April 23, 2018

Book News: Amazon.com, Penguin, PWCollaborate onSecond Breakthrough Novel Award

By Michael Rogers


  • Amazon.com, Penguin Group host Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award
  • Publishers Weekly serving as reviewing sponsor
  • International writers invited to submit in February 
  • Winner receives book contract and $25K advance

Amazon.com and the Penguin Group again will host the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, described as an “international competition seeking the next popular novel.” Amazon said that “writers around the world are encouraged to begin preparing their manuscripts for entry into the competition, which is scheduled to launch on February 2, 2009.” As with the inaugural award, Publishers Weekly is serving as the reviewing sponsor. The magazine’s reviewers will read, rate, and review manuscripts and select 100 semifinalists. Penguin editors will evaluate the PW picks and choose the three finalists. A panel of top publishing professionals, including bestselling authors Sue Grafton and Sue Monk Kidd, literary agent Barney Karpfinger, and Penguin Press editor-in-chief Eamon Dolan will read and post their critiques of the top three manuscripts on www.amazon.com. Amazon customers will be given seven days to vote for the Grand Prize Winner, who’ll be announced on May 22, 2009. The top author receives a publishing contract with Penguin, including a $25,000 advance.

The initial competition was won by Bill Loehfelm from a pool of 5000 entrants, for his novel, Fresh Kills, released by Penguin’s Putnam division to critical acclaim this August.