Saturday, October 22, 2011

Top Ten Reasons to Enter The Golden Heart by Guest Bloggers Lisa Connelly & Anne Barton

We’re so thrilled to be in Seekerville for the birthday festivities! A special thanks to Tina for inviting us and for snapping this photo at the RWA Awards Ceremony in New York last June.

Tina suggested we write about the benefits of entering the Golden Heart (RWA’s contest for unpublished writers) so we put our heads together and came up with this list. We should mention that besides being good friends and critique partners, we’re also cousins—second cousins, actually—who come from a long line of strong-willed Italian women with a tendency to speak their minds. If we seem a little opinionated, it’s the Bruseghini in us.

Here are our Top 10 Reasons to Enter the Golden Heart:

1. You’ll be forced to finish the manuscript.

Some goals are just easier if you have a built-in deadline. Without a deadline, weeks slide into months and months slide into years. You know how it’s easier to lose ten pounds when your high school reunion’s coming up? Well, you might be more motivated to finish a story when you see the Golden Heart deadline looming on the calendar. It’s a shot that only comes around once a year. Do you really want to be standing on the sidelines while everybody else is running onto the field? No? Then write your way to the happy ending and get in the game.

2. You’ll be forced to write a synopsis.

That’s right—the big, scary monster known as the synopsis. Only, it’s less Freddy Krueger and more Cookie Monster. Why should you fear writing a few pages outlining the journeys of characters you’ve come to know almost as well as your spouse? The nice thing about writing a synopsis is that it can help you boil your story down to its essence, and that’s really important for pitching—which, by the way, is TRULY scary. Way more terrifying than Freddy. But that’s another post.

3. You'll feel like a real writer -- for better or worse.

Powering through your manuscript under a deadline. Cranking out a synopsis when, let's face it, you may have NO IDEA how your story is going to end. These are the things real writers do every day, all while juggling job and family responsibilities, battling the constant urge to procrastinate, and trying to ignore that voice in their head that keeps asking them what made them think they're any good at this writing thing anyway. Sounds like fun, right? OK, maybe not fun, exactly. But it is definitely challenging, and on the day you send out your GH entry, you'll know the same feelings of accomplishment -- and angst -- all writers feel when they send their work out into the world.

4. It’s not like there’s a major holiday in the month of November . . . oh, wait.

We understand. You want to eat turkey, watch football, enjoy your family, and count your blessings. So here’s what you do. Mail your Golden Heart entry before Thanksgiving. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that it will arrive safely at RWA headquarters in Houston well before the December 2 deadline. Mmmm, can’t you just taste the creamy pumpkin pie and the mug of rich coffee?

5. There’s nothing quite like the adrenaline rush from a mad dash to the Fed Ex drop-off.

If you’re the more adventurous sort (and do not heed our advice about mailing your entry before Thanksgiving) you will need to have a plan for getting your entry to RWA headquarters on time. The good news is that if you are an adrenaline junkie, the rush you get from the last minute scramble will be on par with sky-diving or snorkeling in shark-infested waters.

6. You can multi-purpose your entry.

So you've polished your first 50 pages till they shine, written a compelling synopsis, finished a draft of your manuscript, and sent the whole kit and caboodle off to RWA. Now what? Sit around and wait for March 26th? No way! Now you enter those brilliant opening pages in other contests -- it only takes a few minutes because they're all ready to go. And then you get to work on your query letter, hone it, polish it, then fire it off to your list of carefully-targeted agents and watch those partial requests roll in. No cause for stress when they do, because your opening pages are submission ready -- you can email them back to the requesting agent in under a minute

7. The judges' scores give you a measuring stick.

Each GH entry is judged by five judges, and you will get to see all of their scores. If you don't final, you'll also be told the percentile range your entry fell within. This information is incredibly useful because it reveals how your entry stacked up in comparison to entries by other writers who are seriously pursuing publication. A lower percentile could mean that your opening pages have major problems that you need to address, perhaps with the help of a critique partner or group, while a higher percentile could indicate that your entry came very close to finaling and just needs more polishing. And the range of your scores -- sometimes a very w-i-d-e range -- can indicate how broad the appeal of your work might be, and also remind you just how subjective the whole business of publishing is.

