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Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

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writerinthenorth
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Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

Post by writerinthenorth » Sat January 29th, 2011, 5:38 pm

After some consideration I have decided once again to enter the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award with my recently-completed historical novel Mr Stephenson's Regret. I entered last year with my thriller 11:59and managed to get to the semi-final stage. The book was subsequently published by Wild Wolf.

I have a feeling it will be more difficult to get so far with an historical novel, but it will be interesting to find out. There are several stages to the competition, or should I say hurdles. From a possible 10,000 entries that start out as runners in the two categories (General Fiction and Young Adult Fiction) only two will cross the finish line - one in each category - while bodies pile up at the fences behind them. The first fence is The Pitch - a maximum of 300 words to interest the judges enough to put you through to the next round. There is much massacre here; a maximum of 1,000 entrants in each category will be allowed to progress to the Second Round, so most poor souls won't be given the opportunity to have one word of their manuscript read before they are unceremoniously culled. It's a hard world.


I've posted my pitch at my blog writer in the northfor anyone interested. There are a few days of edit time before the deadline (6 Feb) so if anyone has some valuable advice to give me about the pitch, please do not hesitate. It might save me falling flat on my face.

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Sat January 29th, 2011, 7:12 pm

I got to be one of the reviewer judges in the first year they had this competition. The hardest thing for me was reading all of those excerpts on screen in word (all those red squigglies made it harder). I also reviewed a lot of the excerpts when they went up on Amazon for the reviewing public at large hoping to win a kindle (didn't dang it).

The one thing that stuck out for me the most of those that I read (and I did mainly stick to historicals), is taking too long to work out backstory instead of jumping right in and getting the story moving.

Have to run now, but will try to look at excerpt later.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

G. Alvin Simons
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Good luck!

Post by G. Alvin Simons » Sat January 29th, 2011, 10:40 pm

Good luck on your efforts.

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Vanessa
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Currently reading: The Farm at the Edge of the World by Sarah Vaughan
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favourite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Post by Vanessa » Sun January 30th, 2011, 10:56 am

Good luck!
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

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wendy
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Post by wendy » Sun January 30th, 2011, 2:30 pm

Fingers crossed you make it all the way!
Wendy K. Perriman
Fire on Dark Water (Penguin, 2011)
http://www.wendyperriman.com
http://www.FireOnDarkWater.com

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Sun January 30th, 2011, 3:09 pm

It sounds interesting, good luck with it in the contest.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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LoveHistory
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Post by LoveHistory » Sun January 30th, 2011, 5:02 pm

I considered entering but decided against it. Best of luck to you, writerinthenorth!

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fljustice
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Post by fljustice » Sun January 30th, 2011, 6:06 pm

Good luck! I've toyed with this for the past few years, but decided not to. My novels are good, but my pitches suck. Two very different kinds of writing and I haven't mastered the latter.
Faith L. Justice, Author Website
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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Sun January 30th, 2011, 7:27 pm

[quote=""fljustice""]Good luck! I've toyed with this for the past few years, but decided not to. My novels are good, but my pitches suck. Two very different kinds of writing and I haven't mastered the latter.[/quote]

Me too! But Query Shark is helping me with that. I'm reading through her archives, and there's many an 'Aha!' moment.

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fljustice
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Post by fljustice » Sun January 30th, 2011, 10:28 pm

[quote=""MLE""]Me too! But Query Shark is helping me with that. I'm reading through her archives, and there's many an 'Aha!' moment.[/quote]

Oh, thanks for that link MLE! I found the query section of Elizabeth Lyon's The Sell Your Novel Toolkit to be very helpful, as well. I also went to a day-long "write your pitch" workshop. But whenever someone asks me "What's your novel about?" I blurt "It's set in 5C AD..." and go down hill from there. I've been seriously considering hiring a publicist to write my elevator and five-minute pitches and memorizing them! :o
Faith L. Justice, Author Website
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