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She Writes announces contest to catapult undiscovered women writer to success

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June 29, 2010. New York. Today, on the one-year anniversary of She Writes founders Kamy Wicoff and Deborah Siegel will announce The Passion Project, a contest open to an emerging author and member of She Writes with a nonfiction book project in the works.

The Passion Project enables a hand-picked A-team of writing and publishing experts to choose a book project by a first-time author and to donate their time to its advancement, giving it every possible chance to succeed.

"She Writes was founded on the premise that writing can be life- and world-changing for women, that no woman writer is an island, and that publishing expertise should be available to every writer, not only those who can afford to pay," said Wicoff. The contest embodies the company's mission.

The Passion Project borrows its name from a common term used inside publishing houses to refer to a book an editor loves with a passion, even if it's not a lucrative project. Judges include literary agents Betsy Lerner and Erin Hosier; Brooke Warner, publisher of Seal Press; author and journalist Alissa Quart; and Wicoff and Siegel themselves. The Project's co-directors, Lea Beresford and Amanda Johnson Moon, are editors who hail from inside of traditional publishing (Random House and Basic Books, most recently).

The winner will be selected on the basis of the merit of her entry, which consists of a cover letter and a 2,000 word excerpt. She will receive thorough and supportive consultations from a team of experts designed to help her prepare a complete proposal for submission to agents or publishers. Entries are due August 1st, 2010, and finalists will be announced and their excerpts posted on August 27th, at A winner will be announced on August 24th.

"She Writes offers aspiring authors and published authors a safe space to discuss their work and their goals with like-minded women who share a passion for the written word," said Moon. "The Passion Project celebrates the power of collaboration at a time when many writers are looking for a new spin on the traditional publishing model. Through blogging about the contest, soliciting community engagement, and updating our members about the process itself, we are providing writers with a different way to think about sharing their work, and still offering them the tools they need to navigate an ever-changing publishing world."

"It's a wonderful prize," noted Beresford. "I think any author would love to have a cadre of experts to call upon. But it's a prize for She Writes' editors, marketing experts, and social media mavens, too. Here's our opportunity to work on something we really love."


For more information about the Passion Project contest, please visit the Contest page at She Writes.

Amy Stockwell Mercer is a freelance writer living in Charleston, SC with her husband and three sons. An MFA graduate in Creative Writing from Queens University, she writes about art and artist profiles for Charleston Magazine, The City Paper, Charleston Art Mag, and Art Papers. Amy also writes about living with chronic illness, and is finishing a book about women with diabetes for Demos Health. When she needs to get out of her own head, she teaches college students how to write the 5 paragraph essay. You can read more of her writing at her website.

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