America’s Next Top Author (and other fantasy programs for book lovers)

10 Aug

Think about it: in the realm of American TV, we have reality contest shows for just about everything, whether it’s cooking, modeling, singing, or navigating ridiculous obstacle courses and falling into giant tubs of mud and/or shaving cream. And that’s not even mentioning the realm of non-competitive reality programming à la the Kardashians. Here’s my question–why don’t we have anything for writing? My solution is “America’s Next Top Author.”

Cue the dramatic soundtrack, and let’s get started. We meet our twelve contestants, each and every one burning with the desire to be a published author. There are a few really intelligent and likable ones, a few with completely overblown senses of their own skills, a nasty one (because we all know there has to be someone for viewers to gripe about and say, “Why don’t they get rid of him/her?”), the wide-eyed, innocent one straight out of school, and a tattooed black sheep or two with avant-garde sensibilities who will grow on judges and viewers alike.

Each week our contestants face challenges designed to test their abilities to market, give readings, pitch to agents, and, above all, write a novel that will sell. This week they have to keep the attention of an auditorium full of sugar-loaded middle schoolers! Now you have to rewrite your novel by dictating to an assistant while working out to maintain that fit figure for the upcoming talk show! The panel of judges will comprise top editors, agents, and authors from all over the country. There’ll be special surprise guest judges for theme challenges–Dave Barry can make an appearance on Humor Week and keep everyone laughing with off-the-cuff shoot-’em-downs, probably at the expense of the contestants.

“Behind-the-scenes” looks at what life is like for the hopefuls outside of regular filming will feature late-night arguments and the contestants sitting pensively at their word processors. The nasty one, who has to hold on until the third-to-last week at least for drama’s sake, can delete pieces from fellow contestants’ PCs, trying his or her hardest not to make it look as if it were staged (which, of course, it is). Later, the victims can cry and call home and act like they didn’t know it was coming as the perpetrator looks on smugly. Viewers will clutch at their TV dinner trays in utter horror.

When the final contestant is crowned America’s Next Top Author (there can only be one winner…), he or she will receive the ultimate prize: a book deal with a major New York publishing house, a personal agent for the rest of his or her publishing days, a fifteen-city book tour, $10,000, and a movie contract. The other hopefuls can make a cameo appearance in the final scenes showing off the winner’s new fame and fortune as assistants and housekeepers.

Heck, if we have “America’s Next Top Author,” why not have a whole channel of programming for the bibliophile in all of us? How does “The Book Network” sound? (Well, if there’s a food channel…) Here are some ideas for other shows designed to boost ratings and sell advertisements for cars, Pop Tarts, and anti-aging cream:

  • “The House”: a sitcom featuring life working at a major publishing house. The antics of dim-witted coworkers, inter-house rights disputes, and submissions of bad romance novels will induce the laugh track.
  • “Keeping Up with the Big Names”: a reality program showcasing what it’s like to be a billionaire bestselling author. The film crew might have to hire the swarms of paparazzi depending on the actual fame of authors bribed to appear.
  • “16 and Published”: an ongoing dramatic documentary on the life of teen authors. Will being an author interfere with the literary teens’ school and social lives? Is it considered libel and slander to portray acquaintances unflatteringly as characters in novels?
  • “Extreme Write-Over”: a select group of wannabe novelists whose manuscripts are frankly terrible go to an extreme writing boot camp and learn how to improve their works. There’ll be plenty of close-ups of the trainees in tears as the trainers bark orders–amid much bleeped-out cussing– and tear the works in progress to figurative pieces.
  • “True Books”: a group of ordinary people discover that they are the reincarnations of late and great authors in this hugely convoluted fantasy series. The characters fight for the right to use the storylines of their past selves in novels as they come together in epic clashes between the good authors of light  and the demon editors.
  • “Creative Writing”: a teen-oriented drama series following the lives of the members of a high school creative writing club. Stereotypical characters, torrid love triangles, and declaimed interpretations of well-known works of literature are staples of the show.

There’ll also be a live news hour featuring the latest in the world of books, from debut authors and book tours to famous book blogs shutting down and book store chains going bankrupt. We’ll be in need of newscasters who can do the “mildly concerned” look.

Hey, I’d tune in to a “Book Network.” I’m tired of watching folks discuss literature on the local access channel to get my bookish kicks over the airwaves, and it can’t be much worse than everything else on TV these days.

**EDIT: 8/12/2011: For the love of Shakespeare! I’ve been Freshly Pressed! Thank you, one and all, for your wonderful comments, likes, and subscriptions. As much as I would love to respond to every comment, I’d be sitting here all day if I did. So, suffice it to say that I’m here at my computer grinning like an idiot and tearing up like the mother of the bride at a wedding. Thank you.**


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207 responses to “America’s Next Top Author (and other fantasy programs for book lovers)

  1. onefunnymummy

    August 10, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    Hah! I love it! I’ve wondered about a show like this but never got as far thinking about it. Really made me laugh when you described the behind-the-scenes of a writer’s life–not riveting at all–lots of sitting around and snacking on junk food in between paragraphs (in my case). Thanks for the fantasy that people might actually be interested in the life and career of a writer. : ) Great post!

  2. Sharry

    August 11, 2011 at 10:27 PM

    awesome post! it sounds like a creative writing network, too! I don’t know of any particular channel or show where people sit around talking about books and authors and the writing process except for those occasional episodes on Oprah or other talk shows. I think it would be a great idea! There are more people in general reading, then in the past…reading is cool now-a-days…I’m sure there will be a market for such a network!

  3. Mikalee Byerman

    August 12, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    I love this — I’ve been telling my boyfriend for YEARS that we need a show JUST like this, and that I’d totally audition!

    In fact, I recently wrote an entire post about how I will NOT be the next Bachelorette (for many reasons — some obvious, like I’m not drop-dead gorgeous and lacking critical thought). But the whole reason is: There’s no show like your show out there!

    Think of the drama! (not) and the intrigue (yeah, right…) and the suspense!

