America’s Next Great Author is exactly what it sounds like: a reality show about writers, ultimately pitting six novelists against each other as they each attempt to finish a book. Still in its early stages, the project is now accepting applications from writers interested in appearing in the pilot episode, reports the Guardianit’s David Barnett.
Hosted by Newbery Medal winner Kwame Alexander, the show will put a american idol-esque spin on the publishing process. Initially, contestants from cities across the country will participate in tryouts, where they will pitch a book in one minute. Ultimately, the winners of these pitch competitions will be narrowed down to six finalists, who can compete for the title of The next great American author.
At this point, the finalists will live together during a month-long writing bootcamp. The goal is to write a novel by the end of the 30 days.
The show’s creators, Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry, will serve as mentors. (They’re also the founders of Pitchapalooza, a somewhat similar contest that started about a decade ago.) During bootcamp, the duo will also work on storytelling challenges with the contestants.
These exercises “will show a writer’s ability to use words, to think quickly, to be creative,” Sterry said. Weekly editorsby Joanne O’Sullivan.
This season will focus on novels (young adult and adult) and memoir, but the creators hope to focus future seasons on other themes, from thrillers to fantasy to romance.
Publishing a book has always been difficult, and it’s even harder for writers of color. Among a sample of books published in 2018, the New York Times found that 89% were written by white authors.
The series hopes to promote the work of “writers who don’t normally sit at the mainstream publishing table,” according to its website. “Candidates don’t need to be graduates of elite MFA programs that essentially guarantee an open door to the book industry. The series will feature writers from communities and cultures across America who will bring their unique voices to readers and the world of literature.
For the pilot, which will be filmed this fall in San Francisco, the judges will include author Jason Reynolds, FOX5 TV presenter Angie Goff and comedian Marga Gomez.
The winner of the pilot will receive $2,500, as well as a larger role in a second episode. By The weekly publishers, Eckstut expects “substantial” awards and publishing opportunities to become available when the show resumes.
Even if that happens, how will a show about writers compare to reality TV staples?
“I understand. They are writers who write books. Sounds boring, doesn’t it?” Alexandre says Weekly editors. “But, as an author…who wrote in cafes, parks, writing retreats, subways, lunch breaks, who sold books at farmers’ markets, who saw his books forbidden, who lost friendships because of book dramas, [you’ve] You have to see it to believe it’s drama. The irony is that the stories are dramatic, so why wouldn’t the writers be? »