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

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.

Publishers must submit titles for review prior to publication (minimum three months).

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 Discover Blog as well as via consumer emails, @BNBuzz Twitter feed, 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.
  • Literary fiction, short story collections and literary non-fiction, such as travel essays, memoirs, or other non-fiction with a strong narrative, qualifies. Books should be intended for an adult or a young adult audience.
  • Deceased authors and those previously featured in the Discover program are ineligible. Books submitted for a prior season and rejected will not be reconsidered.
  • Submissions must be made prior to book publication date.

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