    Come to think of it, it’d probably be totally boring. Except for to us writers, who would be riveted. Better than the Bachelorette, I’d say…


  4. leadinglight

    August 12, 2011 at 11:15 AM

    I think they tried that idea but it plonked! Well, 30 Rock is about a magazine publisher. I guess it’s only book publishing without love.

  5. Nerdygirl98

    August 12, 2011 at 11:16 AM

    Love it! All of those should be on TV! I’ve always thought what TV show could be associated with getting published or just with the topic of writing. Your an awesome writer yourself. Love your theme,( i have the same one) and keep on writing Allegra! I just read your “about” page, and you could be my long lost older (by one year) sister! I swear, we like the same things, and hence my user name, i’m book geek too! I ❤ your blog!!!!!

  6. alainarg

    August 12, 2011 at 11:17 AM

    I would totally watch that show! Good idea.

  7. jcalanayan

    August 12, 2011 at 11:20 AM


  8. Ariana@Pearl's twirl

    August 12, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    Very clever, I would rather watch Top American Author then Russian dolls!

  9. ptagirlunscripted

    August 12, 2011 at 11:28 AM

    well done! really enjoyed this post! Seems they make reality shows out of everything, why not do something vaguely worth while! I mean, if the Kardashians can be famous simply for…well, being, then why can’t we get some real talent out there? Good on you for the idea! Think you need to approach Ryan Seacrest and see if he’s interested:)

  10. Nick

    August 12, 2011 at 11:29 AM

    This would be so awesome!

  11. Kathryn McCullough

    August 12, 2011 at 11:32 AM

    This is brilliant! And, good God, why have I not asked this question myself? I appreciate the humor here, but why not pitch a few of these ideas to Bravo or another network?

    And congrats on FPed! Hang on for the ride———————


  12. MG

    August 12, 2011 at 11:35 AM

    And the Hemmies Award Show!!!

  13. elisajoy

    August 12, 2011 at 11:36 AM

    Hilarious!! I would watch every one of these shows 😉

  14. Jordan Wiklund

    August 12, 2011 at 11:37 AM

    Awesome ideas all. What about “Fantasy Island,” where authors are marooned on a remote yet lush-and-pampered island, with the titillating setup of swapping manuscripts and editing as they see fit? After much finger-pointing and deal-making, the worst edits/re-writes get voted off in teary, dramatic sequences.

  15. jama

    August 12, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    Wonderful post! Love how your mind works. 🙂

  16. becomingcliche

    August 12, 2011 at 11:45 AM

    Those might be worth getting cable for!

  17. summerslowrunner

    August 12, 2011 at 11:45 AM

    Haha, love these ideas!! I’d watch. 🙂

  18. PCC Advantage

    August 12, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    Hahaha!! This post is awesome! And to be honest, I would watch The Book Network and blog about it religiously… 😉

  19. TheSpiritedNerd

    August 12, 2011 at 11:48 AM

    Where do I put in my application? I’m not a huge fan of the faux reality realm, but I’d give this a go! An online network could totally be developed for The Book Network, however.

  20. The Awkward List

    August 12, 2011 at 11:59 AM

    That would be so awesome.. darn it, we need to influence more people into book lovin’! We can do this!


  21. Lakia Gordon

    August 12, 2011 at 12:01 PM

    Genius! You’re really on to something!!

  22. mademoisellejosephine

    August 12, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    Too funny. Too creative. I die. :))

  23. Alan King

    August 12, 2011 at 12:10 PM

    I enjoyed this on two levels. First, it would be cool if writers were valued as, say, air guitarist and food eating champions. It’d be cool to see a network of literary folks. But it could also be problematic. I foresee hating (“How’d they get on the show and not me? I’m a much better writer.”) You put a lot of thought into this which also made this an entertaining read.

    Second, the ideas for spoofs and parodying were genius! To add to that list are the “The Editor,” “The Editor’s Apprentice,” “Literary Fear Factory,” and “The Readers’ Idol”.

    Thanks for this post, and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  24. ratinthecity

    August 12, 2011 at 12:27 PM

    Wonderful idea! Think this needs to happen 🙂

  25. jessicamjonas

    August 12, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    I would watch any and all of these shows. Love the twist of having losing contestants work as assistants!

  26. realcole

    August 12, 2011 at 12:32 PM

    It’s so funny and cute how you changed the names of some T.V. Shows just to create a show that fits writers like us.

  27. Leigh Binder

    August 12, 2011 at 12:34 PM

    Sure, and don’t forget about the typing and vocabulary contest…
    Truth is, people are moving away from reading books and barely have the attention span for flash fiction….

    How about the “The Word Skimmers.” Where a group of illiterates show how quickly they can skim inane webpages, hit the like button and share with others.


  28. Mama Bread Baker

    August 12, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    Great idea! You can also show shots of “at-home-life” where the contestants ask their spouses to cook dinner because “I’m working.” They look at you and say, “but you’re just reading a book!” You respond, “Reading helps hone my craft.” And then your teenage daughter comes in and asks you to take them to the mall and you say “I’m working.” She looks at you and says, “but you’re watching Dr. Phil.” You respond “story ideas!” And then your son comes in and asks for help with homework and you say “I’m working.” Then he looks at you and says, “but you’re on Facebook!” And you finally scream “I’m NETWORKING! No one understands the life of a writer!!!”

  29. Tooty Nolan

    August 12, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    Do you think they’ll take entries from overseas? Surely the American viewing public would root for the limey – wouldn’t they? Aren’t they supposed to fall for the English accent? Heck – they embraced Patrick Stewart as a starship captain, and Michael Caine attained Godhood. Here I am – look at me – I’m a sure-fire winner. Sign me up!

  30. beckony

    August 12, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    …sadly, i would so watch this. Except maybe the “creative writing” show. Glee makes me want to stick myself with pins.

  31. chasingautumnskye

    August 12, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    I love this idea! I would definitely watch this channel if it existed!

  32. Kirsten Fisher

    August 12, 2011 at 1:03 PM

    I really enjoyed reading this post. An interesting fact you might not know is that Canada actually does have a tv channel dedicated to books: Booktelevision. I don’t believe, though, that it has any of the type of shows you suggested. In fact, from what I can tell, its programming is quite common and bland, showing movies the screenplays of which were derived from books. I’m sure it must, however, at least broadcast interviews with authors. Perhaps the programming you suggested would liven up the channel and increase its audience. 😉

  33. Sharon

    August 12, 2011 at 1:06 PM

    Nice. Can Canadians enter?

