Amazon is launching a nationwide writing competition in search of a modern day version of popular poem "Twas Night Before Christmas".
The competition will see a new take on the 200-year-old classic turned into a book and shared with a potential audience of millions, since it will be made available for free on Kindle devices, as well the Kindle reading app for iOS and Android, in a five-day giveaway this Christmas.
In addition to this exposure - intended to "launch the career of an emerging storyteller" - the winning author behind it will be rewarded with a prize package including professional illustrations for their story, and receive a £2,000 Amazon giftcard and a Fire tablet. They will also receive "royalties from the book for years to come", according to Amazon, following the initial five-day giveaway.
The story will be published through Kindle Direct Publishing, Amazon’s independent publishing programme, which enables authors to retain their copyrights, distribute globally, and earn royalties of up to 70%. The author will be automatically enrolled into KDP Select, meaning that their book will be available through e-book subscription service Kindle Unlimited.
To enter, stories should be between 350 and 700 words in length and submitted to email@example.com no later than 27th November. The prize, now open for entries, for adults only, will be judged by a team of Amazon books editors, the culture editorial team at the Huffington Post and the illustrator Aless Baylis.
Brighton-based illustrator Baylis is director at This is Gold Studio and has over 10 years experience working on children design and patterns for leading brands including Paperchase, Debenhams, Marks & Spencer and Calvin Klein. She said: “I am really looking forward to seeing the range of stories from storytellers across the UK. Today Christmas means lots of different things to each of us, so I am sure that we will get a really diverse selection of stories. I hope that together with the author, we will be able to create a story that resonates with readers for years to come.”
Amy Worth, UK Kindle content director at Amazon, said: "The fact that there are so many versions of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' available on the Amazon store is testament to the popularity of the story. We want people to continue to read this tale forevermore, and we believe that by creating a modern day equivalent, we will be able to shine a spotlight on the original and launch the career of an aspiring storyteller.”
"Twas Night Before Christmas", widely believed to have been written by Clement Clarke Moore, was first published in 1823.