Since 1990, the Barnes & Noble booksellers who handpick books for our Discover Great New Writers™ program have connected readers with incredible, unforgettable stories from little-known writers. Many of the nearly 1,900 literary talents showcased in the Discover program have become household names, enjoying great success with readers, critics and prize committees. 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 50 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 winners and finalists 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 Doerr, 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  • The Discover Great New Writers program does not publish original work and does not review unpublished manuscripts.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 book 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 three galleys along with catalogue copy three to six months prior to book 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.


Submission Deadline

Spring 2018 (January-April 2018)
September 21, 2017
Summer 2018 (May-August 2018)
January 4, 2018
Fall 2018 (September-November 2018)
May 3, 2018