The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest (ABNA) is an annual competition that was first introduced to the writing world in 2007. In its maiden year, the contest took on only 5,000 submissions, then later surged to the 10,000 mark that caps submissions this year. Up for grabs this year for one talented Grand Prize winner is a $50,000 advance attached to an Amazon publishing contract. Four First Prize winners will also receive publishing contracts with an advance of $15,000 each. Among the 2014 entrants vying for a publishing contract is Mobile's own NK Schlaudecker.
Schlaudecker submitted her novel Mayhawk: Rising to the ABNA as soon as entries opened on Feb. 16. Entries will be accepted through March 2 or until the maximum number of submissions is reached. Mayhawk: Rising is an impressive work in the growing body of Arthurian literature and introduces a trilogy of books, this first of which centers around King Lot and his first born son and heir, Gawain. It is currently self-published and not under any other publishing contracts, making it eligible for the ABNA contest. Other requirements include that the novel be between 50,000 and 125,000 words and fall into one of the following five genres: General Fiction, Mystery/Thriller, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult Fiction.
When asked about her experience with the entry process, Schlaudecker said, "The setup was pretty seamless-all on one page and very user friendly. Of course there's the tension of 'everything stops at entry 10,000.' The only thing that took any time at all was drafting the pitch, and they provide sample pitches from previous winners."
In addition to the pitch, contestants must either hold or register an account with CreateSpace, complete an application, submit a manuscript with the author's name removed completely, and upload an excerpt from the beginning of the novel. Contestants are notified of their standing after each round of judging, culminating in a reader voting phase to determine the ultimate winners. Five finalists will be announced on July 8. Votes from Amazon customers will choose the winners between July 8 and July 18. Winners will be announced on July 21.
The Mobile writing community is proud to have one of its own represented among this year's contestants. Schlaudecker's friends, family, and fans alike are rooting for her to walkaway with the Grand Prize. Fans of Arthurian literature and of great storytelling in general can find Mayhawk: Rising here. Those interested in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest will find information concerning entry and the official rules here.