The general fiction and young adult fiction winners of the Amazon and Penguin Group Breakthrough Novel Awards for 2012 were announced yesterday at a ceremony held at The Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle, Washington.
Alan Averill won the prize in the general fiction category for his novel, The Beautiful Land, and Regina Sirois won the adult fiction prize for her novel, On Little Wings. Both books will be published by Berkley Books and Viking Books respectively and are available for pre-order now from Amazon.
From the press release:
Hailing from Seattle, Alan Averill, a former “video game script doctor,” wrote a draft of “The Beautiful Land” as a part of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), a movement that challenges writers to complete a novel in 30 days. “The Beautiful Land” is a story of two people in love from the moment they met but destined to be apart forever. Thanks to a time machine and a mysterious invention buried deep in the Australian Outback, they now have one more chance to get it right. One customer reviewer writes: “From the opening statement to the last quote, [it] had me excited all the way through. The prose is strong, descriptive in a quirky way, charming, and unique. The characters are extremely memorable. I can't wait to read how they will be interacting with one another later in the story.”
Regina Sirois was born and raised outside of Kansas City. She minored in Creative Writing, but never found the right inspiration for a story until she became the mother of two girls. “On Little Wings” is her first novel. In it, 16-year-old Jennifer’s discovery of an aunt she never knew existed reunites her family and provokes love and forgiveness. One customer reviewer writes: “…some of the most exquisite writing I've seen in a VERY long time. Any given sentence, paragraph or scene was sublime.”
All six books in the finalist categories were reviewed by a panel of publishing expects before Amazon customers voted on the two eventual winners. Both winners have received their publishing contracts from Penguin USA (Berkley and Viking) and an advance of $15,000.