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BY SEAN CLARK

For the third year running, I’m a quarter finals judge for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.

It’s a pretty cool program that is open to all unpublished writers. Sure there’s a bunch of not great entries, but there’s a whole bunch of really great writing too. I’ve had at least one over the years that I was genuinely sad not to see win the whole shooting match. I obviously can’t talk specifics about the books I have now, but you can see full lists of the 2011 entries by genre, and read a little of each, at the above link.

It’s defintely a fun thing to get involved in. I encourage anyone who has the time to read some excerpts and post comments on the ABNA site Amazon set up. It’s a nice way for young writers who have the cajones to submit an untested manuscript to get some honest feedback from (anonymous) readers.

The finalists will be announced in late April, and panels helmed by Lev Grossman and Gayle Forman (links: I’ve reviewed both their books on the site) will take things from there.

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