8. We all need a few battle scars.

March 26, 2012 will be a day of jubilation for some and a day of disappointment for others as the GH finalists are notified and posted on the RWA website. If you're fortunate enough to final, enjoy every minute of it (and see below)! If not -- and there are FAR more of us in this group -- treat yourself to something sweet, or watch Pride and Prejudice (the BBC version, of course), or read a Susan Elizabeth Phillips romance, or all of the above. Then get up on March 27 and get back to work! Persistence in the face of adversity, that's what will get you published. You're going to fail a lot on the way to success. Get used to it, get past it, and get on with it.

9. You can't win if you don't play.

Of course, no matter how many other benefits are to be had from entering the GH, ultimately everybody enters because they hope to final. And that's a worthy goal, one that comes with lots of perks. As a finalist, you're immediately invited to join a Yahoo group set up exclusively for that year's finalists, so you quickly make 60 new writing friends who are as serious about the business as you are. Your name and photo go up on the RWA website. You're invited to join the Golden Network, which is an RWA chapter open only to GH finalists. You get special treatment at Nationals -- a private reception, VIP seating at the Award Ceremony. And most of all, you have a chance to win...which is really the icing on the cake!

10. There are lots of ways to win.

We absolutely believe you should enter with the purpose of winning. Pour everything you have into your entry and dream big. But even if you don’t final this year, there are lots of good things that could come from entering the Golden Heart. You could bond with another writer who entered and end up with a treasured critique partner and friend. You could submit your GH manuscript to an agent who loves your work. You could discover your voice or grow as a writer.

In the end, you’re a winner no matter what.

Winning the GH together was pretty special, and that amazing night will be added to our stockpile of treasured cousin memories: playing hide and seek in the cornfield, eating Aunt Pauline’s pizza fritte, washing our hair in the creek, and, of course, dancing the electric slide at weddings. We’d love to hear your cousin memories, so break out the folding lawn chairs, grab the fried chicken, and let’s start gabbing. (Oh, and we’re happy to answer any GH questions as well!)

--Lisa and Anne

Lisa Connelly won the 2011 Golden Heart for Contemporary Single Title Romance. She’s represented by Jill Marsal of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

Anne Barton won the 2011 Golden Heart for Regency Historical Romance. Her debut novel, tentatively titled The Proper Miss’s Guide to Bad Behavior, sold to Grand Central Publishing and releases in early 2013.

In honor of these two Golden Heart divas, Seekerville is giving away one reimbursement of the GH entry fee to one commenter who enters the 2012 GH. This giveaway will remain open until the RWA GH deadline or the contest is closed due to reaching the maximum entries. All you have to do is submit a copy of the RWA confirmation email to us at our Seekerville contact email. One winner will be chosen from all the confirmations sent to us, and announced no later than December 2 2011.

Remember you can enter the GH now before the 1,200 entry slots are filled and send your msc to them by the deadline. Here are some of the rules from the GH website. Note the GH requires a completed manuscript.


The Golden Heart contest is open to writers who have not accepted a publishing offer for a work of original fictional narrative prose of 20,000 words or more by Nov. 15, 2011. Entrant must retain all rights to the entry and not have granted any of them to a publisher or any other party prior to or by Nov. 15, 2011.

Previously entered manuscripts may be entered again, but no previous Golden Heart-winning manuscript can be entered, even if revised.

Entrants must be 18 years of age by Nov. 15, 2011.

Neither employees of RWA nor members of their immediate families are eligible to enter any RWA contest. “Immediate family” is defined as spouse, parents and children. Adopted, foster and step members are included in this definition.

Completed entry forms and appropriate fees must be received at the RWA office no later than 5 p.m. CT, Nov. 15, 2011, for the Golden Heart. Forms and fees received after this deadline will be returned to the entrant.