  34. CrystalSpins

    August 12, 2011 at 1:08 PM

    I like it. I’ve thought of this before, but I never had anywhere near as many ideas that would make good TV. I kept thinking, “What would they all do? Read excerpts at the end of each show?” I couldn’t imagine anything as visual or interactive as you have thought up. I’d watch it for at least the entire first season.


  35. offthefrontporch

    August 12, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    I’ve often thought this same thing–why not a reality TV show for poets? Think of the understated drama of villanelle, sestina, and plagarized limericks! Drugs and drink and bukowski-esque tirades would really draw the voting American masses in….

    And in seriousness, I would totally watch a Glee/Creative Writing type drama or The House.

  36. whatilearnedbywriting

    August 12, 2011 at 1:23 PM

    Great minds…I was thinking about this while watching the Voice, and thought of a game show where nervous authors have to pitch to powerful publishers, and the viewers get to choose what book they want to read.

  37. Jonathan

    August 12, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    Here’s my take on it, something that might seriously work…

    CONCEPT: A talent competition that showcases a storyteller before a live audience, with a panel of three professional judges and voting TV viewers. While “American Idol” gives one young wannabe singer a shot at a music career, “Story Star” would award its winner a contract from a major publisher to release an audiobook (and print book) of the surviving contestant’s original story, narrated by them. In this way, both the acting and writing skills of contestants would come into play, and talent scouts from Hollywood agencies and NY literary agencies would also be watching.
    HOW IT WOULD WORK: This narrative competition spotlights one performer at a time as they read a passage from a great book, acting each character with appropriate accents in dialogue, changing instantly between multiple character voices as needed. The skills here required include mastery of dialects, skill with maintaining the dramatic arc of a story, projecting the story’s appropriate tone and tension, as well as innate vocal characteristics and the ability to evoke both male and female voices. Since the emotional impact of the passage chosen will influence audience impression, the contestants are more likely to attempt scenes with the greatest potential resonance—works that best display their versatility. (During the actual reading, lights could be dimmed around the spotlighted performer, with transitional mood music or unobtrusive sound effects.)
    After the contestants have interpreted the works of those writers who have most influenced them—and say why—finalists must then deliver their own story in the first person, live. No one but them will know whether the story is true or fiction, not even the judges, until the very end.
    ROUNDS: In each round, the POV of the participants would be emphasized, as the camera follows the young wannabes on their journey to and around the Big Apple.
    In Round One, demo tapes featuring original stories are recorded at local library reading events. One winner from each State event competition is chosen to appear before the judges in New York.
    In Round Two, fifty winners tour a major publishing house, attend a book signing and reading, get tips from pros reading in a recording studio, and then gather on stage on Broadway to appear before the judges, where they read passages from great books. Half are cut.
    In Round Three, twenty-five winners tour the New York Public library in company of a famous NY author, dine at Elaine’s to hear a reading, and then appear before the judges again, where all but ten are cut.
    In Round Four, ten finalists are coached by a New Yorker magazine editor on honing their stories, visit a NY literary agency, attend an off-Broadway production where actors coach them on delivery, and then appear again on stage to deliver their own story in front of the judges. The watching audience is urged to vote.
    In the Final Round, the two remaining finalists read the OTHER’S story. The judges decide the winner, based on everything they’ve heard so far.
    JUDGES: Two professional audiobook narrators, and one celebrity judge who might be a famous actor.

  38. niconica

    August 12, 2011 at 1:32 PM

    Fantastic post 🙂


  39. Felicity-Zara Stewart

    August 12, 2011 at 1:38 PM

    I love this!I’d certainly tune into a literature-themed channel if one came along … all I’ve seen is C4’s ‘Summer Book Club’, a segment during the day aimed, clearly, at stay-at-home mothers and no wider audience. All fine and good, but half of the books they review are hardly worth mentioning! For goodness’ sake, there’s more to literature than vampires and romance!

    Yes. We NEED America’s Next Top Author … and it’s slightly less popular, while being filmed on a tighter budget but just as competent cousin, Britain’s Next Top Author! (:

  40. Connie T

    August 12, 2011 at 1:49 PM

    It would probably be way better than a show about some lady with 8 kids, like Kate plus 8. I don’t see why anyone would watch that show.

  41. Joe Clifford Faust

    August 12, 2011 at 1:54 PM

    Where do I sign up?

  42. The City Slacker

    August 12, 2011 at 2:17 PM

    My two favourtie things- writing and competition! This would be best

  43. janachantel

    August 12, 2011 at 2:24 PM

    Let’s do it!!!!!!! I wish us book worms and writer lovers can have our own TV network. And why not? There’s so much trash on TV these days! I love this blog and your ideas. If we can get this going, then I’m gamed! Please keep up with the great ideas 🙂

    I’ll appreciate it if you checked out my blog It’s about me trying to become a published author. Please feel free to subscribe!

  44. tmastgrave

    August 12, 2011 at 2:25 PM

    I love this. I’d probably be the mean one that everybody hates….maybe not.

  45. Ellen

    August 12, 2011 at 2:38 PM

    hahaha, this is awesome!

    For those interested in the sitcom idea…

    The Canadian show “Hiccups” is kind of along those lines, about a children’s writer, and her publisher and “life coach” (because she has a tendency to be… well, let’s just say, not good at publicity).

  46. Kristen

    August 12, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    A few of your scenarios sound like our Inside the Writers’ Studio videos on YouTube (paperrats).

    I’ve actually thought about an author reality show, and much of what I imagined was what you imagine, here; however, I never would have thought of this, and I love it: “The House”: a sitcom featuring life working at a major publishing house. The antics of dim-witted coworkers, inter-house rights disputes, and submissions of bad romance novels will induce the laugh track.

  47. natasiarose

    August 12, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    I love this! I want to suggest a combination writing/cooking show called “Keats Kitchen” where you have to write prose while cooking on the line at a restaurant while someone screams at you.

