Press Release

<< Back and PEN American Center Introduce the PEN/ Short Story Award for Unpublished Writers
     SEATTLE--Feb. 8, 2000--

          Distinguished panel of PEN authors including David
    Guterson, Jamaica Kincaid, and Sherman Alexie will name winner

     Demonstrating passion for the written word and ongoing commitment

to literature, (Nasdaq:AMZN) ( today launched the PEN/ Short Story Award.

A collaboration between, the No. 1 online book retailer, and PEN American Center, the foremost organization of American writers and editors, the contest invites unpublished writers to submit original short story manuscripts. Each manuscript will compete for a $10,000 cash grant and publication at and in The Boston Book Review.

The judging panel is composed of three PEN writers: David Guterson, author of the award-winning Snow Falling on Cedars; Jamaica Kincaid, author of Annie John and Autobiography of My Mother; and poet, novelist, short story writer, and filmmaker Sherman Alexie, author of The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven.

Joining 16 other PEN literary honors, the PEN/ Short Story Award will be presented at the annual PEN Literary Awards Ceremony on May 15, 2000, at the Walter Reade Theatre in New York City's Lincoln Center. In addition to having the opportunity to meet and mingle with attending PEN members -- including well-known authors, editors, and literary critics -- the winning writer will gain exposure to millions of book-loving readers when the winning manuscript is published online at and in The Boston Book Review, a premier independent literary arts magazine.

"Since 1995, the site has served as a gathering place for millions of people who love books as much as we do," said Nicholas H. Allison, editor in chief, Book Store. "We're thrilled to be partnering with an organization of PEN's stature, helping foster great writing and putting that writing before the millions of readers who visit our site."

"For over three decades, PEN's literary awards have recognized excellent writing in every genre," said Michael Roberts, executive director of PEN American Center. "PEN is delighted to join to help open doors for unpublished writers and, through's extraordinary reach into the worldwide community of readers, to gain greater recognition for all PEN's work on behalf of literature."

The PEN/ Short Story Award entry is open to any writer whose fiction has not appeared in a book or nationally distributed publication with a circulation over 5,000. To participate, writers must be over the age of 18 and residents of either the United States or Canada.

Manuscript submissions must be postmarked on or before March 24, 2000. Final typed and double-spaced manuscripts should be e-mailed to or mailed to The PEN/ Short Story Award; P.O. Box 80727; Seattle, Washington, 98108. Submitted manuscripts will not be returned. Additional award information and a complete set of rules can be found at There is no fee to enter.

About PEN American Center

PEN American Center is a fellowship of writers dedicated to advancing the cause of literature and reading in the United States and defending free expression around the world. Headquartered in New York, it is the largest of 131 International PEN Centers worldwide, with some 2,700 members (poets, playwrights, essayists, editors, novelists, and translators) across the United States.

The PEN/ Short Story Award joins 16 other literary prizes and awards administered by PEN American Center recognizing literary excellence in a variety of genres through such prizes as the PEN/Nabokov Award, the PEN/Laura Pels Foundation Awards for Drama, and the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize.

About, Inc. (, Inc., and its subsidiaries) is the Internet's No. 1 music, No. 1 DVD and video, and No. 1 book retailer. (Nasdaq:AMZN) opened its virtual doors on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest Selection, along with online auctions and free electronic greeting cards. lists more than 18 million unique items in categories including books, CDs, toys, electronics, videos, DVDs, home improvement products, software, and video games. Through zShops, any business or individual can sell virtually anything to's more than 17 million customers, and with Payments, any seller can accept credit card transactions, avoiding the hassles of offline payments. The company also participates in, the leading auction site for guaranteed art, jewelry, and collectibles, at seeks to be the world's most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they may want to buy online.'s All Product Search scours the Web to help customers find merchandise that is not available at, Auctions, or zShops, making the shopping destination to find anything. operates two international Web sites: and It also operates the Internet Movie Database (, the Web's comprehensive and authoritative source of information on more than 150,000 movies and entertainment programs and 500,000 cast and crew members dating from the birth of film in 1892 to the present. has invested in leading Internet retailers that are improving the lives of customers by making shopping easier and more convenient:, the only company that offers car buyers the control of auto purchasing online with ongoing service and support from local dealerships, at;, the leading online home products and services retailer, at;, an online retail and information source for health, beauty, wellness, personal care and pharmacy, at;, the online leader for pet products, expert information, and services, at;, the first fully integrated Internet grocery-shopping and home-delivery service -- with operations in Seattle; Portland, Oregon; and Southern California -- at;, which offers brand-name sporting goods at prices from 20 to 90 percent off retail, at; and, the leading Internet retailer of luxury and premium products and the Web's No. 1 retailer of watches and jewelry, at also has a minority interest in, which brings together leading retailers with gift registry, expert advice, and personalized gift suggestions to help everyone give better gifts, at; and NextCard, Inc., considered the industry's leading issuer of consumer credit on the Internet, at; and Audible, Inc., the leader in Internet-delivered spoken audio for PC-based listening or playback on AudibleReady(TM) portable digital audio devices, at

This announcement contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others,'s limited operating history, anticipated losses, unpredictability of future revenues, potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results, seasonality, consumer trends, competition, risk of distribution center expansion, risks related to fourth quarter performance, risks of system interruption, management of potential growth, risks related to auction and zShops services, risks related to fraud and Payments, and risks of new business areas, international expansion, business combinations, and strategic alliances. More information about factors that potentially could affect's financial results is included in's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1998 and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 1999, June 30, 1999, and September 30, 1999.

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