Kwame Alexander 

Got an idea for a book?

What’s up good people? New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander here with the 411 on America’s Next Great Author. 

I’ll be hosting this groundbreaking show. But first, we'll be filming the pilot on October 30, 2022. This application is your audition for a spot at the filming of the pilot where you will be pitching your book idea to our panel of renowned judges, a roaring bookish audience, and rolling cameras.

The winner of the pilot will receive

  • A $2,500 cash prize for the best pitch
  • A prominent role in the pilot episode

Our mission

AMERICA’S NEXT GREAT AUTHOR is dedicated to including writers who aren’t normally given a seat at the table in mainstream publishing. The series will feature writers from communities and cultures all across America who bring their unique voices to readers and the world of literature.

How it works

On October 30, we will film the pilot episode for America's Next Great Author in Newark, NJ. A pilot is a proof of concept used to help sell a series to a network or streamer. Sometimes, people refer to the first episode of a series that is already on air as the pilot, but the pilot for America’s Next Great Author will not be the first episode in the series. It will be used to show TV Executives what the voice, concept, feel of the show will be.

During our call for submissions, August 1 - September 15, send us your pitch, a short bio, a video introduction so we can get to know you, and the first ten pages of your manuscript. You must meet the eligibility requirements to apply. 

On October 1, we will name 100 semifinalists who will be invited to the filming of the pilot.

On October 30, at the pilot filming, one-by-one 20 finalists will be called up to present their pitches in front of the audience and the judges. Finalists will have ONE MINUTE to pitch their books and try to astound, astonish, and seduce the panel of judges with just how great their books will be. The judges will critique everything from idea to style to potential in the literary marketplace and everyone comes away with concrete advice from publishing industry professionals. At the end of the live event, the judges will name one winner, who will receive $2500 and a prominent role in the pilot.

Learn more at our website.  

Benefits for all semifinalists

  • Learn from our expert panel of judges and mentors
  • Network with other writers
  • Get a first look at future casting calls

More about your host + judges + mentors

  • Kwame Alexander, New York Times bestselling and Newbery Award-winning author as well as showrunner for the forthcoming Disney+ series The Crossover
  • Jason Reynolds, #1 New York Times bestselling novelist, recipient of a Newbery Honor, and current National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature
  • Marga Gomez, GLAAD Award-winning comedian
  • Angie Goff, broadcast journalist and Today Show veteran
  • David Henry Sterry, author, performer, and co-author of the go-to book on how to get published, The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published
  • Arielle Eckstut, author, literary agent of 30 years, and co-author of The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published

Learn more about the judges and mentors at our website. 

Audition materials

To be considered for our live contest, you must provide: 

  • Book pitch of 250 words or fewer
  • First 10 pages of the manuscript you are pitching, double spaced and numbered, and a single cover page with the specified information
  • Written bio of 150 words or fewer
  • 75-second video recording of your one-minute pitch plus specified introductory remarks 

View our Online Audition Terms and Conditions for full details.

Have questions? Check out our FAQ page. 

Click the links below to review AMERICA’S NEXT GREAT AUTHOR Eligibility Requirements, Online Audition Terms and Conditions, Participant Agreement, and Privacy Policy.

Eligibility Requirements

Online Audition Terms and Conditions

Participant Agreement

Privacy Policy

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America's Next Great Author