  48. JT

    August 12, 2011 at 3:24 PM

    This would be great If….I were a talented writer 😀

  49. taymik23

    August 12, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    This is amazing, and absolutely true to today’s reality shows! I would tune in to that channel!

  50. lifesabook

    August 12, 2011 at 3:59 PM

    This is brilliant… perhaps one day the television industry will get wise. I think my favorite idea is the entertaining a room full of middle school students. I’d love to see the potential authors sweat.

  51. ravolution

    August 12, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    I think the sheer interest in this post combined with the fact that it was FP’ed shows that there is a real demand for what you’re suggesting. I know that I’d watch! Any producers poking around?

  52. deliciousresentment

    August 12, 2011 at 4:03 PM

    I would watch the Book Network. It would be so much better than all the horrible reality TV I already watch.

  53. ournote2self

    August 12, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    I am so addicted to reality TV. Great post!

  54. frodo3216

    August 12, 2011 at 4:24 PM

    I would watch it. I like the idea and every show about books has a terrible schedule. But shows about books I think they’re hard to produce and they haven’t much viewers. The other shows can I watch without thinking and do something else. I have hope because if you read then you’ll write.

  55. mullmuse

    August 12, 2011 at 4:46 PM

    From someone who watches little television and despises reality tv swashbuckling style, I would watch that show and network. A truly kick ass idea!

  56. k8edid

    August 12, 2011 at 4:50 PM

    Love all your ideas – brilliant stuff. Congrats on being FP’d

  57. katblogger

    August 12, 2011 at 4:57 PM

    Maybe this was a joke… but I’d totally watch that. Actually, I want to compete. Sign me up for season one!

  58. Hunter Shea

    August 12, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    That’s just too good an idea for television. I’d watch every single episode (that is, if I missed the cut to actually be on the show!). There are a lot of eccentric writers out there who would make for great TV. Check out the Harlan Ellison documentary if you ever get the chance. 🙂

  59. Maggie

    August 12, 2011 at 5:16 PM

    I’ve had the idea of a book reality show bouncing around in my head for some time now. I love this post!

  60. Mudmap

    August 12, 2011 at 5:19 PM

    Love this – very clever and well thought out. The current reality TV format is (surely, please?) running out of steam, they will be looking for something new….

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

  61. defiantdove

    August 12, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    this one really awesome idea! I’d wanna be on that show! I hope someone out there will consider your genius!!

  62. GG

    August 12, 2011 at 5:23 PM

    That would be awesome….

  63. Asia Morela

    August 12, 2011 at 5:52 PM

    I absolutely love your ideas! 😀 I wish these programs existed LOL (they would also be the only reason why I’d ever consider being on a reality TV show, haha)

  64. rpalland

    August 12, 2011 at 6:40 PM

    I love your ideas! I love Reality TV and the idea behind what you’re suggesting is really great! I would so enter a reality show like that…

  65. bekindrewrite

    August 12, 2011 at 7:09 PM

    Terrible idea. I’d never be able to turn off the TV. I wouldn’t get any writing done!

    : )

  66. GFanthome

    August 12, 2011 at 7:15 PM

    What a great idea! I would totally enter that contest.

    Thing is, they’d probably make you right a novel in 3 hours or something, and there’d be all these sweating, profusely drinking writers in a state, complaining that this isn’t fair – that the creative process doesn’t work that way.

    Hmm… on second thought…

  67. Admin

    August 12, 2011 at 7:25 PM

    I was actually a contestant on a show called “The Ultimate Author” that filmed in Miami 2007 which was “supposed” to air on the CW and didn’t. Then I was cast for another show that never even filmed called “The Write Stuff” in 2008. I don’t know if an author reality show really has an audience, but if I see another casting call, I’m there!

  68. Adam Collings

    August 12, 2011 at 7:38 PM

    It’s pretty much the same here in Australia, way too much “reality TV”. However, I’d watch “America’s Top Author”, and the Aussie spin-off. This post made me smile.

  69. D.A.

    August 12, 2011 at 8:22 PM

    freakin’ awesome! I can’t stand reality TV. I have a few folks to share this with 🙂


  70. lollipopsvscigarettes

    August 12, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    Hoping that this will be put to reality… ;D Caus I would really love to join. Hahahaha. ;D

  71. jenasonke

    August 12, 2011 at 8:42 PM

    I’d totally watch your version of “The House”.

    I think Anthony Bourdain coined the term “food porn” for reality TV foodie shows. What would irresistible book tv look like? A dude sitting at a desk quasi-comatose with bloodshot eyes and un-washed hair? He’d have to be pretty cute…

  72. kalee11

    August 12, 2011 at 8:49 PM

    This post is amazing. I’m not going to lie, I love all of the television ideas on here and would absolutely watch any of these shows. In fact, I could be a trainer on “Extreme Write-over” I always tear apart the pieces I edit. Thanks for making my day brighter!

  73. katejohnson77

    August 12, 2011 at 9:13 PM

    Hmmmm, I think this is a great idea…who shall be our Simon Cal??

  74. Morning Inspirations

    August 12, 2011 at 9:15 PM

    I love this idea!!! Wish they would make shows like this, I would definitely tune in! naturally after the Success of America’s next Top Author they would make an Australian version too, for all of us booklovers down in Australia right?! 🙂

  75. analyfe

    August 12, 2011 at 9:23 PM

    Brilliant idea! I don’t watch TV, but I might start if this were reality!

  76. Paul Henne

    August 12, 2011 at 10:05 PM

    Sounds mildly entertaining for an aberrant group of people. Just as when we – viewers – cannot taste the foor on “Top Chief,” we would read the words of the authors’ [crappy] texts. But it’s not reasonable —

  77. rajwilliams

    August 12, 2011 at 10:09 PM

    Yeah, hot writers! Just kidding! We authors do not get the respect we deserve unless we sell books like JK Rawlings. It is good to know that we may just become bestsellers, although I wrote to help other people dealing with their health issues. Did not expect it to sell like hot potatoes and I am not disappointed!!!!

