Monday, September 14, 2009

Lothrop's $500 and $1000 Prize Stories

Daniel Lothrop had an idea. The publishing house begun in 1868 as D. Lothrop and Company needed an idea infusion of books to publish. Lothrop tried a new approach for finding previously unpublished works.

In May, 1868 Lothrop offered a prize of $500 for the best Sunday-School book manuscript. The ad asked for manuscripts "for the best story of required character and length". They reported receiving about one hundred from which eight were chosen.

The Original $500 Series therefore consisted of eight books and was published in 1869. The very first book was Andy Luttrell written by Clara Vance. The first four books were released as a boxed set although they could be purchased individually. Later the rest of the series was published.

The New $500 Prize Series was made up of thirteen books and was published in 1870-1871.

Later a $1000 prize was offered. In the 1870's advertisements listed 16 $1000 books and 21 $500 books. The $500 books were comprised of the "New" and the "Original".

The $1000 Prize Series consisted of 16 book and they were published in 1872 and 1873. Therefore by the end of 1873 the Prize Series had 37 books.

Here are examples of each of the series.

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