Whose Book will be the First American Title - An American Idol-Style Competition for Aspiring Writers Begins

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Romantic Times BOOKclub magazine and Dorchester Publishing have teamed up to create a "Reality Print" competition a la American Idol where the winner will receive a book contract with Leisure Books.

In the April 2004 issue of Romantic Times BOOKclub magazine, the search for the first American Title began, a "pen-sational" competition designed to find the next great author of contemporary romance, modeled after reality TV mega-hit American Idol. Ten aspiring writers were selected by Dorchester's team of editors and they will go head to head and compete for a career-launching book contract from Dorchester Publishing.

Readers will decide the publishing fate of these as-yet untapped scribes by voting online in five separate rounds of competition. Best First Line. Best Hero and Heroine. Best Story Summary. Best Dialogue Scene. Best Romantic Scene.

Over the next five months, the contestants will compete in each of these categories and each month the two with the least amount of votes will be eliminated. As with American Idol, a panel of three judges will weigh in with their opinions. Watch out as RT BOOKclub's own Flavia Knightsbridge tells it like it is, a la Simon Cowell, while former Penguin editor Hilary Ross refuses to pull any punches like cool man Randy Jackson. Veteran romance editor Leslie Kazanjian gives her expert advice--with a dollop of syrup to soften the blow--much like sweet-as-pie Paula Abdul.

But the publishing fate of these 10 finalists does not rest in the judges' hands--the winner will be selected by readers voting online (http://www.romantictimes.com). Choose your favorite wisely, as readers are allotted only one online vote per month. The two contestants with the lowest scores will be eliminated each month, until one lucky winner is announced at the upcoming Romantic Times BOOKclub convention in St. Louis April 27-May 1, 2005 (http://www.rtconvention.com/). The winner will also be announced in the May 2005 issue of RT BOOKclub magazine.

Dorchester editors are already chomping at the bit to get started! "In our preliminary reading of the entries, we believe we've found some extraordinary new voices in contemporary romantic fiction," says editorial director Alicia Condon. "But which has real bestseller potential? Only readers can decide!"

The contest launches October 18 and it is up to readers to mull over each entry and deliberate over which hopeful to vote for.

Romantic Times BOOKclub magazine launched in 1981 and celebrates its 250th issue this month. It's the leading book review magazine in the industry covering over 250 new books monthly along with industry new, gossip and trends. It also puts on an annual BOOKLOVERS Convention bringing together fans, authors, cover models, booksellers and publishers.

Dorchester Publishing has been involved in the publishing of mass market books since 1971, making Dorchester the oldest independent mass market publisher in America. Although mostly known for Romance, Dorchester also publishes world-class Horror, Westerns, and Thrillers under its Leisure Books imprint.

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