Draft to Dream Book Publishing Competition

Rules | Entry Form | Parental Consent | FAQ

Past Winners


Make your publishing dream come true
…with the AuthorU 2017 Draft to Dream Book Publishing Competition

Children’s | Young Adult | Juvenile | Adult Fiction | Adult Non-Fiction

Note-Finalists will be announced August 5 … no judging sheets will be returned to entrant until the week of September 11, after all Winners are announced at the AuthorU Extravaganza on September 7.

Congratulations to the Finalists in this year’s Draft to Dream Book Competition … in two of the categories, there was such a point discrepancy that the judging committee felt that Finalists needed to have a point average of 90 or above of the total 140 points that could be awarded. In the NonFiction category, three of the top six tied in scoring. Therefore, a sixth slot was given. Winners of each category will be announced on Thursday, September 7th at the AuthorU Extravaganza in Denver, Colorado. All Finalists will receive a pass for Thursday’s day events at the Extravaganza.

Download Entry Form
  • Do you have your manuscript ready or almost there?Draft to Dream Book Publishing Competition
  • Is crossing the finishing line and having your book in print a goal?
  • Would you like expert publishing help for free?

As the premier authoring resource in the country, AuthorU.org creates community, education, guidance, vision and success for the serious author. It is a 501c6 non-profit membership organization. The Draft to Dream Book Publishing Competition is your tipping point to realize your dreams … to make your book a reality.

5 Amazing Authors-to-be will stagger away with Prizes valued at $7,000.
One of the 5 will become the Grand Prize Winner and receive a check for $1,000!

The 5 Winners will receive:

  • Book Cover Design
  • Interior Layout 
  • Final copy edit
  • eBook creation
  • Audiobook consultation
  • One year membership to Bublish
  • Title setup and being a featured the title on the IngramSpark website homepage for a period of time
  • Consultation with Robin Cutler, Manager of IngramSpark
  • Global Distribution from Ingram’s global network of bookselling channel partners for one year 
  • Listing in Ingram’s Advance catalog that’s published monthly and reaches thousands of booksellers, librarians and international accounts
  • One hour of Virtual Assistance
  • One year Membership in AuthorU.org
  • Full registration at the AuthorU annual Extravaganza
  • One year membership in APSS 
  • Author Photo Shoot
  • Platform Strategy Session
  • Entry into both the USA Best Book Awards and International Book Awards

25 Finalists will get prizes valued at over $700 including a 6-month membership to AuthorU.org, webinar designed exclusively around Nuggets for Newbies, exclusive teleseminar dedicated to social media for authors and tools to use, exclusive webinar with Ingram, discounts to all Author U events and complimentary attendance at the Eaglet/Eagle Publishing Day at the AuthorU Extravaganza on September 7, 2017, participation in a special How-to Crowdfunding Webinar, Special teleconference with open mic dealing with back office, shopping carts, websites; Beyond the Book Store by Brian Jud, Show Me About Book Publishing by Judith Briles, John Kremer, Rick Frishman and The Write Way by Amy Collins, along with a free title setup and free market access (global distribution to Ingram’s global network of book selling channel partners) for 1 year.

All Entrants will receive a free copy of the Author YOU Mini Guide to Publishing Timelines.

PRINT out ENTRY FORM and mail it with your manuscript copies when you register.

Entry Fee $79 (Early Bird ends March 15, 2017) – Registration will increase $20 on March 16, 2017.

All participants must register online by May 1, 2017, and all participants must mail in your manuscripts on or before April 26, 2017. Manuscripts must be received in the AuthorU Offices no later than May 1, 2017.

Author U ExtravaganzaWinners will be announced at the AuthorU Extravaganza September 7, 2017.

Disclaimer: There will be no “upsales” from sponsors of the services provided and/or won. Services have been donated by the sponsors of the Draft to Dream Book Publishing Competition and AuthorU.org.

Author U is a membership organization that is an authoring resource that creates community, education, guidance, vision and success for the serious author. It does it through The Author Resource, an ezine for members, multiple monthly programs including Saturday Mornings, weekly tele-coaching, Webinars, Tech Tool Boxes, Author YOU Circles, the Author U – Your Guide to Book Publishing radio show, Author Mentoring Mondays, BookCamps and the annual 3-day Author U Extravaganza in September.