The Golden Heart contest is limited to the first 1,200 paid entries. If entries in excess of 1,200 are received by Nov. 15, 2011, excess entries will first be returned to those who did not volunteer to judge, and second in reverse order of receipt.

Entries must be received by RWA at 14615 Benfer Road, Houston, TX 77069 no later than 5 p.m. CT, Dec. 2, 2011. Entrants who fail to meet this deadline will be disqualified, and the entry fee will be forfeited.

Now be sure to ask Anne and Lisa all your burning Golden Heart questions today, not only to you have experts here to assist you but your name goes in the drawing for our weekly and monthly birthday prizes!!


Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

Hi Lisa! Hi Anne!

Best of luck to anyone who's entering the Golden Heart. All I can say is watch Pride and Prejudice even if you DO final, it's sooo good! ;-)

XOXO~ Renee C.

Walt Mussell said...

The whole manuscript has to be in by December 2nd?

Jan Drexler said...

Lisa and Anne, I think you've convinced me. It's time to get out the polish!

Thanks for stopping by!

Marji Laine - Unravel the Mystery said...

Are all romantic genres included? I write romantic suspense. I didn't know if RWA would be interested.

Keli Gwyn said...

Anne and Lisa, it's great to see you here in Seekerville. Even more fun was sitting with the two of you the night your names were called and you each got to take the stage during the Awards Ceremony. What a thrill that was!

Kudos to everyone who enters the Golden Heart. Doing so is a big step in the right direction. Wonderful things can come from that contest. It's how Anne and I met and became critique partners. =)

Mary Connealy said...

Hi Lisa and Anne. Great post, a top ten list is NEVER WRONG. :)

I'm so excited for you with the Golden Heart!!!!! What an accomplishment.

Mary Connealy said...

And Ann, I have a HUGE Regency fan, I can't wait for your book, girl. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!

Tina Radcliffe said...


Lovely to see you both!

Tell us how many times you both have entered the GH and with how many manuscripts.

I did bring a bribe...Dove chocolate and Starbucks coffee.

Christina said...

I'm glad you posted this. I didn't realize the forms and fees were due sooner than the actual entry.

I still haven't decided if I'm going to enter. I havee three possible manuscripts. I've been saying for the last several years that I was going to enter. I think I get cold feet at the thought. I mean is the money and the six copies really worth it?

Virginia said...

Hi gals! That was a great post because I'd already convinced myself there was no reason to enter the Golden Heart. Too big, too expensive, too much competition! But I might give it another think.
Maybe it's that time of year to hear GH buzz, but I just happened on the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood and their GH history will shock your socks off. Their main goal was to final or win, and after they do, publication is just another few years (or less, for some) away.

Aly Logan said...

Thanks for highlighting the Golden Heart. I must have been living under a rock, but this is the first time I've noticed it. I will seriously think about entering.


MaryC said...

Hi Anne and Lisa. Congrats again on your double victory. How cool was that!

One thing I wanted to point out - you don't have to be a member of RWA to enter although the entry fee is higher for non-members.

Walt, yes, the entire mss is due by Dec 2nd. The whole mss is not judged (and you can send a CD of the file) but it is required as proof the mss is complete.

Anonymous said...

Glad you came by,
Congrats on your wins. Too bad it's for unpubbed and I can't join the contest. But another one will arise.

Tina P

Janet Kerr said...

Lisa & Anne,]
Thanks for the information!

Mary Cline said...

Definitely something to think about, but I better think fast!

Annie Rains said...

Thanks for posting! I had already decided not to enter, but now you've swayed me in the other direction. I better start polishing something up.

Congrats on your win last year!

Whitney said...

This is so great! I wish my WIP was finished. I'll aim to enter it next year!

Congrats, Lisa and Anne, for your Golden Heart wins!

Ruth Logan Herne said...


Oh, these two are too cute. Beautiful, actually.

Singing new mantra: "Don't hate: appreciate!"

"Don't hate: Appreciate!"


