Friday, February 25, 2011

2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award - Round Two-The Novel Project

 Amazon Breakthrough Novel AwardThe Boy Who Shot Santa makes it into Round Two of 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award! So glad I took another quick look at it just before sending it in.  That look took three days--the culmination of two frantic months of going through the novel six times, including a couple of all-nighters, revising it over and over, and also that pitch!  The first round judging was based purely on those 300 words!

Ok, 1000 novels from around the world made it through to Round Two, but 80% or 4000 didn’t!  8,000 novels if you include both categories (general fiction and young adult fiction).  

Here’s the final version of my pitch that made it through:

The Boy Who Shot Santa
What if your son accidentally shoots his dad dressed up as Santa Claus?

          Rachel Layton finds her fragile marriage shattered when her eleven-year-old son kills a burglar who turns out to be his drunken father in a Santa Claus suit.  The shooting sets off a chain-reaction of events that threatens to tear apart a small Pennsylvania town.
Cast as a villain and labeled trailer trash by the media, Rachel is determined to hold her family together, even as her son gets beaten up at school, her teenage daughter moves in with a low life twice her age, and an old boyfriend comes and goes. Tired of being on the defensive and utilizing the voice of reason, Rachel speaks out against hunters giving under-aged kids access to guns.  Despite threatening phone calls and a brick through her window, Rachel refuses to back off until Gordon’s Gunshop, located smack on Main Street, is shut down.
          While shopping at the mall for Christmas, Rachel overlooks one important detail.  Santa Claus.  To her dismay, her son Eric, still struggling from post-traumatic stress disorder, gets into line behind the other kids.  Sensing trouble, parents drag their kids, some kicking and screaming, out of the line.  Soon the whole town, it seems, is watching as Eric confronts Santa Claus.
Still trying to come to terms with her deceased husband and while holding onto one last chance for happiness, Rachel is all too aware that someone in the crowd is stalking her.  One thing is certain:  Christmas in Sharpton will never be the same.
            The Boy Who Shot Santa (97,700 words) is a short-list finalist for the 2009 Faulkner-Wisdom novel contest (as A Season for Fools), and the first book of a potential three-book series

And this is what’s in store for those of us who have made it this far:

Second Round (Feb. 24th): The field will be narrowed to 250 entries in each category (500 total entries) by Amazon top customer reviewers from ratings of a 5000 word excerpt.

Quarterfinals (March 22nd): Publishers Weekly reviewers will read the full manuscript of each quarterfinalist, and based on their review scores, the top 50 in each category (100 total entries) will move on to the semi-finals.

Semi-finals (April 26th): Penguin USA editors will read the full manuscript and review all accompanying data for each semi-finalist and will then select three finalists in each category (six total finalists).

Finals (May 24th): Amazon customers will vote on the three finalists in each category resulting in two grand prize winners

Grand prize winners will be announced (June 13th)

And what am I doing now? Just finished revising all of the short stories for Lovers and Strangers Revisited for the French translation and in the midst of revising the first 50 pages of The Boy Who Shot Santa for the James Jones Fellowship Contest, deadline March 1st.  Love those deadlines.  Though I'm wishing I could include the changes I'm making into what's being judged for Round Two!  

Wish me luck, and good luck to all the others in the Amazon contest who have made it this far. 

*Update: The Resurrection of Jonathan Brady just made Round Two 2012, so far (I included the pitch.)
**Update: The Resurrection of Jonathan Brady just advanced to the Quarterfinals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2012!

*Here are six lessons I learned from joining Amazon competition.

**Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award is back for 2014

**Here the link to my website, to MPH online for orders for all three of my books, including my latest, Spirit of Malaysia and for Trois autres Malaisie.


Dwight said...

Hi Robert,

Good luck with Santa. Nice premise.

Dwight Okita
The Hope Store

BorneoExpatWriter said...

Thanks. The hard work is done, though I'm still revising, so let's see what happens. Maybe I could borrow some of your hope from your Hope Store! Is that the title of your novel? I like it, it suggests many possibilities and each positive and intriguing. Good luck.