Six Finalists Will Fight for the Title of “America’s Next Great Author”
The Newbery Medal winner Kwame Alexander will host the program, which will give the publishing industry an American Idol-style makeover. In the beginning, competitors will compete in tryouts where they will pitch a book in one minute in towns all across the nation. Six finalists will be selected from among the pitch competition winners and they’ll fight for the title of America’s Next Great Author.
The finalists will now share a home during a one-month writing boot camp. By the conclusion of the 30 days, a novel should have been written. The show’s creators, David Henry Sterry and Arielle Eckstut will act as mentors. They also established Pitchapalooza, a slightly comparable competition, roughly ten years ago. The two will collaborate with the competitors on storytelling exercises throughout the boot camp. According to Sterry, these exercises would “show off a writer’s ability to use words, think quickly, and be imaginative.” Joanne O’Sullivan of Publishers Weekly quotes Sterry.
Young adult and adult literature, as well as memoirs, will be the main topics of this season. However, the show’s creators intend to focus future seasons on other topics, such as thrillers, fantasy, and romance.
Publishing a Book Can Be Difficult
It’s always been difficult to publish a book, and it’s considerably more difficult for authors of color. The New York Times discovered that 89% of books released in 2018 were written by white authors.
The judges for the pilot, which will be filmed in San Francisco this fall, will be comedian Marga Gomez, author Jason Reynolds, and FOX5 TV host Angie Goff.
According to the series’ website, it aims to support authors “who aren’t typically granted a seat at the table in mainstream publishing.” Contestants don’t have to be graduates of prestigious MFA programs that essentially promise access to the publishing industry. Writers from various groups and cultures in America who share their distinctive voices with readers, and the literary community, will be included in the series.