Anne and Lisa welcome ladies!!! I love this list, this is perfection. And I'm so proud of da bode o' youse!

I never finaled in the GH. I tried to buy one one year by entering 4 manuscripts...

Didn't work. That cute, adorable Keli Gwyn (whom I LOVE TO PIECES now) finaled twice that year.

Keli: 2

Ruthy: 0

So then I had to go HUNT HER DOWN to find out if she needed to die.

Nope. Too stinkin' nice, so I let her live and Tina invited her to Seekerville and we just smack-down fell in love with the girl.

What a heartwarming story, right???

I'm drinking coffee, tucked in the business center of this very reasonably priced Ramada in, chattin' wi' youse and working on Haley and Brett's Christmas story.

Can I hear an "Awwwwww....."

So wish me thoughts of Breath of Heaven, twinkle lights, turkey and eggnog.

I love eggnog. ;)

For you guys on the edge... you lose 100% of the races you don't run. And even if you don't final, that polishing, that primping and pimping, that attention to detail all helps get you ready for the same things working with an editor.

Many years I didn't have the money to enter. And I kept contesting in hand by targeting final editors, but if I'd had more cash flow, I'd have entered the GH more often.

Tina, hand me some of that thar chocolate, Cupcake.

And Mary talked/muttered in her sleep again last night.

And she does love regencies, Annie-banannie.

Huge congrats to both of you and Lisa, praying that first sale comes soon!

Tina Radcliffe said...

I see Ruthy is awake and wandering the halls of the hotel somewhere!!

Good morning Seekerville.

It's a wonderful day in the neighborhood!!!

We're rooting for GH and RITA finalists and winners in our Seekerville village of family and friends.

Anne Barton said...

Good morning, Seekerville! So happy to be visiting today! It's a chilly fall morning here on the east coast--perfect for staying in and writing (or reading).

Renee, you are right about P&P--it's a go-to movie for any occasion. :)

Walt, yes, the whole ms must be delivered as part of your entry, but, like Mary said (hi Mary!) it's not judged. So it doesn't have to be polished and submission-ready by Dec. 2. If you final, however, the final round judges can request the full from RWA. The good news is that RWA will give you an opportunity to send in a new one. So, you can use the time between Dec. 2 and the end of March to get your whole ms revised and polished. (More good motivation!) :)

Anne Barton said...

Jan, good luck with entering! We'll be rooting for you!

Marji, there are two categories specifically for romatic suspense. These descriptions from the RWA website:

Contemporary Series Romance - Suspense/Adventure Series romance novels which focus primarily on the romantic relationship but may have more complex suspense or adventure subplots.

Romantic Suspense - Romance novels in which suspense, mystery, or thriller elements constitute an integral part of the plot.

So, yes, it sounds like there's definitely a category for you! Best of luck to you!

Patsy said...

I'm not a writer but good luck to all who wrtie and are entering the Golden Heart.

Is Helen not here today? Who is doing the coffee! I'll just go on over to the Yankee-Belle and order up a cup. I hear those are pretty good ladies over there.

Jeanne T said...

What a fun post! Lisa and Anne, congratulations on your "cousin win." What a fun memory to share. :)

Loved the Top 10 list. I'm not at a place where I can enter the GH this year, but while reading your post, some ideas came to mind for my next story. Maybe that one will be one I can submit next year.

Love the idea of watching the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice, like Renee said, even if you do final. One of my all time faves.

I'm leaving chocolate banana muffins for anyone who's hungry.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Morning Lisa and Anne,
Thanks for joining us here in Seekerville and encouraging Seeker friends to enter the Golden Heart Contest. Contests are what we're all about as through them we all became friends.

Good points to consider everyone. Contests motivate you to get your work out there.

Best wishes to all who enter.

Anne Barton said...

Keli! (For those who don't know, Keli's a GH veteran who finaled in 2 different years with 3 manuscripts . . . and has since SOLD.) And the very best thing about my first GH final was that I met her!

