Okay, I just think this is interesting... Then again, I'm in the contest. Why wouldn't I find it interesting....
NEW YORK, Feb. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Penguin Group (USA) announced today that it will now have the privilege of selecting the Top 10 finalists from among the Top 100 semifinalists for the first Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA), the international writing competition in search of the next popular novel. These 100 semifinalists were ranked by Amazon Top Reviewers and Publishers Weekly and selected by Penguin Group in the previous stage of the competition which was originally launched in October of 2007. A list of all 100 submissions progressing in the semifinal round is posted at http://www.amazon.com/abna. The top 100 contestants represent all walks of life and parts of the world, from Ypsilanti, Michigan to Tokyo, Japan and numerous stops in-between. The public is embracing the contest and forming long- lasting relationships as they continue to flood the Amazon.com message boards with critiques, encouragement, and advice. One contestant even recommended forming an "ABNA Alumni" group to sustain the conversation about reading and writing, a suggestion that was met with enthusiasm. Other entrants are selecting dream casts for film versions of their novels, with Queen Latifah, Adrien Brody and Reese Witherspoon topping several wish lists.
And the competition is heating up as the field of contestants grows smaller. Contestants are getting creative to generate support for their novels on social networking sites. One contestant has set up a global group on Facebook entitled "Find the next great novel." Many are leveraging their MySpace connections to garner votes. And bloggers are mobilizing their readers in anticipation of the upcoming voting period. These aspiring writers are not averse to using the power of video to advance their causes.
Some have posted videos of themselves on YouTube (see
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnKnK0OqvH8) to rally voters.
Grass-roots support is thriving offline as well, with the home team effect in evidence. The Indianapolis Star ran a piece about a local music teacher's semifinalist status; the Manila (Phillippines) Times proudly plugged the entry of a Filipino-American emigrant living in California; and a teacher blogged about his pride over a former student's ascension to the ranks of semifinalist, just to name a few.
"That writers and readers everywhere have responded so enthusiastically to this competition is an inspiration to us all," said Susan Petersen Kennedy, President, Penguin Group (USA). "Our editors are carefully going over these manuscripts and making the hard choices that will ultimately determine the Top Ten. This exciting process helps further our commitment to finding, publishing and bringing new literary voices to people around the world.
"As the competition continues, the public is encouraged to participate by reading, rating and commenting on the posted excerpts. In addition, during the last week in February, the public will have the unique opportunity to get an inside peek into the editorial selection process, when video clips of actual editorial staff discussions at Penguin Group (USA) will be posted online. On March 3, the resulting top 10 contestants will be announced, and from March 3 until March 31, the public can log on to officially vote for their favorite writer to win the grand prize.
NOTE TO THE PRESS:
The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition, sponsored by Amazon, Penguin Group (USA), Hewlett-Packard, and CreateSpace, launched on October 1, 2007 and received nearly 5,000 qualified submissions, with representation from approximately 2,000 cities around the world and in every state in the U.S. All submissions were first read by Amazon.com Top Reviewers-individuals recognized for the high quality and frequency of their comments on the site- who generated over 10,000 ratings in selecting 836 submissions to advance to the next round. In January and February, publishing trade magazine Publishers Weekly reviewed each of these submissions. Based on these reviews and the feedback from Amazon Top reviewers, editors from Penguin Group (USA) narrowed the field to the 100 semi-finalists now in the running for the top prize. Penguin Group (USA)'s editorial staff will read and evaluate each of the semi- finalist entries, and ultimately select 10 finalists, to be announced on March 3. Amazon customers will then vote to choose the grand prize winner to be announced April 7, 2008.
The grand prize winner will receive a publishing contract with Penguin,
which includes a $25,000 advance; and an entertainment technology package from Hewlett-Packard that will include an HP 50-inch Plasma TV, Digital Entertainment Center, HP Pavilion Notebook, HP LaserJet All-in-One and HP PhotoSmart Digital camera.
The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award is sponsored by Penguin Group (USA), Hewlett-Packard and CreateSpace.
For complete terms and conditions on the Amazon Breakthrough Novel
Award as well as to read, rate and review the top 100 semi-finalists,
please visit http://www.amazon.com/abna.
About Penguin Group (USA)
Penguin Group (USA) Inc. is the U.S. member of the internationally renowned Penguin Group. Penguin Group (USA) is one of the leading U.S. adult and children's trade book publishers, owning a wide range of imprints and trademarks, including Viking, G. P. Putnam's Sons, The Penguin Press,
Riverhead Books, Dutton, Penguin Books, Berkley Books, Gotham Books, Portfolio, New American Library, Plume, Tarcher, Philomel, Grosset & Dunlap, Puffin, and Frederick Warne, among others. The Penguin Group (http://www.penguin.com) is part of Pearson plc, the international media company.
SOURCE Penguin Group (USA)