  78. myliteraryleanings

    August 12, 2011 at 10:13 PM

    I loved this post. I have often wished that there would be an American Idol for writers. Also I saw the book channel idea on the movie Stranger Than Fiction, which is a great movie btw, and thought it would be great if it existed in real life as it was less snooty than the pbs stuff. Also it would be cool to include all kinds of books and not just the ones that are pc.

  79. ajlove88

    August 12, 2011 at 10:37 PM

    I hate reality TV but I would tune in if one of your ideas ever do become a reality

  80. Michelle

    August 12, 2011 at 10:38 PM

    Absolutely wonderful post! I’d watch it all.

  81. Michael

    August 12, 2011 at 11:11 PM

    I don’t even have a TV at home, and I tell you, I would run right out and buy one to watch your ideas. I especially liked the True Book one. Just imagining the reincarnation of Bram Stoker unleashing a torrent of invective against the author of Twilight brings warm feelings to my heart, as Yoda might say. 😛

  82. Paul Henne

    August 12, 2011 at 11:27 PM

  83. myserc20

    August 12, 2011 at 11:29 PM

    i’ll stay tuned! 🙂

  84. newsy1

    August 12, 2011 at 11:31 PM

    I would watch anything literary or even just wordy. Book TV, reality or not would be fantastic. I would watch it faster than you could say Oprah Network. Now we’re all counting on you to pitch this to a big network. Pitch it to one that is not doing all the great–which is many.

  85. Greater Shaman

    August 12, 2011 at 11:35 PM

    Great post, Allegra. I see that you’re still just a teenager, and what an intelligent, observant, thoughtful and creative teenager you are. Wish I was that smart when I was still that young. I’m truly amazed.

    I mean, you’ve put together a very nice site. It has a very honest and personal style to it. Sweet. Good luck with your novel, as well as your other varied interests.

  86. Rayme Wells @ A Clean Surface

    August 13, 2011 at 12:06 AM

    I think some of your ideas would make great shows. Hasn’t every possible cop show and medical drama been done by now? I think a publishing drama would be terrific!

  87. achilliad

    August 13, 2011 at 12:29 AM

    There is too much “reality” these days, and it causes “dimnity” of thought, especially with the youth who should learn strict “subtlety”. Kudos on getting Freshly Pressed into a unique community.

  88. Adora

    August 13, 2011 at 1:25 AM

    I totally agree and have been wondering the exact same thing myself. I hope a tv station picks up your idea.

  89. Confessions of a Super Virgin

    August 13, 2011 at 1:29 AM

    Hahaha you’re absolutely brilliant!!! I love this! Probably the best blog post I’ve read on WordPress. Keep up the awesome work, being “Freshly Pressed” is totally deserved! 😀

  90. whoismillapinch

    August 13, 2011 at 1:52 AM

    Hey great idea for a book network….especially ‘creative writing’….that would be very entertaining……your idea about america’s next top author raises many questions about the literary marketplace and the idea of author-identity….that who writes is often more important than what they write….anyway i am glad you were freshly pressed because it allowed me to find your blog. check out my blog where i write about books and film and have some links to some of my published short stories….thanks for the post

  91. DrD

    August 13, 2011 at 2:39 AM

    Fantastic post! When I recently won a manuscript development programme, I likened it to “Idol” with the likelihood that maybe one of us would end up moderately well known but the rest of us would slink back to our day jobs. And yes, none of the original eight of us is topping the bestsellers list!
    Congrats on being ‘freshly pressed’!

  92. anchormortgagecorporation

    August 13, 2011 at 2:44 AM

    Interesting concept. I think that would help alot with the nations literacy problem. We need to promote reading as much as possible in my opinion.

  93. faltufunde

    August 13, 2011 at 2:59 AM

    Hope i could get this TV it would be preferably better … 😛

  94. sana naz

    August 13, 2011 at 4:32 AM

    nice posting

  95. ladyserenity92

    August 13, 2011 at 4:36 AM

    With so many dumbzied shows on television, it would be a good idea to have a network for authors. Not only that something for graphic novelist,too. I think it’s real grade-A wonderful!

  96. piyamari

    August 13, 2011 at 7:33 AM

    I agree. We need more mentally stimulating shows. Iron Author. Teehee!

  97. hermitsdoor

    August 13, 2011 at 7:44 AM

    I’m sure that a reality show about authors would find its niche audience, just as other interests have. What I find puzzling about our TV viewing habits, is that so many people have time to watch other people doing various things, rather than getting in and doing those tasks themselves. Leave the TV off, plant your own garden, cook your own meals, join the local dance or theatre troupe to get on stage, take a Zumba class, change the oil in your car and clean the chrome, build a shed, write a poem or story… Hope I got you closer to 100 replies 🙂

  98. Fiona @ lifelyricslemoncake

    August 13, 2011 at 7:55 AM

    I really love this! As a bookish and hopefully writerly person I don’t have THAT much interest in TV but I would be glued to America’s Next Top Author! And the Publishing House one 😀 I hope the TV people are listening 🙂

  99. blackshepherd

    August 13, 2011 at 8:46 AM

    How could you leave out the brooding, angry, misunderstood flaming alcoholic? The line would be: “Oh my God I wonder if she/he is gonna be sober…?” “Can they really say that on TV?” etc etc…

    What about the womanizers and street fighters like Hemingway…Mailer (I hesitate to include Mailer cause I can’t stand him…but the type…you know…like it or not…)

    How about the “impenetrable narcissist?”

    Ok….the shameless self promoter?

    I know, I’m so transparent…

  100. gaycarboys

    August 13, 2011 at 8:57 AM

    My only fear is that the show would ruinb the authors! LOL, after all do they really take the singing show winners seriously?

  101. Gina Penn

    August 13, 2011 at 9:56 AM

    Totally dig the idea. I will be the tattooed black sheep (actually, I already AM) that reads Hemingway and Stephen King, writes until two in the morning running on nothing but coffee grinds, and avoids the rest of the writers as much as possible. All I need is a laptop, an outlet, and a quiet corner.

    I say we call Fox.

