Reality TV producers have exhausted singers, dancers, drag artists, potters, tailors, and beautiful young people hoping to find love. Now, it seems, the spotlight has fallen on writers. This week, a call has appeared on social media for contestants to apply to be on the pilot of a new show called America’s Next Great Author (ANGA).
Billed as “the groundbreaking reality TV show for writers”, ANGA will give its contestants one minute to pitch their novels to a panel of judges that includes New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds, Fox5 TV presenter Angie Goff, and stage writer and comedian Marga Gomez.
Those that are lucky enough to win the heats, to be held in cities across the US, will proceed to the writers’ retreat “bootcamp” stage.
The six finalists, locked together for a month, will face “live-wire” challenges as they attempt to write an entire novel in 30 days. The winning novelist will be crowned America’s Next Great Author.
Bestselling author and Newberry Medal winner Kwame Alexander is presenting the show, and is listed as executive producer. In a promotional video posted on the show’s Twitter feed, Alexander said it will be “the first reality show for writers produced by writers. This is your chance, if you’re writing the Great American Novel or the great memoir masterpiece or something, this is your chance to get published. ”
The show is aiming to attract a wide and diverse range of applicants: “America’s Next Great Author is dedicated to including writers who aren’t normally given a seat at the table in mainstream publishing”, reads the mission statement on its website. Contestants do not have to be graduates of elite MFA programs that basically guarantee an open door to the book business. The series will feature writers from communities and cultures all across America who bring their unique voices to readers and the world of literature. ”
It is not yet clear, however, what the ultimate prize will be, although Alexander seemed to hint at the promotional video that it may include a publishing deal.
Currently, ANGA is accepting applications to take part in the filming of the pilot show in San Francisco. It offers contestants the chance to “come away with concrete advice from publishing industry professionals” and, for the winner of this pilot heat, $ 2,500 (£ 2,116).