Mary, it was wonderful seeing you in NYC! I hope you have fun at the signing today. Wish we could all run over and see you guys. Be sure and take lots of pics to share with us, please? I'm not surprised you're a Regency fan--you're the master of witty banter!

Rose said...

Lisa & Anne,

Very encouraging top ten list.

I've never entered the Golden Heart.

Do you have to be a member of RWA?

Cindy W. said...

Hi Lisa & Anne. Great post. Wish I was at a point to enter GH but I am far from there.

You asked that about cousin memories. I had a cousin who was just a few years older then me. She was my best friend, we spent every summer together rotating two weeks at her house then two weeks at mine. Unfortunately the Lord called her home at the tender age of 16 (cancer). Her younger sister then 'adopted' me and even though she was ten years younger I gave her as much of my time as I could...even helped her make "Creepy Crawlies" in her little toy machine. As we aged we became great friends and did so much together. Learned to ice skate together and joined Mary Kay Cosmetics together. We live many miles apart now but having a cousin as a best friend has been wonderful.

I pray everyone in Seekerville and everyone who visits today has a wonderful blessed day!

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.


Amanda said...

Watch Pride and Prejudice no matter what comes of the Golden Heart! It's amazing!!! After writing an entire novel we deserve some treats, don’t we?

Am planning on entering the Golden Heart and am so excited. Wonderful post! Now just gotta finish that novel……


Anne Barton said...

Hi Tina! From one diva to another, thank you for the chocolate and coffee!

Speaking of divas, I wonder if I need to wake Lisa up this morning. :) Maybe she's having breakfast in bed. (Oh, that sounds good.)

I entered the GH for 5 years in a row, with a new ms each time. Most years, I picked a second story to enter as well. It's really interesting to compare the scores from different years. There's definitely an element of luck involved.

Anne Barton said...

Christina, it's a bit of a gamble, no question. However, the rewards can be huge. Good luck with the decision--I hope you go for it. :)

Virginia, the GH is a big contest, but fortunately there are more finalists than in most. Approximately the top 10% of entries make it to the final round, and that means anywhere from 3 to 9 finalists per category. I'm a member of the Rubies, and that sisterhood is another great example of the benefits that can come from finaling.

Aly, I'm sure you haven't been living under a rock, lol. The GH and RITAs are big in RWA land, though--like the Oscars! Good luck with the decision!

Hi Mary, very good point about not needing to be an RWA member. I remember being very confused about the whole entry process the first year. After that, you're more used to it. :) I hope you plan to enter this year (unless you're ineligible due to a sale!)

karenk said...

HI Lisa and Anne,

Best of luck to everyone are all fabulous writers in my book :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Bridgett Henson said...

Anne & Lisa, congratulations!

Wonderful post! I didn't realize the perks that came with finalling.

Julie Lessman said...

ANNE & LISA!!! WOW, I couldn't have written a better blog on the GH if I tried, so GREAT JOB and THANK YOU for coming to Seekerville!!

You said there are lots of ways to win, one of which is "you could submit your GH manuscript to an agent who loves your work."

Oh, AMEN TO THAT!! That's exactly what happened to me when I finaled in the 2005 GH with Janet Dean, Myra Johnson (who won!) and Tina Radcliffe, a rather amusing (and I hope inspiring) story that I reiterated in my Seeker blog a few weeks ago entitled:

The Good, the Bad & the Really Ugly: Memories of a Published Writer

The GH is the pinnacle contest out there for unpublished romance writers, bar none, and SUCH an incredible experience, win or lose, so I highly encourage people to go for it. You don't get actual feedback from judges like you do in smaller contests, but you do see you percentage ranking as you said. PLUS if you are willing to wait until after the RWA conference in the summer, you can also find out your actual # ranking, which I did one year and it REALLLLLY encouraged me because I found out that I was #6, just two away from finaling. And don't think THAT didn't spur me on big time!!!

Anne, SUPER CONGRATS on the debut book coming out in 2013 -- it sounds wonderful! And Lisa, gotta feeling you aren't far behind ...