  102. 20somethingbookworm

    August 13, 2011 at 10:18 AM

    I love this. I recently ran a Creative Writing club at my university, and our year could have easily made an MTV worthy reality show.

    You make some awesome points – I love it!

  103. Stephanie

    August 13, 2011 at 10:21 AM

    Hilarious! We have BookTV in Canada but it’s programming is not nearly as awesome as you described. I haven’t tuned in for a long time, but what I saw of it consisted mostly of goateed, turtlenecked hosts interviewing sedate authors. Think Inside the Actors’ Studio but without any of the interesting bits. Plus a whole lot of reruns of very old TV movies based on books. They should hire you as programming director to liven things up.

    Another fun show would be a reality series along the lines of The Jersey Shore about a book club, totally staged to maximize drama of course.

  104. Charlie

    August 13, 2011 at 10:26 AM

    great post, I would love to see this show

  105. enjirux

    August 13, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    *lol* demon editors – great idea! I would totally watch those shows 😉 especially “the house” would be awesome 😉

  106. jamieahughes

    August 13, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    I love this! A fabulous, funny, and altogether-too-creative-for-its-own-good post! If only more of the world was literary, it would be a much better place. 🙂 Congrats on being chosen as FP. You really earned it with this one.

  107. The Mommy Lane

    August 13, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    Awesome post. Absolutely brilliant! One of the best blog posts I have ever read.

  108. Elli Writes

    August 13, 2011 at 10:45 AM

    Ha! It’s like the literary version of MTV. I love it! 🙂 Something like this may actually get me watching TV again. 😉

    Congrats on getting freshly pressed! And such a deserving entry too. I truly enjoyed reading it.

  109. Amanda

    August 13, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    This post was by far one of my favorites I have read. You are hilarious and witty! You are so right on it’s brilliantly funny yet sad that all of our entertainment HAS turned to “reality” TV if that is what reality is even like.

    Nice work!


  110. ambermartingale

    August 13, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    I’d watch..if my T.V. functioned! In fact a network like that would probably be my sencond or third go to network/station after *The History Channel,* *Food Network,* *National Geographic Channel,* and/or *Cartoon Network* (not necessairly in THAT particular order).

  111. Howlin' Mad Heather

    August 13, 2011 at 12:01 PM

    love these ideas…and hope to see some of them come to fruition. congrats on being FP too!

  112. myextremelyhappyspace

    August 13, 2011 at 12:05 PM

    What an awesome idea! As an English teacher, struggling to get boys to write, your blog has given me an AMAZING idea for a competition within the school!

  113. nikkie

    August 13, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    Hilarious, I’d watch them all!!

  114. Caroline Mortimer @CJMortimer

    August 13, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    This is an amazing idea!

  115. Mèo Lười Việt

    August 13, 2011 at 12:57 PM


  116. JP Feed

    August 13, 2011 at 1:00 PM

    As a frequent reader and writer I’m tempted to like the idea but I simply cannot. Reality television is a sad sect of television reserved for struggling housewives and dimwitted teenagers. Books are the key to knowledge and understanding. They are the greatest man-made achievements in our sort history on this planet. The last thing I want to see is the writing industry tarnished by yet another stupid reality T.V. show. We as readers and writers are above such a thing and do not need to belittled based on the “well everyone else is doing it” philosophy. I’m intrigued by the idea but some things weren’t meant for the screen…

  117. FreeFrenchandHaitianCreolePress

    August 13, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    Wow! Truly inspirational in a very discordant way! Great materials for stand up comedians! This piece of yours is a treasure!

  118. robynfraser

    August 13, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    Great, funny post! I’m all up for this show/network, even if there isn’t a chance in hell it’ll ever exist.

  119. jaredbernard

    August 13, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    I’m certain my response will be lost in the overwhelming comments to your deserving post, but I should nevertheless say that your juicy sardonic wit is terrific and much needed. Somehow the frequency of high horses has blown out of proportion to normal-sized horses and this is a great reminder that everyone should take a look at how ludicrous they are. Thanks for the laugh!

  120. princesayasmine

    August 13, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    Just in case you hadn’t read it enough…amazing post! I love this imaginary world you have created and just wish it was true. If there are any tv producers out there I really hope they past by this post.

  121. djones47

    August 13, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    What a great idea! I’m in.

  122. Mirriamriam

    August 13, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    Oh my goodness; this is an awesome idea! (Even if I don’t watch TV. We’ve still got Netflix!!)
    I’m going to have to contest, oh yeah!

  123. cmcswain

    August 13, 2011 at 2:59 PM

    This is a great post! I know you’re probably joking, but I’m a writer and Bravo addict, so I would be all about “America’s Next Top Author”!

  124. Faun

    August 13, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    Great ideas for new shows! Love your post, congrats on FP! -Faun

  125. cynipen

    August 13, 2011 at 3:24 PM

    I think you’re really on to something here….

  126. Miriam

    August 13, 2011 at 3:24 PM

    I don’t really watch TV apart from Doctor Who and Torchwood, but if these came out? I would spend way less time writing my own novels! 😀

  127. Schuyler R. Thorpe

    August 13, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    A very nice and creative outlet. But do you think we can get Simon Cowell to sit through one bad reading after another? LMAO

  128. The Diary

    August 13, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    I love this post. How awesome would it be if one or all of these ideas came to fruition?!! I would apply to be on every last one of those shows! You should really think about pitching these ideas to some producers.

  129. confusedkidandlife

    August 13, 2011 at 4:30 PM

    I absolutely love this. What a great idea! Watch out because they just might turn it into reality TV. You never know.

  130. elligazelli

    August 13, 2011 at 4:30 PM

    “16 and Published” Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

  131. Montsserrat

    August 13, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    I’ve never thought there was someone out there that was thinking the same as me, meaning the writing reality tv. The other shows that you have in mind are really good to my eyes and ears, I would like to see some of those. Even if they are not done in my country. Congrats of your cool thinking, I will comeback for more.

  132. Montsserrat

    August 13, 2011 at 5:29 PM

    Have a great day by the way!

  133. Receding Waters

    August 13, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    Sincerely great ideas! I would totally watch those shows in a heart-beat and I HATE reality TV.