SPONSORS of the Draft to Dream Book Publishing Competition

Sponsors of Draft to Dream Book Publishing Competition


Q: If there is a word count, how many words per page am I allowed?
No preference – what you (and the Judges) want is a completed manuscript.

Q: How large of print is allowed?
Preference is 11 to 12 point for general text. Subheads may be larger as well as Titles. Source reference for illustrations and/or art may be reduced.

Q: Are pen names allowed?
Sure, pen names are fine. Write your pen name on all forms etc., so there are no mistakes on credits. Author U only needs your real name if you are chosen as a winner (in order to issue prizes).

Q: What if I am not a U.S. resident?
The 2017 Draft to Dream Book Competition is open to non-U.S. residents as well. Please refer to the Entry Form and Rules for Entry. All entry fees are due in U.S. Dollars.

Q How can I pay to enter?
You can pay with a credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express), a check or money order. If you use a credit card, you will see “Author U” on your credit card statement. If you pay via check or money order, please make payable to “Author U-Draft to Dream”.

Q: Is there an age limit for entrants?
No … Individuals under the age of 18 need a parent or guardian’s written permission to enter. That’s included on the Entry Form if needed.

Q: What if I wanted to submit only part of my novel into the competition?
Don’t … complete manuscripts only. This doesn’t mean that editing won’t be needed.

Q. Should I have my manuscript edited before I submit it?
You can … remember, this is a competition–the better it reads, the better for you! You are in a competition — it was clear that the winners last year had a first round of editing.

Q: Can the same title be entered in multiple categories of the 2017 Draft to Dream Book Competition?
Yes, it can. It needs to be category specific, meaning that there may need to be adjustments. You will have to pay a separate entry fee for each category.

Q: When will winners be notified?
All Finalists will be notified by mail or email by August 1, 2017. The top 6 Finalists in each category will be listed on the AuthorU.org website. The Winners will be announced at the AuthorU Extravaganza in Denver, Colorado on September 7, 2017. Verification of all Prizes will be sent out on September 25, 2017.

Q: What is the word count requirement for each category?

Q: What are category definitions?
Adult Fiction: Stories that fit into a specific classification such as mystery, thriller, adventure, romance, science fiction, horror or fantasy or serious, non-formulaic fiction that does not fit into a specific genre.

Adult Non-Fiction:
Any work of narrative prose dealing with or offering opinions or conjectures upon facts and reality, including biography, history, essays, cookbooks, nutrition, health, etc.

Young Adult: Any work for Teens written for the ages of 12 to 16; this category can include fiction written for ages ranging from 16 years up to the age of 25 as well. Fiction or Non-Fiction-graphic novels included.

Juvenile – Middle School: Any work designed for the 8 – 12 age range, Fiction or NonFiction – graphic novels included.

Children’s: All work written for children under 8 that include topics of relevance and interests through Prose and Poetry, Fiction and Non-Fiction. Up to 7 years of age.

Competition Entry and Official Rules

1. Please, Start Here!

The AuthorU “Draft to Dream” Book Publishing Competition submission period begins January 1, 2017. All participants must register online by May 1, 2017, and all participants must mail in your manuscripts on or before April 26, 2017. Manuscripts must be received in the AuthorU Offices no later than May 1, 2017.

You may enter your manuscript in the following categories:
Children’s | Young Adult | Juvenile | Adult Fiction | Adult Non-Fiction

PRINT out ENTRY FORM and mail it with your manuscript copies.

Download Entry Form

Entry Fee $99

2. Entrant Representations and Warranties

All entrants must only submit original books that have not been previously published and written solely by the contestant and is the responsibility of the contestant. All material must not be copied, in whole or in part, from any other published work written in any known language or medium previously devised.

Book cannot defame, infringe, or violate any right of privacy, publicity, copyright, trademark, service mark, trade secret, or any other form of intellectual property, or other right(s) of a third party.

Book work must not contain the name of any actual person(s), without the expressed written consent of that the person(s) or any person’s parent or guardian if named person(s) is a minor.

Author must meet each of these content requirements found in these Official Rules. The Author is entirely responsible for the content submitted.

3. Eligibilities

Any entrant under 18 years of age, must have a signed parental or guardian release.

Published authors may submit works that do not fit within their previously published categories.

Employees and immediate family members of Author U and their respective parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, agencies, attorneys and other persons whom each mentioned are domiciled and are not eligible to enter the contest.

