Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Scott McFadden Reaches Quarterfinals in Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest

Scott McFadden, Head of Serials Cataloging at Ball State University Libraries, was named a quarterfinalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. An excerpt of his unpublished novel, The Lover’s Tree, is available for free download from the Amazon.com Web site.

View http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001UG39JW to be linked directly to the download page for McFadden’s excerpt. Readers are also able to post reviews of the excerpt on the Amazon site.

The contest, which culminates with the awarding of a $25,000 book contract from Penguin Group to the winning entry, is sponsored by Amazon.com in partnership with Penguin Group (USA) and CreateSpace. The entry period lasted for a week, or until 10,000 entries were received, whichever came first.

Entries consisted of a pitch, an excerpt of 3,000 to 5,000 words, and the complete manuscript of an original novel, as well as author biographical information.

As a quarterfinalist, Scott was one of 500 entrants to advance to this point in the contest. His pitch was judged by a panel of Amazon editors, and his excerpt was evaluated by a number of expert reviewers. Now the excerpt is available for download, and may be reviewed by any interested reader. Editors from Publishers Weekly will be reading the applicants’ full manuscript during this period.

The semi-finals were announced on April 15 and reduced the number of entrants to 100. Three finalists were announced on May 15. The finalists’ complete novels will be reviewed by a panel of judges which includes Sue Grafton, the well-known mystery writer, and Sue Monk Kidd, author of the best-selling novel The Secret Life of Bees. Amazon.com readers will also be able to vote for the winner from among the three finalists. All three finalists will be flown to Seattle, Washington to take part in an awards dinner and to hear the announcement of the winner.

Scott has been writing short stories and novels since he was a teenager. The Lover’s Tree, an urban fantasy that tells the story of a strong-willed newspaper reporter and her investigation of a series of mysterious deaths at an idyllic lakeside resort, is his second completed novel.

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