  134. Mariajose

    August 13, 2011 at 6:24 PM

    I love it! Anything that will take Jersey Shore and all these other meaningless shows off the air!

  135. melanietoye

    August 13, 2011 at 6:42 PM

    Looks like you have just created a new TV show. Pick up the phone, the producer’s are calling.

  136. faithslady

    August 13, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    Haha!! I don’t do reality TV, at all, but this was an AWESOME post!

  137. charlywillnotbesteppedon

    August 13, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    I agree 100%. I’d tune in every week for my daily dosage of new books to hit the shelf and book reviews by not only renowned authors but also celebrities. It wouldn’t just be entertaining but help create a buzz on great books that are not only entertaining but useful and helpful for everyday life. I’m really looking forward to read the novel you talked about in your about me section. So make sure you keep all of us updated. My girlfriend’s friend Samantha said ‘hi.’ She loves books and I think she has a little crush on you.

    With much Love & Respect

  138. Arjun Kapadiya

    August 13, 2011 at 9:33 PM


    This is a fantastic read!
    Thanks for sharing it 🙂

    Arjun Kay

  139. kpratt2136

    August 13, 2011 at 10:20 PM

    Love it:) I’d sooo watch it!

  140. City Sights for Kids

    August 13, 2011 at 11:04 PM

    “True Books” has my vote. How about “The Amazing Book” where authors compete to write a novel in one month (NaNoWriMo) despite extreme challenges that give the winner a chance to ‘adapt’ another writer’s plot. As a former teacher, I have been dreaming up “So You Think You Can Teach” where all those who scoff at how easy it is get the chance to teach in a classroom for a full week.

  141. Fajar

    August 13, 2011 at 11:06 PM

    Nice article.
    Im very enjoyed to read it.
    Thank you.

  142. mspimpus714

    August 13, 2011 at 11:23 PM


  143. franciscanautobot

    August 13, 2011 at 11:26 PM

    Hey I’d watch that!!
    Heck, I’d want to be a contestant!!

  144. skilledchaos

    August 14, 2011 at 12:09 AM

    Richard Castle anyone !! 😀

  145. ava812

    August 14, 2011 at 6:25 AM

    Clever funny! 😉

  146. Macy

    August 14, 2011 at 6:49 AM

    I’d watch every single one of your suggestions, though my favorites would be “The House” and “True Books”. For “Keeping Up With the Big Names”, they’d HAVE to get Rowling. I want to see her troll message boards and see fans’ reactions 😛

  147. Raja Mesin

    August 14, 2011 at 7:56 AM

    Nice Posting and Amazing

  148. taureanw

    August 14, 2011 at 7:58 AM

    Somebody needs to create a book television station & hire you ASAP!!

  149. joannebrokaw

    August 14, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    There actually was a call out for authors a few years ago for a reality show for authors. The end goal was to finish writing a book. Not sure what happened with it but it wasn’t a fantasy, lol!

  150. Siobhan

    August 14, 2011 at 10:39 AM

    Oh no no no, please no! Not America’s Next Top Author. Is nothing sacred? What could be really funny is a reality TV programme inside a publishers, book shop or library. Like The Real Black Books. That has the potential to be amazing without some reality TV crap being number one in the (book) charts for Christmas/three months.

  151. charlywalker

    August 14, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    I think this would “jump the sharks”….

    spread the

  152. John J. Rigo

    August 14, 2011 at 11:03 AM

    This blog site, with this posting, is another great example of the talent of the WordPress family. This subject really hit my “hot” button. The insights were well thought out, and written with a beautiful sense of humor.

    About twenty years ago, I go into poetry writing, and self-published two poetry books (currently have a third in the wings, awaiting a volunteer formatter, since my books are non-profit, and serve the “Homeless Cause” in Texas). The words still sting me in my memory, when one of my prior poetry club members in McKinney, Texas related, “No one has ever made any money or become famous by writing poetry.” Still I try to write each and every week, a new poem regarding my own life experiences. Wonder what a T.V. program would be like on a modern day poet, living in this age, and what their life would be like?

  153. Babymi

    August 14, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    Saved as a favorite, I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this article together. I really like your blog!

  154. thebigbookofdating

    August 14, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    Lol your post made me laugh! But I think that it would cheapen the practice of creative writing, reality TV is instant, cheap and not long lasting fame and I think that good authors should stand on their own merit (Sorry, I’m a huge hater of reality TV).

  155. I Made You A Mixtape

    August 14, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    You seriously should develop this as a format and sell it! Wonder why no-one else has thought of this before! Fabulous idea!

  156. Bookish Hobbit

    August 14, 2011 at 11:38 AM

    I absolutely love the ideas that you’ve put forth in this post and I don’t even watch all this reality TV junk. But if there were a channel devoted to book lovers? Oh, I would be glued to it!

  157. Misty

    August 14, 2011 at 11:43 AM

    Thank you for knowing how to properly use “comprise.”

  158. Inside the Mind of Isadora

    August 14, 2011 at 2:41 PM

    Awesome idea …. humourous, too.
    Congrats on FP …!!!

  159. mrbricksworld

    August 14, 2011 at 5:31 PM

    Let me guess…the losing contestants don;t get “voted off”, but instead they get a “rejection letter?”

    Congrats on being Freshly Pitched, I mean Freshly Pressed.

    Have a great day.

    Mr. Bricks

  160. Elizabeth

    August 14, 2011 at 5:37 PM

    I haven’t sifted through all the comments to see if anyone else has mentioned this, but upon reading this post I was immediately reminded of the Monty Python sketch about competitive novel writing (featuring sportscasters announcing each author’s every move, of course).

  161. John Hansen

    August 14, 2011 at 5:56 PM

    Yay. That’s a great idea. I like how you make fun of certain TV shows. Hehehe. I would love to have a “sixteen and published” show. I know a lot about being a teen author but I’m not published yet. Urrggh. Just self pubbed.

  162. Alisha

    August 14, 2011 at 6:30 PM

    I think having a tv channel about literature would be great, because a lot of people read, whether it be the newspaper or a 700 page book! I especially liked the idea of the tv show, “Creative Writing.”

