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Amazon kicks off its Breakthrough Novel contest

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(Read caption) 'Farishta' by Patricia McArdle was one of the previous winners of the contest.

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Attention aspiring novelists: It’s time to dust off your unpublished manuscript or get your creative juices flowing, fast. Today marks the launch of Amazon’s annual Breakthrough Novel contest.

The international contest co-sponsored by Publishers Weekly, now in its sixth year, invites aspiring novelists to submit book pitches for a chance to win a contract with Amazon Publishing. Four finalists receive publishing contracts and a $15,000 advance and one grand prize winner receives a publishing contract, plus a $50,000 advance.

“Over the past five years, the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award has helped thousands of authors realize their dream of writing a novel, while connecting them with their peers as well as readers and giving them the opportunity to be discovered,” said Nader Kabbani, Vice President of CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing in a press release, as reported by Good E-Reader. “We’re excited to evolve the contest this year to recognize talented aspiring authors in even more genres, with bigger advances, more winners, and quickly bring the winning novels to readers around the world.”

Here’s how it works: Authors can submit pitches in one of five categories – general fiction, romance, mystery/thriller, science fiction/fantasy/horror, and young adult fiction at CreateSpace. Pitches should include concept, protagonist, setting, and writing style and be within 300 words. (See sample pitches from past entrants here.) Work fast: the deadline for entering pitches is January 27 and Amazon will stop accepting entries after it has received 10,000 pitches.

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