There’s practically a TV show about everything you can possibly imagine these days, and now there’s one specifically for aspiring authors. The unique reality show is set to shoot its pilot episode in several cities across the US this October, 2022.
Positioned as “the groundbreaking reality TV show for writers,” the show will seek to find America’s Next Great Author through a writing retreat, a series of writing challenges, and ultimately a book pitch in front of established authors. If you thought getting rejected dozens of times after querying agents was tough, imagine face-to-face rejection from authors you might admire. Intimidating much?
The show, America’s Next Great Author, was conceptualized by American writer and poet in children’s literature, Kwame Alexander, who will also produce and host. How will the show work? First, the production will hold tryouts nationwide in iconic American cities where aspiring authors will get one minute to pitch their book ideas to a panel of publishing experts. After this audition phase, six finalists will be chosen to enter into a writer’s retreat together for a full month, which will be full of writing challenges. The writing contestants will need to start their books from scratch from day one of arriving at the retreat and must finish their novels by the end of 30 days. Whoever makes it to the finish line with the best book concept will be named America’s Next Great Author.
Casting is still currently open for submissions, according to the show’s official website. Potential contestants are not required to have any formal education or training such as BFAs or MFAs to participate. The team behind the show is “dedicated to including writers who aren’t normally given a seat at the table in mainstream publishing,” according to their website.
So far, the judges expected to hail America’s Next Great Author in the finale include Jason Reynolds, Angie Goff, and Marga Gomez. Based on the typical reality show setup and information so far released, it’s assumed that the writers on the show will have mentors during the writing retreat part of the show–David Henry Sterry and Arielle Eckstut. They are the authors of the definitive Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published and created Pitchapalooza, which has turned dozens of amateur writers into professional authors.
If you’re interested in submitting to be a part of the show, or if you’re looking to keep up with the latest news around the project, you can visit the America’s Next Great Author official website!
Mel Beasley has a bachelor’s in creative writing and journalism from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He brings 9+ years of digital marketing and writing experience to the table by writing for publications such as Lumina News and Encore Magazine. He spent 2 years as a college-level writing tutor, and is a certified writing tutor through the CRLA, which is a prestigious cert recognized by the Association for the Coaching & Tutoring Profession. He is a professional SEO blogger with experience writing for brands such as Boardworks Education and The Greater Wilmington Business Journal. One of his latest website and marketing projects has been building the website for the now New York Times Bestselling author, Nina de Gramont.