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The Discover Great New Writers™ program has introduced readers to more than 1,800 extraordinary literary talents - many of whom have gone on to become household names - since its inception in 1990. Previous Discover Great New Writers selections are here.

The Discover program's selection committee is comprised of Barnes & Noble booksellers from across the company and around the country. They are voracious readers who meet weekly throughout the year to look for compelling voices, extraordinary writing, and indelible stories from literary talents at the start of their careers.

Roughly 60 books are handpicked for the program each year from the 1,000+ submissions from publishers of all sizes, and from those, an independent panel of distinguished writers chooses the winner of our annual Discover Awards, presenting a total of $105,000 to six young writers.

Recipients of the Discover Award include Jill Leovy, Mia Alvar, Anthony Marra, Cheryl Strayed, Amanda Coplin, Ben Fountain, Tracy Chevalier, Chang-rae Lee, Joshua Ferris, Elizabeth McCracken, and Hampton Sides, among others. Discover Award winners are here.

Once selected, participation in Discover Great New Writers includes:

Selection Process and Eligibility

  • Publishers recommend writers making a strong literary debut intended for an adult or young adult audience.
  • Literary fiction, short story collections and literary non-fiction, such as travel essays, memoirs, or other non-fiction with a strong narrative will be considered.
  • Graphic novels, memoirs, or histories must be written and illustrated by one individual in order to be considered.
  • Authors cannot submit their own work to the program; self-published writers and titles published via print-on-demand or available only as NOOK Books are also ineligible for submission. Publishers must have U.S. distribution.
  • The Discover Great New Writers program does not publish original work and does not review unpublished manuscripts.
  • Submissions must be made at least three to six months prior to publication date.
  • Debuting authors and writers with three or fewer previously published books who have yet to receive a major literary award are eligible for consideration. Exceptions are sometimes made for authors who have published more titles, but have yet to break out to a larger audience.
  • Submissions must be original publications, penned by one author.
    Deceased authors and those previously featured in the Discover program are ineligible.
  • Books submitted for a prior season and rejected will not be reconsidered.

Publishers with submissions that meet all of the above criteria are welcome to send one copy of a bound manuscript or galley along with catalogue copy three to six months prior to publication date. Packages should be sent to:

Discover Great New Writers
Barnes & Noble, Inc.
122 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10011

2016-2017 Submission Deadlines

Submissions must be received 3-6 months prior to publication date.

Season Submission Deadline
Late Fall 2016 (November-December 2016)
Spring 2017 (January-April 2017)
Summer 2017 (May-August 2017)
Fall 2017 (September-November 2017)
July 7, 2016
September 22, 2016
December 22, 2016
April 13, 2017


For further information on submissions, contact:

Miwa Messer
Director, Discover Great New Writers
Email: MMesser@bn.com
Phone: (212) 633-4067