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The Discover Great New Writers™ program (www.bn.com/discover), which celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2015, 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. 

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.

Previous recipients of the Discover Award include Anthony Marra, Justin St. Germain, Cheryl Strayed, Amanda Coplin, Ben Fountain, Chang-rae Lee, Joshua Ferris, Elizabeth McCracken, 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 BooksŪ 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The Discover Great New Writers program does not publish original work; please do not submit unpublished manuscripts for consideration.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 (ideally six 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 www.bn.com/discover and B&N Reads, 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.

2016-2017 Submission Deadlines

Submissions for books publishing in calendar year 2015 are now closed.

Season Submission Deadline
Fall 2016 (August-October 2016)
Late Fall 2016 (November/December 2016)
Spring 2017 (January-April 2017)
Summer 2017 (May-August 2017)
March 31, 2016
June 30, 2016
September 29, 2016
December 22, 2016


For further information on submissions, contact:

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

Email: MMesser@bn.com
Phone: (212) 633-4067