Posted by: Kathy Temean | December 30, 2012

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest


The above illustration was sent in by Author/illustrator Carlyn Beccia.  In 2008 she debuted with, Who Put the B in the Ballyhoo? which was a the Golden Kite honor recipient for picture book illustration. In 2009, The Raucous Royals was the winner of the International Reading Association’s 2009 Children’s and Young Adult Book Award for Intermediate-Nonfiction. Her latest release, I Feel Better with a Frog in my Throat was the nonfiction picture book Cybil Award winner, Parent’s Choice Silver Honor medalist, an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio award winner and received a Silver Honor from the California Reading Association’s Eureka! Nonfiction Children’s Book Awards.

Here is a no-fee Novel Writing Contest I thought you might like to know about.  They date to submit opens on January 14th, so you have a few weeks to get your manuscript ready.

The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest is right around the corner. You won’t want to miss this incredible opportunity to win a publishing contract with Amazon Publishing. Now in its sixth year, this international contest promises to be the best yet. Here’s what’s new:

One Grand Prize winner will receive a publishing contract with an advance of $50,000, and four First Prize winners will each receive a publishing contract with an advance of $15,000. Visit the Prizes page for the full list of prizes and details.

We’ve expanded the categories to include five popular genres: General Fiction, Romance, Mystery/Thriller, Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror and Young Adult Fiction. And we’re accepting entries from more countries than ever before. For complete eligibility details, view the official contest rules, or read details on how to enter.

Amazon Publishing is the official publishing sponsor for 2013 — which means a faster publishing timeline, higher royalties, ability to launch the books in multiple formats (print, audio, ebook) and worldwide distribution. Visit CreateSpace to learn more.

Preparing Your Entry

1) Prepare a strong pitch. More than a summary, your pitch should highlight your concept, protagonist, setting and writing style—all the elements that make your story unique. View sample pitches from past entrants.

2) Select the Genre that best fits your book: General Fiction, Romance, Mystery/Thriller, Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror, or Young Adult.

3) Stay within the word-count limits — pitch, up to 300 words; excerpt, 3,000 to 5,000 words; manuscript, 50,000 to 150,000 words.

4) Remove all identifying information from your pitch, excerpt and manuscript, including: your name and/or pen name, contact information, any awards received for your book and an author bio/resume.

5) Submit all your materials in the English language.

6) For complete entry requirements, view the Official Contest Rules.

7) Create an account with CreateSpace (if you haven’t already).

HOW TO ENTER. We must receive your Contest entry between January 14, 2013 at 12:00:01 a.m. (U.S. Eastern Standard Time) and January 27, 2013 at 11:59:59 p.m. (U.S. Eastern Standard Time). The contest is limited to 10,000 Entries, and we will stop accepting Entries after we have received 10,000 Entries. Each Entry must include one of the following genre selections and will be categorized accordingly for judging throughout the Contest:

a. General Fiction
b. Mystery/Thriller
c. Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror
d. Romance
e. Young Adult Fiction

Entries may be edited until the above stated entry deadline or until a category has reached the maximum number of allowed entries, whichever first occurs. You must register at  to enter the Contest. Once you have registered, follow the instructions on the entry form and upload:

(1) the complete version of your manuscript that is between 50,000 and 150,000 words (“Manuscript“);

(2) up to the first 5,000 words, but not less than 3,000 words, of your Manuscript, excluding any table of contents, foreword, and acknowledgments (“Excerpt“);

(3) a pitch of your Manuscript consisting of up to 300 words (“Pitch“); and

(4) the personal information required on the entry form. (1-4 collectively, an “Entry“). We will not review any Entry that does not comply with these Official Rules. Entries for General Fiction must have an accompanying genre selection.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS. You must be the only author of your Manuscript, and your Manuscript must be a novel between 50,000 and 150,000 words. Any Manuscript submitted as an Entry written by two or more authors will not be eligible. Additionally, poems, short stories, and collections of works are not eligible. Your Manuscript, Excerpt, and Pitch must:

(a) be your original creation;
(b) be fictional;
(c) be in the English language;
(d) be of interior black and white text without images;
(e) not currently or previously have been the subject of a publishing agreement with any publisher (but you may submit your self-published novel if you retain all worldwide distribution rights in and to the novel);
(f) not include your real or pen name anywhere in the Manuscript, Excerpt, or the Pitch;
(g) not include any information that identifies the author in any way including, but not limited to, a resume, previous awards received for the work, or the identity of additional works by the author, but excluding any file document properties that may identify the author; and
(h) meet the content guidelines found at (which are incorporated in to these Official Rules by this reference).

Additionally, you must submit your Manuscript digitally in Microsoft Word .doc, .docx, .rtf, or .txt format. Any entry that we determine, in our sole discretion, to meet these requirements will be considered a “Valid Entry.” You may be represented by an agent on the condition that you – not your agent – agree to comply with these Official Rules.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. First, I have to compliment Carlyn on such a gorgeous illustration!

    And second—WOW! to Amazon! I have nothing to submit, but I’ll certainly be keeping this contest in mind when I do! lol


  2. Carlyns’ illustration is breath-takingly astounding! She is a master. Donna Taggart


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