Amazon Breakthrough to Include YA

YA fiction continues its ascendancy: Publisher’s Lunch reports today that the Penguin-Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest will now include a second prize for YA fiction.

Another way they’re keeping up with the times: the prize will also include novels that have been previously self-published.

OK, the monetary prize to the winners has gotten smaller: originally a $25,000 advance, this new contest's two winners will get $15,000 advances each. Still nothing to sneeze at.

They will accept up to 5,000 entries each in the fiction and young adult categories. The judges evaluating the three finalists (selected by Penguin editors) are author Tana French, agent Julie Barer, and editor Molly Stern for general fiction, and authors Sarah Dessen and Nancy Werlin, agent Amy Berkower, and publisher Ben Schrank for young adult.

Manuscripts can be submitted between Jan. 25 and Feb. 7, 2010 at Up to 10,000 total initial entries will be accepted, with up to 5,000 each in the general fiction and young adult categories.

Three contest winners have been published so far by Penguin imprints--Bill Loehfelm's FRESH KILLS; BAD THINGS HAPPEN by Harry Dolan; and THE WET NURSE'S TALE by Erica Eisdorfer.

So polish up those NaNo manuscripts, people!