Borders Partners With Gather.Com In Publishing Event

Online social networking site, known as a MySpace for adults, has forged two partnerships in the book world that will give readers a place to share their opinions on literature, and an opportunity to vote on which first-time author deserves to be published. and the Touchstone imprint of Simon & Schuster, announced the First Chapters Writing Competition, under which unpublished writers submit a manuscript for a full-length work of fiction.

Each entry's first chapter will be posted on the site, and users will vote on the 20 most popular manuscripts. Authors of these will then get to post their second chapters online. A vote will follow, after which the third chapters of the top 10 manuscripts will be posted online, until finally in the fourth and final round, a panel of judges including Carolyn K. Reidy, the president of the adult publishing group at Simon & Schuster, and George Jones, the chief executive of Borders, will review the entire manuscripts of five finalists.



The Grand Prize winner is guaranteed a publishing contract with Touchstone and will win $5,000 from

The winner's book also will receive significant promotion at Borders stores. announced the creation of an online community at earlier this week as well as the designation of Borders as the official bookseller of

Under that partnership, Borders will promote the online community to its more than 15 million Borders' reward members who receive weekly emails. Visitors to the site will find author-related content and events and have the change to earn Gather Points redeemable for Borders gift cards. Borders also will promote the First Chapters competition via these emails.

"Amongst the millions of Borders customers, there are many exceptionally talented writers. We are excited to give them access to the First Chapters Writing Competition and to give all of our customers the opportunity to enjoy their talent," said Borders Group Chief Marketing Officer Michael Tam in a statement.

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