January 21, 2012

ABNA’s Back!

amazon breakthrough novel awardIt’s that time of year again–for the fourth year. Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards (a cozy ABNA to us repeaters) is taking submittals starting January 23th and ending when they get 5,000 or Feb. 5th–whichever arrives first .

In the world of writing contests, there are a few details that set this one apart:

  • There is no entry fee. If you’ve entered contests in hopes of getting feedback to muscle up query letters, the cost of this approach quickly spirals out of control. ABNA skips entry fees, provides no comments until quarter finals. To me, that makes sense. If it’s not good enough to get through, then agents won’t be interested anyway
  • Submittals are read primarily by Amazon Top Reviewers, not professionals. I have no judgment on that; just throwing it out there
  • Two Grand Prize winners of a full publishing contract with Penguin.
  • You can’t enter a published novel, but you can enter a self-published novel. That’s unique.

So, are you inspired? You must have a completed novel (which I do). Here are other requirements:

  • The full/complete version of your manuscript must be between 50,000 and 150,000 words (check)
  • The Excerpt must be between 3,000 words and 5,000 words (check)
  • A pitch statement (cover letter/summary) must not be longer than 300 words (check)
  • Other registration information such as name, contact information, book title (check)
  • You cannot win if you don’t appear at the awards ceremony. This entails a 3-5 day trip. Interesting detail, innit?

Here’s a list of contestants who were published subsequent to entering this contest. It’s impressive. It would seem that although only one person can win, contestants with strong novels get noticed and snagged by publishers.

This is about the only contest I enter, which I will do again on January 23rd. If you’re also participating, feel free to post a link to your preview for others to visit. I’ll definitely check it out.

Share under comments if you’re entering. See you on the forums!

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Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and author of two technology training books for middle school. She wrote Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a tech columnist for Examiner.com, Editorial Review Board member for ISTE’s Journal for Computing Teachers, IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s seeking representation for a techno-thriller Any suggestions? Contact Jacqui at her writing office, WordDreams, or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.