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What is a pilot?

A pilot is a proof of concept used to help sell a series to a network or streamer. Sometimes, people refer to the first episode of a series that is already on air as the pilot, but the pilot for America’s Next Great Author will not be the first episode in the series. It will be used to show TV Executives what the voice, concept, feel of the show will be.

What is the tone of the pilot?

Think The Great British Baking Show: Lots of support from fellow writers and constructive feedback from judges who want you to succeed. Sadly, we can’t promise perfect pavlova.

How can I watch the series?

You can’t…yet! We first have to make the pilot and then sell it to a network. If you want to know when the series airs, sign up here.

Is the $2,500 for the winner of an entire season?

No! The $2,500 is for the winner of the upcoming one-day pitch contest that will be filmed for the pilot. The winner will stay for a second day to film additional footage for the pilot. When the series airs, there will be prize money and publishing contracts for the winners.

Do I retain the rights to my book and my pitch?

Yes! You will retain all ownership rights of the materials in your submission. To participate, you will grant to America’s Next Great Author the right to use your written pitch, audition video and all other materials submitted in connection with your online application to participate in the Pilot Taping of the Program.

To participate, you will also need to grant America’s Next Great Author the right to record and use your likeness.

Read the Participant Agreement and the Online Audition Terms and Conditions for full details.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible, you must meet all criteria in the Eligibility Requirements.

Do I need to be available for 30 days if I submit my pitch for the pilot?

No! For the pilot episode, there will be a one-day shoot. The winner will stay for one additional day of filming. We will not be filming the 30-day challenge at this time.

Will the winner of the pilot be in the full season?

We don’t know the answer to this because we are too early in the process. We will keep in touch with the winner to notify them of details as the show moves forward.

Sign up to receive updates on when we’ll be filling the Writers Retreat.

Why isn't it an open call for the pilot where anyone can show up?

We know that the time and resources of writers are precious. We don't want you to waste those resources. Because we can only have a limited audience for the pilot, and because we want the shoot to be an entertaining and educational experience for those who attend, we decided to limit the number so that we could make it a positive experience for everyone there.

How will you choose the hundred semifinalists?

The semifinalists will be chosen by the producers based on the strength of their application materials.

Do all the semifinalists get to pitch at the pilot filming?

No. Only twenty people will get to pitch. The twenty people will be chosen based on a number of factors including (but not limited to): the materials they submitted, on-set interviews the day of the filming, and COVID protocols.

Does my book have to be finished to apply?

No. The first ten pages are all you will need to submit for the pilot.

Can I apply if I already have an agent?

Authors who have an agent are welcome to apply. We also welcome authors who haven’t yet signed with an agent.

Can I apply if I’ve already published the book I’m pitching?

You are welcome to apply if you’ve self-published the book you are pitching.

You cannot apply if you have a current contract with a publisher for the book you’re pitching, or if your book has already been published by a publisher.

Check out the Online Audition Terms and Conditions and Participant Agreement for more information.

Can I enter if I’ve been published before?

Yes. List any previous publications in your application and include publisher and date of publication.

Can I pitch a sequel or a later book in a series?


Is this for all genres?

The pilot of America’s Next Great Author is going to focus solely on novels (adult and YA) and memoirs. Read the full Eligibility Requirements here.

Future auditions may feature other genres. Sign up for casting calls.

Can I pitch more than one book?

You can only pitch one book and you can submit only one application.

How do I know someone won’t steal my idea?

If there's one thing we've learned, having an idea for a book is a whole other animal than writing that book. Even if you gave ten writers the same idea, they'd come up with ten completely different books. MOST IMPORTANTLY, we've found that the greatest barrier to getting published is to NOT tell people your book idea. Our goal is to help you get your book into the world with your name on it.

You retain all rights to your pitch and the materials you submit in your application. In order to participate, you will grant America’s Next Great Author a license to use your materials solely in connection with the promotion, marketing, advertising, exploitation, exhibition and distribution of the Pilot and Series. America's Next Great Author has no rights to your book, or the ideas expressed in the pitch materials. Review the full text of this agreement at our Participant Agreement and Terms and Conditions to understand how America’s Next Great Author will use your pitch, video, and the recording of the pilot and the licenses you are granting by participating.

If you have other questions, please ask!

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