of this amazing opportunity.
Click here for the main link ....
Good luck and please let me know if you plan on joining me in the contest! I hope to see you there.