The way the contest works, there are several rounds to pass through to win the award. The first round is The Pitch. In this round, the judges choose what novels will make it to round two based on a pitch of 300 words or less. When I entered Fram Gage and The Infinite Ability, I didn't make it past this round. But Futan Vice did make it to round two.
Round two is based on an excerpt of the novel. This is the first 3,000 to 5,000 words of the book. If the judges like this enough, they send it to round three. Unfortunately, I never made it past this round.
In round three, the entire manuscript is evaluated. Submission requirements state that this must be no less than 50,000 words and no more than 125,000 words. Five semi-finalists are then selected from each of five categories (General Fiction, Romance, Mystery/Thriller, Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror, and Young Adult Fiction).
In round four, a finalist from each category is selected, making them winners in their genre. And finally, from those five, Amazon customers vote for their favorite, selecting one grand prize winner.
And the prizes are nice. Finalists get a $15,000 publishing contract with Amazon. The grand prize winner gets a $50,000 publishing contract.
This year, I'm entering my book Imaginary Me into the General Fiction category. Of all the times I've entered, I have the most confidence this year. This is because Imaginary Me is a unique book told through the eyes of an imaginary friend. It also touches on subjects of abuse and how a four-year-old girl overcomes them. All of it results in an inspiring book that I hope can help those who find themselves living in similar situations that the book presents.
Do I think I'll win? I'm a realist. And there will be up to 10,000 entries for the award, so while I would like to win, expecting it is unrealistic.
But, if I can get past The Pitch round (which I think is the hardest part) I might have a chance to at least get into round three.
We'll see what happens.
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