“Penguin China to Sponsor “The Next” Talent Search for Next Literary Sensation

July 31, 2008
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GENERAL NEWS HEADLINES
July 24 – July 31, 2008 Edition

Penguin China to Sponsor

“The Next” Talent Search

for Next Literary Sensation

BEIJING, CHINA/7/24/08–Penguin China has announced its sponsorship of a major new literary prize, entitled “The Next – A Search for the New Face of Chinese Literature”.

The prize has been established by Changjiang Art & Literature Publishing House, Top Novel (China’s largest journal of young adult writing), online literary community Qidan.com, and the Sina.com web portal.

“The Next” is to be a talent search to find the next generation of young writers. Over the last five years ago, 1980s writers – such as Guo Jingming and Han Han – have given voice to the preoccupations of young people born into a new, one-child policy China that was much changed from the more uncertain 1970s.

John Makinson, Chairman and CEO of Penguin Group, says: “Penguin is committed to supporting up-and-coming writers around the world, whether they are from Shanghai or San Francisco. We very much look forward to reading “the Next” sensation to come out of China’s burgeoning literary scene.”

Says Guo Jingming, “We were inundated with manuscripts and phone calls from the moment we announced “The Next”. This early response tells us that the number of young people in China interested in literature is as great as ever, and we’re optimistic that we will find some impressive new talent.”

Now, at 25 years of age, Guo is the chief editor of Top Novel, and as China’s highest paid author is now part of the established literary scene. So who will be “The Next” writer, to speak for the 1990s?

“The Next” will be a large scale Apprentice-style competition. Budding authors are invited to submit their works to the first round before September 2008, from which a shortlist of 36 works will be selected by a judging panel of major authors and critics. Chinese netizens will be invited to comment on and vote for the works under consideration, until a final winner is chosen from four finalists in April 2009.

The top winner will receive prizes valued at RMB1 million (US$146,000), including a publishing contract, RMB100,000 advance on publication, payment of outstanding college fees, with a guarantee of national media exposure and major marketing.

In addition, Penguin Group will take the four finalists on a once-in-a-lifetime literary trip to the UK, where they will meet authors and publishers, and get a glimpse of London’s international publishing scene.

Penguin China was formally established in 2005 to acquire foreign language rights to excellent works of fiction, as well as develop English sales channels and establish partnerships with Chinese publishers.

Penguin Group (www.penguin.com), one of the world’s largest English-language trade book publishers, has established divisions and key market positions in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, China, India, South Africa, New Zealand and Ireland. The Penguin Group is part of Pearson plc, the international media company.

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