These Days has made it into the semi-finals of Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award 2012. Of the 5,000 original entries, there are now just 50 left. That's the top 1% of English-language entries received from novelists worldwide!
The ABNA entries were narrowed down as follows:
1) Five thousand general fiction entries were judged based on a 300-word "pitch." This is the standard procedure followed by the publishing world, in which the stacks of submissions received weekly by literary agents and editors are sifted through based on a good, concise "pitch" letter. This first round of eliminations in the Breakthrough Novel contest narrowed the 5,000 entries down to 1,000. Read the pitch that got These Days through this first round.
2) For each entry that made it past the first round of eliminations, a 3,000 - 5,000 word excerpt was read and reviewed by Amazon's "Vine Reviewers." These reviewers include Amazon editors and Amazon "Top Reviewers" (customers who review Amazon books on a regular basis). This process narrowed the contestant field down to 250 "quarter-finalists."
3) Each quarter-finalist's entire novel manuscript was reviewed by editors from Publisher's Weekly, a trade magazine targeted at publishers, librarians, book sellers and literary agents, which has been in continuous publication since 1872. This process narrowed the 250 quarter-finalists down to 50 semi-finalists.
4) Each semi-finalist manuscript will be reviewed by a panel of experts chosen by Penguin (Publishing) Group, USA. This year's panel of experts includes includes Linda Fairstein, best-selling author of the Alexandra Cooper novels, including Night Watch (available July 2012); Anne Sowards, Executive Editor of The Berkley Publishing Group; and Donald Maass, literary agent and author of The Breakout Novelist. This process will narrow the 50 semi-finalists down to 3 finalists.
5) Of the 3 finalists, Amazon customers will vote to select a grand prize winner. The grand prize includes a $15,000 advance on royalties and publication through Penguin Group, USA.
Though I would certainly be more than a little ecstatic to win the grand prize, making it to the semi-finals is a fine trophy to add to my resume, and could possibly win me publication as well.
Stay tuned for further updates!
Cheers and Peace,