Calling All Writers: Are You America’s Next Great Author?

This new reality TV series is shooting its pilot episode in Newark this October. Submit your online auditions through September 15.

Blank lined paper with sharp pencil, pencil sharpener and pencil shavings
America’s Next Great Author will name one winner, who will receive $2,500 and a prominent role in the pilot episode. Photo: Unsplash/Angelina Litvin

Are you a writer with a great idea who wants exposure and expert advice? Well, there’s an upcoming reality TV series that may be just the ticket.

America’s Next Great Author is accepting submissions for participation until September 15, and will be shooting its pilot episode on October 30 in Newark. One hundred semifinalists will be chosen to take part in the contest, which will then be cut down to 20 finalists, who will be called up to present their pitches in front of an audience of fellow writers. They will also be critiqued in a kind and gentle manner by the judges, including New York Times bestselling novelist and current National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Jason Reynolds, GLAAD Award-winning comedian Marga Gomez, and broadcast journalist and Today Show veteran Angie Goff.

David Henry Sterry and Arielle Eckstut

David Henry Sterry and Arielle Eckstut want to give writers a seat at the publishing table.

The series is the brainchild of writing/editing superstars David Henry Sterry and Arielle Eckstut, otherwise known as the Book Doctors, who for years held what they called the American Idol for writers, which they called a Pitchapalooza. These popular events were held during book festivals, libraries, writers’ conferences and in bookstores around the country.

“Our mission has always been to give people who don’t get a chance at the publishing table to tell their story,” says Henry Sterry. “That’s why we chose to do it in Newark, a place that has a great literary tradition, and lots of great writers who aren’t allowed into the mainstream of Manhattan publishing.”

During a Pitchapalooza, writers would get one minute to pitch their idea to a panel of editors, writers and agents, who then critique it and provide feedback. The winner would then receive an introduction to an agent or editor who was right for their book.

On America’s Next Great Author, the judges will critique everything from idea to style to potential in the literary marketplace, and provide advice that writers can apply to their work, whether they are called up to pitch or not.

The show will name one winner, who will receive $2,500 and a prominent role in the pilot.

The pilot of this reality show is what’s called a proof of concept, which the team will later pitch to a network. They already have some interest in the show, they say.

Online auditions for the pilot are open now through September 15. Learn more and apply at

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