If your book has been previously published in “e” format, audio book or print, it is ineligible.

4. Competition Content Requirements

All submissions must be previously unpublished in any of the book categories previously mentioned. The submission must be an original and complete manuscript.

Each manuscript must be formatted in a 11 – 12pt. serif font and Microsoft Word document (PDF acceptable),
1.5 line spacing, single page, paginated, and in the English language. Every entrant must furnish five (5) copies of each manuscript to be received at the address on the entry confirmation no later than May 01, 2017.

All books must be copied and retained by the author in digital or hard copy forms.

Entrants who do not meet any of these requirements will not be considered.

Sponsors reserve the right to void any entry’s eligibility without notice if determined in a reasonable business judgment the entry does not follow in accordance with the terms of these Official Rules.

Manuscripts will not be returned and will be shredded accepted for the Finalists for our records.

5. Competition Judging Process

Entries will be judged based on context, originality, characterization, and artistic quality by a panel of Colorado based Librarians in a two-round process. Each entry will be read by librarians based on the criteria set forth and advanced to a Categorical Specialist if all requirements are met. Each Judge will select 6 finalists which will then be reviewed by an elite panel of separate Librarians and will determine the Grand Prize winner and the 5 Runner-Up Finalists in each of the four categories.

6. Prizes

Winners (5): Cover and Interior Book Design; Proofing; Book Marks; Distribution; Virtual Assistance; Advanced Reader Copies-ARCs; eBook; Printing discounts; Platform and Publishing Strategy consultation; Social Media assistance; Platform strategy session; Global Distribution; Ingram Catalog listing; Author U Extravaganza full registration; one year Membership in AuthorU.org, one year membership in APSS, one year membership to Bublish; Author Photo Shoot; Printing Discounts,;Audiobook consultation; Copy Editing; one hour of Virtual Assistance; Registration in national book awards via USA Book News.

Grand Prize (1): In addition to the 5 Winners, one of them will be declared the Grand Prize Winner. He or she will receive the Winners and Finalist prizes PLUS $1,000.

Finalists (25): Thursday Registration AuthorU Extravaganza; 2 hour teleconference on websites, shopping carts, social media; Crowdfunding webinar; Beyond the Bookstore by Brian Jud, Show Me About Book Publishing by Judith Briles, Rick Frishman, John Kremer and The Write Way by Amy Collins books.

7. Releases

Grand Prize Winner must execute, return the provided Winners Liability Release, IRS Form 1099 and any other required Sponsorship forms which will include an agreement to release winner’s name, pen name, likeness, and place of origin (address), for publicity purposes by Author U and any other participating sponsors.

All prizes must be redeemed within (1) calendar year or the entitled prize will be forfeited without a substitute prize winner or any financial remunerations.

Winners are under no obligation to participate in any prize winnings.

All finalists will be notified no later than August 1, 2017.  Winners and the Grand Prize Winner will be announced at the AuthorU Extravaganza on September 7, 2017 in Denver, Colorado.

8. Disclaimers

Services are donated by the Draft to Dream Book Publishing Competition and AuthorU.org There are no up-sales from sponsors of the various prizes.

9. Registration

  • You may register and pay online for faster service. If you pay by check, make it payable to AuthorU-Draft to Dream for either $79 prior to March 15, 2017 or $99 from March 16, 2017 until May 01, 2017.
  • No hand written books will be accepted.
  • All books online must be accompanied by an Official Entry Form. Photocopies of Official Entry Form are acceptable. You may enter one book for each category; however, you must include an Official Entry Form for each categorical book as well as payment.

10. The 2017 Draft to Dream Book Publishing Competition is not responsible for the loss, damage, or return of any books submitted to the contest.

11. NO manuscripts will be returned.

12. Entry Fees and Form

Entry fees may be paid prior to March 1, 2017 to take advantage of discount with manuscript submissions received no later than May 01, 2017. All registration post-May 01 may be pre-paid or included with manuscripts received no later than May 01, 2017.

Early Bird – $79 until March 15, 2017; After March 16 until April 31, 2017 – $99

READY? Click here to submit your Official Entry to
the 2017 Draft to Dream Book Competition:

If you are sending a check, make it payable to Author U- Draft to Dream for $79
by March 15, 2017… $99 from March 16 until May 01, 2017.

Entry Fee $99

Download Entry Form