2005 Aspiring Authors Contest Winner Announced

Aspiring Fiction Writer Turns Into Published Author with Xerox Digital Print Technology
Helping an upstate New York writer turn a page to a new literary career, Xerox Corporation has announced that Tenure Track to Mommyville by Barbara Grosh of Pittsford, N.Y., in the winner of its Aspiring Authors contest, a national search for the best work of unpublished fiction.

In recognition of her work, Grosh will receive 100 published copies of her story and $5,000 in cash to support her literary aspirations.

The contest, designed to drive awareness of digital print-on-demand as an alternative to traditional book publishing, received more than 250 entries from across the country. Each entrant received a bound, paperback version of his or her book, underscoring a key benefit of on-demand book-publishing technology - the ability to cost-effectively print quantities as few as one. Nearly 100,000 pages of previously unpublished fiction were printed in the course of the contest.

"Digital publishing technology is opening new doors to new authors," said Xerox Chairman and CEO Anne M. Mulcahy in remarks prepared for an award ceremony today at Chicago's Harold Washington Library Center. "The Xerox Aspiring Authors program recognizes the people who conceive the ideas, create the stories, drive the new business models, and leverage the new technology that is creating a sea change in digital publishing."

Personal publishing and short-run production of books aimed at specialized target audiences are among the fastest-growing parts of the book publishing market, according to Frank Romano, a printing industry expert and professor emeritus at Rochester Institute of Technology. "Approximately 30 percent of book titles are now printed in quantities less than 100, and that could reach 50 percent by 2010," Romano points out.

Grosh said she hopes her winning book, Tenure Track to Mommyville, will inspire other authors to fulfill their literary dreams. "My first experience with digital book publishing has been extremely gratifying. The submission process was easy, and the end result is thrilling," said Grosh. "It is amazing to see my manuscript pages become a book, and it's easier to share with family, friends and prospective agents."

Grosh, a freelance Web site developer with a doctorate in economics from the University of California at Berkeley, is the author of numerous books and articles on African development. She was an assistant professor at Ohio University and Syracuse University until 1998, when she left academia to raise her daughter. Grosh began writing fiction in 1999, and this is her first published novel.

Entrants submitted and previewed their work through Lulu.com's Web site. Then, ColorCentric received the print-ready files through an integrated Web-to-print service. The book text was printed on a black-and-white Xerox DocuTech® 6180 Production Publisher, while the full-color cover was simultaneously produced on the Xerox iGen3® Digital Production Press. The text and cover were bound, trimmed and shipped to the author within days of entering the contest.

Two runners-up will receive 50 copies of their novels:

  • The Long Black Veil by sisters Jeannine DeLine and Bobbi L'Huillier of Rochester, N.Y., a poignant drama about complicated relationships between compelling characters.
  • CodeName Snake: The Evil We Kill by Morton Rumberg of Gold River, Calif., a thriller about an assassin operating in Nazi Germany.
  • Maureen Corrigan, book critic for NPR’s Fresh Air, and Emily Chenoweth, fiction editor for Publishers Weekly, judged the final three novels based on eight criteria: creativity of plot, character development, innovative use of language, distinctiveness of voice, control of tone, consistency of theme, grammar and acceptability for mainstream audience.


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