Discover Great New Writers Selection Process

Founded in 1990, the Discover Great New Writers program highlights books of exceptional literary quality from authors at the start of their careers.

A small group of Barnes & Noble bookseller volunteers convenes year-round to review submissions to the program and handpick titles for our promotion, currently featured at 700+ Barnes & Noble and 100 prominent Barnes & Noble College Bookstores, and on

Annually, we recognize two of our exceptional writers with the Discover Great New Writers Award (one each for Fiction and Non-fiction). In addition to a $10,000 prize, we promote the winning titles extensively in our stores and online.

Recipients of the Discover Award include Cheryl Strayed, Amanda Coplin, Ben Fountain, Chang-rae Lee, Monica Ali, Eric Blehm, Tracy Chevalier, Joshua Ferris, Elizabeth McCracken, David Sheff, and Hampton Sides, among others.

Selection Process and Eligibility

Publishers recommend writers making a strong literary debut. 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.

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. Books should be intended for an adult or a young adult audience.

The Discover Great New Writers program does not publish original work; please do not submit unpublished manuscripts for consideration.

Submissions must be made at least three months prior to publication date.

Once selected, participation in Discover Great New Writers™ includes:

  • Face-out display in the Discover bay in each of our bookstores (length of display is usually 12 weeks)
  • An individual shelf-talker with a teaser line placed under each face-out
  • A 20% discount on Discover titles for the length of the promotion
  • Promotion online at and The B&N Review as well as via consumer emails, @BNBuzz and @BNDiscover Twitter feeds, and Nook features for the Discover Award finalists and Discover Seasonal selections.
  • Special consideration for Discover-selected writers for in-store events and book group discussions

  • Debuting authors and writers with fewer than three 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.

    2014-2015 Submission Deadlines
    Submission Deadline
    Spring 2014 (January-March 2014) June 27, 2013
    Summer 2014 (April-July 2014) December 12, 2013
    Fall 2014 (August-October 2014) April 3, 2014
    Holiday 2014 (November-December 2014)
    Spring 2015 (January-March 2015)
    Summer 2015 (April-July 2015)
    June 26, 2014
    September 25, 2014
    December 11, 2014

    For further information on submissions, contact:

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

    Phone: (212) 633-4067