  163. JL

    August 14, 2011 at 6:30 PM

    as a self proclaimed bookworm, myself, I would love this!!

    congrats on being freshly pressed!

  164. mystichawker

    August 14, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    WOW, I love this idea, the programing would be a lot better than most of the reality shows out there, and who knows maybe some of the losers could go on to become writers in TV land and actually put out some new ideas.

  165. kanyalai

    August 14, 2011 at 10:54 PM

    What a delightful post! And I can’t believe you are a teenager! 🙂 That’s a compliment, you are truly eloquent. I, too, have wished for a book network but you have got me beat. 🙂

  166. rbs

    August 14, 2011 at 10:55 PM

    Congratulations! You’re amazing, creative – brilliant, even! Seriously original post. You deserve the “freshly pressed” honor. And I am genuinely jealous because you’re young, and I’m old; you’re a natural, and I’m a blue-collar writer; you’re bunny is cuter than my real face.

    Hugs to you, Smartie Pants! 😉

  167. rbs

    August 14, 2011 at 10:57 PM

    AND I should have edited that comment. I know I used the wrong “your”. Oops! I HATE when that happens!

  168. Dana Sitar

    August 14, 2011 at 11:36 PM

    You offer not only a list of fantasies for writers, but also great commentary on the state of entertainment. The article makes me think, “Yeah! Why DID they make that show about glee club kids and not writers?” and so on.

  169. Janet

    August 14, 2011 at 11:43 PM

    great idea – good luck!

  170. unni12

    August 14, 2011 at 11:54 PM

    With all the lame reality shows on T.V these days, I think it’s high time some genius found a market for book lovers and writers and made a show. Why does this genre have to be for the most mundane stuff?

  171. tjarmusz

    August 15, 2011 at 1:40 AM

    This is the first post I’ve read. Very clever.

  172. ennospace

    August 15, 2011 at 3:40 AM

    Great post!!

  173. AWhiteOwlFollowedMe

    August 15, 2011 at 5:26 AM

    People who love books are too busy reading to watch TV!

  174. frankbaumann

    August 15, 2011 at 6:17 AM

    Great Idea! would watch that

  175. annahells

    August 15, 2011 at 7:46 AM

    That is an absolutely amazingly great idea!

  176. Highness Shadow

    August 15, 2011 at 8:12 AM

    great idea, and I believe that it is going to happen. Have you mentioned it to any of the networks? (just a thought, but so was the light bulb…peace/blessings) loved it, thanks

  177. jojosblooq

    August 15, 2011 at 8:23 AM

    That’s an awesome idea, I would watch it 😀

  178. michellestodden

    August 15, 2011 at 6:06 PM

    Excellent concept. I’ve been thinking about how there should be a reality show along these lines, too. Something for writers. Must be floating around in the collective unconscious…

  179. anthropologist

    August 15, 2011 at 6:48 PM

    Hilarious! Loved this post. Think “America’s Next Top Author” SHOULD be in the works.

    Or how about “Survivor: Twelve Authors on a Deserted Island”. We could have the “Nubile Young Thing” batting her eyes at the Grizzled Eminence, maybe Salman Rushdie.

    Or we could even have a “Survivor: Celebrity Authors” edition, with Authors like Jonathan Franzen (Bitterly Divorced, Now Available) and Older Women Authors (Sue Miller? Jane Smiley?) and the “enfant terrible” author (Gary Shteyngart?) and the crazy good-looking Harvard author (Marisha Pessl?) and the Mis-Understood Author, the permutations are endless …

  180. manu

    August 16, 2011 at 8:07 AM

    Personally, i really don’t understand why would-be writers massively still totally depend on the Gatekeepers called publishers (That means kiss their asses shamelessly). In this day and age it’s far more avant-garde to write your novel and then use the internet to promote it yourself and sell digital versions via an automated paysystem which is very easy to install.
    I did and it’s a world of possibilities. No frustrated [jerk] will determine if i have the goods or not. We don’t have to give them the keys no longer because it’s really not nesessary anylonger. In the end, as a writer, you have to let the audience decide whether you have it or not. And i really don’t know about some reality show for writers. I think you’re a sell out that would do anything for success if you participate in that kind of exposure. If you wanna be a succesful writer, you will have to prove it in a different way.

    blog of liefde

  181. Alan Zhong

    August 16, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    Most fantasy shows remain fantasies.

  182. londonchoirgirl

    August 17, 2011 at 6:15 AM

    They tried that in the UK a few years ago, but it didn’t work very well. The problem was that most of the writing process (sitting at a computer, tapping away) is pretty boring to watch and so doesn’t make for very good TV…

  183. gingeremas

    August 23, 2011 at 3:24 PM

    What a great idea! DO IT!!

  184. maisiep

    August 23, 2011 at 5:03 PM

    What a nice twist on the reality TV theme! Very funny, I’d definitely watch it!

  185. Sasperella

    August 26, 2011 at 8:17 AM

    What an excellent post. Agreeing with all your ideas. Will ANTA have a MAKEOVER week??

  186. Isabella Louise Anderson

    August 27, 2011 at 12:46 AM

    Great blog! I hope you don’t mind that I shared this with a few of my friends. This was a brilliant blog! Congratulations on your Freshly Pressed blog! 🙂

  187. Matt

    August 28, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    Great post. I would actually watch this, too! Patent that idea before someone steals it!

  188. realanonymousgirl2011

    September 1, 2011 at 7:30 PM

    I’m all for it, but it doesn’t quite sound as exciting as Top Chef or any of those other shows. But I gotta give it to you that writers deserve there 15 minutes of fame too!

  189. tomte

    December 3, 2011 at 9:11 AM

    This is genius!!!! No wonder you got Freshly Pressed! It’s absolutely brilliant. I was laughing the whole post!!!! I would definitely watch some of those shows. Keep up the posts like these!!!!

    I will definitely be checking back!


  190. lookingforpemberley

    January 4, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    I keep coming back to your amazing post! It is just pure entertainment gold. May I add you to my bloglist?

    • Allegra

      January 4, 2012 at 8:19 PM

      Thanks! And of course you may.


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