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Chicago Writer Named Semifinalist in Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award


Writer Gaining Support with Worldwide Reviews

CHICAGO, Illinois - January 28, 2008 – Recently selected as a Semifinalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, Valya Dudycz Lupescu’s debut novel, THE SILENCE OF TREES, has gained positive reviews from places as far away as Dublin, Ireland; Tokyo, Japan; and Georgetown, Guyana; and from all over the United States.

Lupescu’s novel is set in Ukraine during World War II, as well as in Chicago in the present day. “I wrote this book to honor my grandmothers and all women who have lived through war and lost themselves in the struggle to survive,” said Lupescu. “Too often they have been silenced, and it’s my hope that this novel speaks with their voices.”

A Chicago native, Lupescu received her Undergraduate degree in English from DePaul University and her M.F.A. in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She submitted her novel on along with 5,000 other entrants, and the 836 Semifinalists were notified of their status on January 15, 2008.

The Semifinalists’ excerpts are available for Amazon customers to download, read, and review until February 19, 2008. At that time, Amazon will unveil its 100 Finalists.

The editors from Penguin Group Publishing will further narrow the entries and announce the top 10 Finalists on March 3rd. Amazon customers will then have the chance to vote for their favorite. On April 7th, Amazon will announce the winner, who will receive a publishing contract which includes a $25,000 advance.

“Having received so many positive reviews,” said Lupescu, “I’m touched by the high level of support. It’s also nice to see readers getting excited about this contest. ‘The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award’ has been called the ‘American Idol’ for writers, and the hope is that it can attract that kind of attention.”

Anyone can read Valya Dudycz Lupescu’s excerpt from THE SILENCE OF TREES at: but only Amazon customers can leave a review. For more information about Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award, visit

About Valya Dudycz Lupescu:
Valya Dudycz Lupescu ( is a writer and mother of three, temporarily dividing her time between Chicago and Frankfurt, Germany. She has worked as a college professor, obituary writer, content manager, internal communications specialist, and co-producer of an independent feature film. Valya was short listed for the 2007 Fish Publishing One-Page Story Prize, won Second Place in the 2007 Hackney Literary Awards, and was a Finalist for the 2005 New Letters Literary Awards. Her story “AU Followed by a Number” is due to be published in Sentence: A Journal of Prose Poetics No. 6. Valya is currently at work on her second novel.


 Valya Dudycz Lupescu
 The Silence of Trees
 Ukrainian American
 Amazon Breakthrough Novel

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