Sponsored by RWA
For: Unpublished writers
Contemporary Series Romance
Contemporary Series Romance: Suspense/Adventure
Contemporary Single Title Romance
Novel with Strong Romantic Elements
Regency Historical Romance
Young Adult Romance
The final round of the contest is judged by acquiring editors from romance publishing houses.
Prizes: The winners of the Golden Heart contest receive a gold, heart-shaped necklace in recognition of their achievement.
Deadlines: The Golden Heart contest is open for entries from September 20th - November 15th, 2007, or until the contest reaches its maximum 1,200 entries.
Format: partial manuscripts hard copy, full manuscript either hard copy or on CD
For more information: http://www.rwanational.org/cs/contests_and_awards/golden_heart_awards
Tina here: The Golden Heart is the Oscar of unpublished writing. One year I did research on this contest and did you know, Susan Elizabeth Philips, Jayne Ann Krentz, Suzanne Brockmann never finaled in the GH? So while it may garner you a coveted spot on the finalist or winner press release, it doesn't guarantee publication. On the flip side there is such a buzz of excitement the last weekend in March as everyone waits for the calls to go out. Wearing your GH pin to Nationals is so much fun. The entire experience is not to be missed.
On a realistic note: there is no feedback on this contest. This is the place to send your manuscript after it has been the contest route and you are getting back positive information. This is NOT the place for a newbies with a virgin manuscript that has not been critiqued. Like all contests it's subjective. I finaled with a manuscript that was also entered two years prior with no results. What changed? The judges. The manuscript had not been altered at all. Like anything to do with writing there is a mix of magic, talent and being in the right place at the right time.
Julie here: Let's face it, for prepubs, the Golden Heart is THE romance contest to enter. I mean, really, just knowing its "published" counterpart is the Rita, with finalist names such as Nora Roberts and Jennifer Crusie, was enough for me to part with my $50 entry fee. Although you receive virtually NO feedback other than a score, I thought the Golden Heart was so worth it! As a finalist, not only do you connect with some incredible friends, but just the prestige of being a GH finalist gives you a leg up in queries to agents and publishers. In fact, I credit the Golden Heart (and all those many RWA chapter contests I entered that helped whip me into shape) with eventually landing me a top agent and a subsequent book contract. And, if you do not final, you can always contact RWA AFTER the Golden Heart Awards in July to request information such as how many entries were in your category and where you placed. I did that in 2003 and found out that I had missed finaling by only two slots, which was a HUGE encouragement and incentive for me to keep writing and entering, which I did. And now--pinch me--I'm plunking my money down for the Rita!