A New Reality Show Is Looking to Find America’s Next Great Author

Writers and reality TV: a match made in heaven?
Writers and reality TV: a match made in heaven? / Talaj/iStock via Getty Images

Excluding all the reality stars who’ve gone on to publish books, there’s not a ton of crossover between writers and reality TV. But that’s about to change. 

As The Guardian reports, an upcoming program called America’s Next Great Author is looking to find exactly what it sounds like it’s looking to find: America’s next great author. The show will kick off with a nationwide tour of cities, where prospective contestants will each pitch their book proposal to a panel of judges in one minute or less. Six people will then be chosen to attend a month-long writer’s retreat filled with “live-wire challenges and spectacular storytelling,” according to the website. 

All they’ll have at the beginning of the retreat is the idea for their book; by the end of it, they must have written the whole book. If that seems like a high-stakes, high-pressure environment, that’s sort of the point. The site describes the program as “geared toward anyone who loves drama on and off the page.”

But you don’t need to have an MFA or a previous book deal under your belt in order to toss your hat in the ring. In fact, producers might prefer that you didn’t. “America’s Next Great Author is dedicated to including writers who aren’t normally given a seat at the table in mainstream publishing,” the site explains.

Bestselling author Kwame Alexander—winner of the 2015 Newbery Medal for his middle-grade novel The Crossover—will host the series. It also boasts an impressive slate of judges, including children’s author Jason Reynolds, broadcast journalist Angie Goff, and playwright Marga Gomez.

America’s Next Great Author is currently looking for possible contestants to feature in its pilot episode, filming on October 30, 2022. To find out how to participate, you can sign up to receive details about casting calls through the website.

[h/t The Guardian]