The competition prize will see Amy Snow published and available in nationwide bookstores, including WHSmith, in Spring/Summer next year and author, Tracy, will receive a publishing deal worth £50,000 from Quercus for the rights to sell her novel around the world.
Richard and Judy, along with experts at the book’s publisher Quercus and literary agency Furniss Lawton, oversaw the selection process. Tracy’s novel beat strong competition, which saw thousands of entries submitted and a shortlist of seven. The inaugural Search for a Bestseller competition was developed after the success of WHSmith’s Richard and Judy Book Club, which launched in September 2010.
Richard Madeley said: “We are consistently impressed by talented debut authors when we select our new Book Club titles but we were totally blown away by just how many creative, passionate and gifted undiscovered new writers there are out there.”
“All the shortlisted novels were of exceptional quality and it was terribly difficult to pick a winner. However Tracy’s writing really stood out – we really fell for the character of Amy and we can’t wait until you get the chance to read it when it hits the shops next year.”
Judy continued: “Our heartfelt congratulations go to Tracy. Her writing was exceptional, the story compelling and we couldn’t help but fall in love with Amy Snow. We are very proud to be helping Tracy launch what will be, I’m sure, a very successful career as a novelist. We wish her the very best of luck.”
Tracy Rees is a Cambridge graduate with a degree in Modern and Medieval Languages. She had a successful eight-year career in non-fiction publishing. In the last year she has had two poems shortlisted in the Ryedale Literary Festival and the NAWG (National Association of Writers Groups) open poetry competition.
She said: “I am absolutely over the moon. This is a dream-come-true for me. I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember and over the last eight months focusing on writing the novel has been a joy – and proved to me that this is my true vocation. I’ve absolutely loved every minute of it and I’m phenomenally grateful that my book has been chosen as the winner of this amazing competition.”
To accompany the launch of the book, an exclusive interview with Tracy will also be available to download on The Richard and Judy Book Club website whsmith.co.uk/richardandjudy as part of their hugely successful podcast series as WHSmith will be supporting the launch of the novel both with in-store and online promotion.
Quercus Managing Director David North said: “We are thrilled to be working with Tracy and to have Richard and Judy, Britain’s best-loved book advocates, team up with us to discover exciting new talent.”