I'm so happy! So happy, you guys!!
They announced the winner of the 2012 ABNA Young Adult Fiction contest and the entry that I reviewed early on in the contest, On Little Wings, won the division! It was a touching, well written read that I will review here at a later date, and I am so glad it won! :)
Here's the official announcement:
Amazon and Penguin Group (USA) Name Alan Averill and Regina Sirois Winners of 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest
Averill, author of “The Beautiful Land,” and Sirois, author of “On Little Wings,” receive publishing contracts and a $15,000 advance from Penguin Group (USA)
SEATTLE & NEW YORK—June 16, 2012—Amazon.com customers around the world cast their votes and this evening, Amazon.com, Penguin Group (USA) and CreateSpace announced the winners of this year’s Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA) at a special ceremony held at The Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle. Alan Averill is the Grand Prize winner in the general fiction category for his novel, “The Beautiful Land,” while Regina Sirois was awarded the Grand Prize in the young adult fiction group for her novel, “On Little Wings.” Both authors have received a publishing contract from Penguin Group (USA) that includes a $15,000 advance. “The Beautiful Land” and “On Little Wings” will be published by Berkley Books and Viking Books for Young Readers, respectively. The novels are now available for pre-order on Amazon.com at www.amazon.com/abna.
This year's competition drew thousands of submissions from aspiring writers around the world – the most entries in the history of the contest. Through several rounds of judging, six finalists rose to the top. An expert panel of authors, agents and editors weighed in with comments on the finalists’ work, and in the end, Amazon.com customers voted to select the winners.
“Today's winners were chosen by Amazon.com customers, which is one thing that makes ABNA so special,” said Nader Kabbani, Director of Independent Publishing at Amazon. “This contest not only recognizes talented authors but also connects them directly with readers looking to discover great new writers. We congratulate Alan and Regina, whose work clearly resonated with customers.”
Tim McCall, Penguin Group (USA) Vice President of Online Sales and Marketing said, “Penguin is always looking for talented new writers to bring to our readers. We were thrilled to see the many promising manuscripts entered in this year’s competition by writers who aspire to be published by Penguin. We look forward to publishing Alan’s and Regina’s novels.”
Hailing from Seattle, Alan Averill, a former “video game script doctor,” wrote a draft of “The Beautiful Land” as a part of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), a movement that challenges writers to complete a novel in 30 days. “The Beautiful Land” is a story of two people in love from the moment they met but destined to be apart forever. Thanks to a time machine and a mysterious invention buried deep in the Australian Outback, they now have one more chance to get it right. One customer reviewer writes: “From the opening statement to the last quote, [it] had me excited all the way through. The prose is strong, descriptive in a quirky way, charming, and unique. The characters are extremely memorable. I can't wait to read how they will be interacting with one another later in the story.”
Regina Sirois was born and raised outside of Kansas City. She minored in Creative Writing, but never found the right inspiration for a story until she became the mother of two girls. “On Little Wings” is her first novel. In it, 16-year-old Jennifer’s discovery of an aunt she never knew existed reunites her family and provokes love and forgiveness. One customer reviewer writes: “…some of the most exquisite writing I've seen in a VERY long time. Any given sentence, paragraph or scene was sublime.”
Now in its fifth year, the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest is an international contest co-sponsored by Amazon.com, Penguin Group (USA) and CreateSpace. For the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest Official Rules, to view the winning excerpts and reviews, or pre-order the novels, please visit www.amazon.com/abna.
I highly recommend if you get a chance that you check out the excerpt from On Little Wings. It was a standout for sure. I'm pleased to be hosting an interview with author, Regina Sirois, here on the blog soon, too, to discuss her experience participating in the ABNA contest.