Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Gather.com Announces Twenty-Five Semifinalists in Romance Writing Competition

Gather.com Announces Twenty-Five Semifinalists in Romance Writing Competition
Nearly 500 Manuscripts Submitted by Aspiring Romance Novelists from Across the Country

NEW YORK & BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Gather.com, the leader in social media for adults, and the Pocket Books imprint of Simon & Schuster, a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, today announced the twenty-five semifinalists in The Gather.com First Chapters Romance Writing Competition. In the quest to find America’s next great romance novelist, the semifinalists were narrowed down by the Gather community from nearly 500 manuscripts submitted from across the country since August 2007. The names and hometowns of the semifinalists are cited below, and can also be found online at romancenovel.gather.com.

Sarah Andre, Houston, TX
Dale Cozort, DeKalb, IL
Sarah Castleberry, Houston, TX
Theresa Ragan, Granite Bay, CA
Dena Straughn, Grovetown, GA
Terri Molina Dunham, Chandler, AZ
Allison Newman, Cambridge, MA
Tracy Beltran, Phoenix, AZ
Stephanie Woodard, Fort Worth, TX
Isabel Barney, Hollywood, FL
Kristin Wallace, Miami, FL
Judi Fennell, Philadelphia, PA
Caren Crane Helms, Raleigh, NC
Rachael Herron, Oakland, CA
Maggie Dana, Old Saybrook, CT
Layla Morgan Wilde, Hartsdale, NY
Lauren Coe, Brier, Washington
Jerrica Knight-Catania, New York, NY
Meredith McGuire, Chicago, IL
Jacqueline Floyd, West Chester, OH
Christine Morris, Brookfield, OH
Diane Nichols, Vestal, NY
Starr Toth, Ortonville, MI
Jamie Chapman, Hastings, NE
Bonnie Latino, Atmore, AL and Bob Vale, Ocean Township, NJ (co-authors)
The announcement of the semifinalists in the romance competition follows a positive review from USA Today, which praised the two winning novelists in Gather.com’s original First Chapters competition, Terry Shaw and Geoffrey Edwards, whose novels were published this fall by the Touchstone imprint of Simon & Schuster.

“Excitement around the First Chapters competition continues to build as people increasingly realize the power that their participation has in selecting the world’s next great literary talents,” says Tom Gerace, Gather.com founder and Chief Executive Officer (tom.gather.com). “The high quality of the romance submissions has ignited a feverous flow of activity and engagement amongst our members, who have always been captivated by good writing.”

Beginning today, the second chapters of each semifinalist will be reviewed and rated by the Gather community until the end of Round Two on October 8, 2007.

“Romance writers are one of the world’s most passionate groups of people,” noted Louise Burke, Executive Vice President and Publisher, Pocket Books. “The First Chapters Romance competition has allowed Pocket Books to leverage the power of social media to identify undiscovered talent and provide our customers with fresh, carefully plotted, and well-crafted romance writing.”

As the official retail sponsor of Gather.com, Borders, Inc., a leading retailer of books, music, movies, gifts and stationery items, is promoting the First Chapters competition via email to its millions of Borders Reward® members. The winning title will be featured in over 1,000 Borders and Waldenbooks stores nationwide.

The Grand Prize winner will be awarded a guaranteed publishing contract with PocketBooks along with a $5000 advance. To obtain more information regarding the specifics of the judging, please reference the competition timeline below.


Submission period: 08/1/07 - 08/22/07
Full romance manuscripts submitted to romancenovel@gatherinc.com.

Round One: 08/27/07 - 09/18/07
Posting of chapter one at romancenovel.gather.com - Gather.com
community votes to select 25 semi-finalists

Round Two: 09/24/07 - 10/08/07
Posting of second chapter at romancenovel.gather.com -Gather.com
community votes to select five finalists

Round Three: 10/11/07 - 10/30/07
Grand Prize Judging Panel votes to select a Grand Prize winner

Grand Prize Winner announcement: 10/30/07

Members of Grand Prize Judging Panel:

Lauren McKenna, Editor, Pocket Books
Maggie Crawford, Editorial Director, Pocket Books
Tom Gerace, Gather Founder & CEO
Sue Grimshaw, Romance Buyer, Borders

1 comment:

Caren Crane said...

As one of the semi-finalists, I encourage everyone to check out the contest. You must register with Gather.com to vote, but it takes only seconds. Comments count! Gather selects a lucky commenter from each finalist's entry to win a $25 Borders gift card. Nice reward for reading romance! *g*

Kick Start - Chapter 2


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