Kirsten Arnold said...

Anne & Lisa,

Congrats on your GH wins!!

I've been riding the fence for about a month and this list was just what I needed to light the fire and get a ms entered into GH.


KC Frantzen and May the K9 Spy said...

This is SO FUN!

Thanks for the info ladies!!!
Go GH participants!!!

(I write middle grade adventure, so it wouldn't be me. Besides, my heroine is spayed. ;D )

Happy weekend everybody! Gorgeous in TN!

Carol Moncado said...

Don't have time to read all the comments :D. Heading to TULSA in about 90 minutes and so much to do before then!

[But the cookies are cooling!]

Seriously considering GH but the cost is prohibitive [figure if I'm pay 100 bucks as a non RWAer, I may as well pay 160 to become a member then enter]. At the same time, I feel like entering GH is a right of writing passage ;).

Need to decide.

Entering the Phoenix Rattler this week though, I think.

Went to Lori Copeland's book signing last night and had a lovely chat. But I think I'll probably have more FUN today ;).

carolmoncado at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I am not a writer but I sure love reading the comments of authors and readers alike here. Hey the goodies are not bad either. I dabble in writing at home and your comments here Anne and Lisa would sure make me enter if I had a good story completed.
There are so many new authors and I feel it is because of contest like this that spurs them on....
Paula O(

Eva Maria Hamilton said...

Good luck to everyone who enters!

Have a great weekend!

Eva Maria Hamilton at gmail dot com

Vince said...

Hi Lisa and Anne:

I think reason number 11 could be that little gold heart charm would make an impressive gift for your girlfriend.

You convinced me. I’ll enter but I’m right at 40,000 words and it is a romantic comedy with the emphasis on comedy. Do comedies ever win? There is not even a romantic comedy category. What do you think?


P.S. I love the idea of a 15 page synopsis. Almost everyone else wants a one or two page synopsis with many saying it will not count. You can do a total selling job in 15 pages -- if you have a great story to sell!

Vince said...

Hi Carol:

You bring the cookies. I’ll bring Ruth’s Allegany Maple Fudge. My wife says ‘It’s to die for”! (It’s so good she lets me use the kitchen to make it!)

Have a safe trip to Tulsa. Linda will be there.

This is sure to be a high calorie event.


Donna said...

Am I a wimp if I say I'm aiming for next years Golden Heart??

Natalie Monk said...

Great Info! Thanks Lisa and Anne! I've entered one contest this year and am doing my best to finish that draft. Never having contested before, I'm a little too scared to enter more than one at a time. Maybe next year on the Golden Heart. :)

Casey said...

I've actually been very curious about this contest, so this post was great for me. Do you have to be a member of RWA to enter though?

Anne Barton said...

Tina P., congrats on being ineligible, lol. That's the goal! Time for you to move on to the pubbed contests. :)

Janet, you're welcome! Thanks for stopping by.

Mary, yes--the deadline is approaching, just a few weeks left to enter. I see that the RITA has already reached its maximum number of entries. Hope all the Seekers got their books submitted in time. :)

Annie, glad we swayed you! Best of luck as you polish!

Whitney, thanks for the congrats! If you're close to finishing, you could still consider entering. (At this time last year, my story wasn't finished--I typed the end in early November.) But if not, setting a goal for next year is a fabulous idea!

Lisa Connelly said...

Hi Everybody,

Sorry I'm late to the party. I had a few computer issues this morning... I think they're straightened out now, so I'm going back to read everyone's comments now. I'll get back to you!

Lisa Connelly

Lisa Connelly said...

I'm glad to see so many P&P fans here! Maybe we should set a day and time when we all sit down to watch it together, wherever we are. A national P&P "watch-in" marathon, complete with popcorn and chocolate. I'm in if you are...

Tina, to answer your question, I first entered the GH in 2010 and finaled in NSRE (Hello to any Unsinkables out there). I re-entered the same ms in 2011, but because I had radically revised the latter half of the book to make it more focused on the romance, I entered it in STC, finaled again (Hey to any Starcatchers out there) -- and won! I'm not entering this year (nothing could ever top winning with Anne last year!), but I'm clapping loud and long for everyone who is.

