Barnes & Noble, Inc., the nation’s largest retail bookseller and the leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products, is proud to announce the 25th Anniversary of its Discover Great New Writers program. Founded in 1990, the Discover program has introduced readers to more than 1,800 exceptional authors — many of whom have gone on to become household names.
The idea behind the program is to recognize great fiction and nonfiction works from authors at the start of their careers. The program has connected readers with books that are special, exciting, surprising, and a little off the beaten path, which they may have otherwise missed. Some of the most notable authors to be featured in the program include Anthony Doerr, Gillian Flynn, Khaled Hosseini, Cheryl Strayed and many more.
“We are so proud that the Discover program is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and we are as passionate today about connecting readers with emerging new writers as we were when we started this program,” said Mary Amicucci, Vice President, Adult Trade and Children’s Books at Barnes & Noble. “Over the years, we have been at the forefront of helping great authors and books find their audiences by using the incredible reach of Barnes & Noble to bring our customers a varied selection of books that cater to their wide range of reading tastes.”
In addition to helping customers find their next great read, the program has helped many emerging authors find their audience. Past Discover authors speak out below about how grateful they are for the program, and the unique way it serves to connect readers with new writers chosen by our expert booksellers:
“Being picked for the Discover Great New Writers program was a complete dream come true,” said Cynthia Bond, author of Ruby, a national bestseller. “The thing about the program is that it gives a voice to authors who would not be heard. It allows people to really get to know a wide variety of quirky, different writers. So being selected was an amazing honor.”
“It was like an early vote of approval at a time that I felt very nervous about what readers would think of the book,” said Cheryl Strayed, winner of the 2012 Discover Award for nonfiction for Wild.
“After I was selected for the Discover Great New Writers program, I could say to myself that my book was selected by a group of people who love books so much they’ve devoted their lives to selling them,” said Will Schwalbe, author of the national bestseller, The End of Your Life Book Club.
Several Discover picks have gone on to make the move from page to screen and have become major motion pictures, including James Dashner’s The Maze Runner, Lisa Genova’s Still Alice, David Guterson’s Snow Falling on Cedars, Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, Yann Martel’s The Life of Pi, Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes, Alice Seybold’s The Lovely Bones, Kathryn Stockett’s The Help, Cheryl Strayed’s Wild and more. Eddie Huang’s Fresh Off the Boat has been adapted into a popular television show of the same name on ABC.
Several Discover authors have gone on to win major literary prizes: Junot Díaz, Anthony Doerr, Jennifer Egan, Jeffrey Eugenides and Jhumpa Lahiri are among those with Pulitzer Prizes for literature. Sherman Alexie, Katherine Boo and Phil Klay have won the National Book Award.
Discover picks are chosen by a selection committee that 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. Roughly 60 books are handpicked for the program each year from the thousand-plus submissions from publishers of all sizes, and from those 60, an independent panel of distinguished writers chooses the winners of our annual Discover Awards, presenting a total of $35,000 to six writers (three fiction, three nonfiction), with the top fiction and nonfiction winners receiving a grand prize of $10,000 each. Customers can find Discover winners and seasonal picks in the special bookcase dedicated to Discover in all stores nationwide, as well as online at BN.com/discover and on a specially created Discover channel on NOOK devices and reading apps.
For more information on the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program and its rich 25-year history, please visit www.bn.com/discover, or ask one of the knowledgeable booksellers at Barnes & Noble’s nearly 650 stores nationwide.