Skip to Main Content

Our Mission

Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, is pleased to announce the launch of the BOOKS LIKE US First Novel Contest to facilitate accessibility to underrepresented writers and celebrate the diversity of readers across the United States. As the nation strives for progress, Gallery Books and Simon & Schuster aim to help catalyze that change by amplifying voices that represent us, by publishing books like us


In future seasons, the Books Like Us First Novel Contest will rotate among other Simon & Schuster adult imprints.


A two-week entry period will begin on Tuesday, June 1. At that time, writers are invited and encouraged to submit twenty-five pages of an original adult novel using the online form below. The publisher welcomes inclusive, entertaining, and ground-breaking reads with expert pacing, depth as well as heart, and irresistible characters who leap from the page. At the end of the submission period, the editorial, marketing, and publicity team at Gallery Books, will review all submissions for originality, relevance to today’s publishing climate, and writing quality. In December 2021, the author of the selected novel will be awarded the opportunity to enter into a $50,000 book deal with Gallery Books. 


Coming Spring 2024: Elba’s debut novel,






Elba Iris Pérez is a writer from Río Grande, Puerto Rico. She spent her early childhood in the company town of Woronoco, Massachusetts, and returned to Puerto Rico at the age of twelve. In 2002, when she visited Woronoco and found that the company town had been torn down, she was inspired to write about the Puerto Rican families who once lived there.


As a tenured professor at the University of Puerto Rico in Arecibo, she taught Western Culture and Theatre. She is the founder of a student theatre group at UPRA, Teatro Universitario de Histriones, and a community theatre group, Taller de Teatro del Tanamá. Elba, who was a mime in Teatro Ikaro (the Sir Icarus Circus) for four years, is the author of El Teatro Como Bandera, a history of street theatre in Puerto Rico, published in 2010 by Centro de Estudios Iberoamericanos, UPRA & Librería La Tertulia.


Elba has a BA in Philosophy from the University of Puerto Rico, an MA in Theatre from the University of Michigan, and a PhD in History from the University of Puerto Rico. Additionally, she studied creative writing at the UCLA Writers’ Extension Program. Elba has two adult children and lives in Houston with her husband.


Congratulate Elba on Twitter! @elbaip


Will the winner receive a book deal? 

The winner will be awarded the opportunity to enter into a $50,000 book deal with Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, LLC


Will the winner be paired with a literary agent?

The winner will be provided a list of literary agents who have expressed interest in representation to choose from. The winner is also welcome to search for an agent on their own. Our intention is to allow the winner the option of signing with an agent of their choice.


Can I submit my young adult novel? 

We are only accepting adult fiction. 


Can I submit my novel in another language, other than English?

The submission must be in English. 


If I am a writer who isn’t 18, can I still enter? 

Participants must be at least 18 years of age. 


Are you accepting submissions from international writers? 

No, the contest is open only to residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia.


What if I have previously self-published my manuscript?

Self-published manuscripts are not eligible at this time.


Must my 25-page submission be the opening pages from a completed manuscript?

Yes, that’s correct. Semi-Finalists will be notified on or about September 7, 2021 and will have one week from notification to submit their final manuscript. For that reason, we recommend that entrants fine-tune their completed manuscripts prior to September.