Dec 5 – Dec 11, 2011 Edition Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest Underway

SEATTLE & NEW YORK & CHARLESTON, S.C. – December 6, 2011 –, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Penguin Group (USA) today announced the fifth annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest, the international search for the next great voices in fiction. The competition will award two grand prizes: one for general fiction and one for young adult fiction. Each grand prize winner will be published by Penguin Group (USA), and the competition will be open to both unpublished and self-published novels. After a record-setting number of submissions for the 2011 competition, writers around the world are encouraged to begin preparing their manuscripts for entry into the 2012 competition, which will open on Jan. 23, 2012.

“The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award brings writers, readers and publishing professionals together with Amazon customers to help find exciting new voices in fiction,” said Nader Kabbani, Director of Independent Publishing at Amazon. “We’re excited to facilitate this contest for aspiring authors for the fifth year and look forward to reading some great manuscripts.”

Tim McCall, Penguin Group (USA) Vice President of Online Sales and Marketing said, “Penguin is proud to cooperate with Amazon on the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for the fifth consecutive year. We are committed to encouraging and cultivating talented new writers, and bringing these writers to readers everywhere.”

Eligible writers with an English-language novel can submit their manuscript between Jan. 23 and Feb. 5, 2012. Submission details can be found at Up to 10,000 total eligible entries will be accepted, consisting of up to 5,000 each in the general fiction and young adult fiction categories. editors will select 1,000 entries from each category to advance to the second round. In the subsequent round, editors and at least one top reviewer on will read excerpts of the entries and narrow the pool to 500 quarter-finalists (250 in each category). Reviewers from Publishers Weekly will then read, review and rate the full manuscripts, and 50 semi-finalists for each category will be selected. Penguin editors will evaluate the manuscripts of the 50 general fiction and 50 young adult fiction semi-finalists, and choose three finalists for each award.

The top three manuscripts in each category will then be read and reviewed by two panels of esteemed publishing professionals. The 2012 panelists for the general fiction category are: Linda Fairstein, New York Times best-selling author of many novels including “Silent Mercy” and the upcoming “Night Watch,” literary agent Donald Maass, and Anne Sowards, executive editor at Berkley. The panelists for the young adult fiction category are: Andrea Cremer, New York Times best-selling author of the Nightshade trilogy, literary agent Charlie Olsen of InkWell Management, and Regina Hayes, president and publisher of Viking Children’s Books.

In the final stage of the competition, customers will vote for a Grand Prize Winner in each category. The two Grand Prize Winners will be announced in Seattle on or about June 16, 2012. Each winner will receive a publishing contract with Penguin, which includes a $15,000 advance.

The 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest drew the most submissions in the history of the contest. The winning novel in the general fiction category, “East of Denver” by Greg Hill, will be published in July 2012 by Dutton. The winning novel in the young adult fiction category, “Spookygirl” by Jill Baguchinsky, will be published in August 2012 by Dutton children’s division.

CreateSpace (, part of the, Inc. group of companies and a leader in independent publishing, will again host the contest entry platform, which includes a community for authors that will keep them up to date on the contest and help them prepare their entries by soliciting feedback from the community and accessing online content through CreateSpace’s free Preview tool.

For the complete Official Rules for the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and more information about the contest, please visit


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Forward-Looking Statements

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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 ( is part of Pearson plc, the international media company.

About CreateSpace

CreateSpace seeks to be the world’s easiest and most comprehensive independent publishing platform for writers, filmmakers and musicians. The company is the leading provider of independent publishing tools that enable content creators to produce, polish, publish and distribute their work to customers around the world. CreateSpace offers industry-leading royalty rates, broad distribution to thousands of sales channels, an engaged peer community and complete creative control while content creators continue to own the rights to their books. CreateSpace is also a leader in manufacture on-demand for Books, CDs and DVDs maintaining “in-stock” availability for titles without inventory risk. CreateSpace is a brand of On-Demand Publishing LLC, a subsidiary of, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN).