March 15-31, 2005 Edition

Search for First-Time

Author to Reveal Three

Finalists This Month

New York, NY/03/03/05—In an unprecedented partnership, ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” and Simon Spotlight Entertainment, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, have teamed up to discover a first-time author of a compelling American memoir to be titled “The Story of My Life.”

Because everyone has a story to tell, but few have the resources and connections to find a publisher and an audience, “GMA” and Simon & Schuster asked Americans to submit 600-word essays of their life stories, and the American public will vote on whose story they want to read. The winner will receive $10,000 and, of course, have their book published by Simon Spotlight Entertainment.

“GMA” and Simon & Schuster received more than 5,000 submissions. A celebrity panel of judges, which included author Mary Karr, author Mary Higgins Clark, author James McBride, Executive Editor of People magazine Peter Castro, and Simon & Schuster President & CEO Jack Romanos—and was moderated by “Good Morning America” co-host Charles Gibson—then reviewed a selection of the top ten submissions.

The amazing finalist stories included: an Afghan girl who loses her leg and her family to war, emigrates to the United States, and is now being recruited by two Ivy League universities; a housewife who learns that her husband has been a lifelong CIA operative and becomes a CIA agent herself; a Vietnam vet recovering from a broken back who returns to the still warring country and rescues sixty-four refugees as Vietnam falls to the communists; and an eighteen-year old girl who reconnects with the father she thought was dead when she sees his face on the news, behind bars, getting the governor to enact prison reform.

Three finalists will work with professional writers to turn their stories into manuscripts, and each will appear on “Good Morning America” the week of March 28, 2005. From approximately April 1-8, America will have the opportunity to vote for the winner. On April 22, 2005 the winner will be announced live on “Good Morning America” and profiled that evening on ABC-TV’s “20/20” to coincide with the book’s publication. In addition, the winner will embark on a national 10-city publicity tour.