Jamie Adams said...

How fun to have your cousin as your crit partner! You've both made me want to enter. I have a story I'd want to rework first, so maybe next year.

Virginia said...

I would say its an awesome feeling winning The Golden Heart award and lets face it you can't win without intering. Sounds like a lot of work and a bad time of the year but you never win unless you try.

Good Luck Ladies

Anne Barton said...

Hi Ruthy! You are too funny. I LOVE the story about you and Keli. And yes, it would be easy to hold all those GH finals against her IF she weren't the nicest person on the face of the earth--which she is. And you might be tied with her. :)

I adore Christmas stories! I'm already getting the mood for gingerbread and mistletoe. When will your book be out?

Patsy, thanks for stopping by. And taking care of the coffee! Can't go wrong with the Yankee Belle Cafe! :)

Pam Hillman said...

Walt, yes, the Golden Heart requires a complete ms.

Marji, the GH has a Romantic Suspense category. If your RS is inspirational, you can enter it in the Inspirational category. I finalled in the Inspirational category with a RS and a historical. But that's pretty much the only category that encompases all subgenres. The key is whether it's inspirational. If not, then pick the best category.

Lisa Connelly said...

Looks like Anne got to all of your questions before I got here... That's just like her, she's always a couple of steps ahead of me!

Thanks to everyone who sent along congratulations, and cheers to all of you who've said you're going to polish up an entry and submit it. There's no question that the GH is an expensive contest, but it's less so if you're a member of RWA. I made that mistake my first year...entered the GH before joining RWA. For whatever reason, I just wasn't sure I wanted to commit to joining. But boy, am I glad I did. I don't have to tell those of you who are members what a fantastic, supportive, informative organization RWA is. There's so much to it that I can't do it justice here, but if you aren't a member yet I urge you to explore the RWA website to get just a sampling of what RWA offers. And if you can get to Nationals in Anaheim, go! You'll never regret it.

Pam Hillman said...

Virginia, I finalled in the GH 4 times (won once) over a period of 10 years, and I never regretted entering, even the years I didn't final. Sure I kicked some cabinets.

Stealing Jake finalled in 2011, but had been in the contest at least once before. Maybe twice. A rewrite, timing, sympathetic judges (who knows)...and it made the cut in 2011.

Pam Hillman said...

Good luck, Aly! GH call day is AMAZING! One year blogger or facebook (or whatever the platform was at the time) was down and we were all on pins and needles. Hardly any information was going out. It was horrible. lol

1200 people (mostly women) were going STIR-CRAZY! lol

Vince said...



You brought me good luck! While we were touring the Will Rogers Museum I won a writing contest on eHarlequin!

I wrote two almost identical stories: one an example of Romance the other an example of Romanticism.

I think this is a sign to enter the Golden Heart! : )

Number 12: It’s fun to win!


P.S. I have pictures of the Will Rogers Adventure on my site right now.

Pam Hillman said...

Go Amanda!

Anne, the RWA staff would probably laugh their heads off if they knew how I compared my scores from year to year, trying to figure out what went WRONG! lol

From 2001-2011, I finalled in the GH 4 times, and entered 12 times. (Yes, it's all in my spreadsheet.) I think I missed the deadline one year.

I made it a goal to have something ready to submit, and some of those entries were revised entries from previous years.

Finalling manuscripts can be entered again. The only thing you can't enter again is a manuscript that WON.

Anne Barton said...

Yay, Lisa's here! :)

Hi Sandra! Yes, contests definitely brought lots of us together--I'm so grateful for that.

Rose, I'm glad the list was encouraging. You don't have to be an RWA member to enter the GH, but it's a bit more expensive for non-members, so if you decide to enter it might be a good time to consider joining RWA. It's a wonderful organization.

Lisa Connelly said...

Hey Keli,

It's great to see you here -- and it was such a thrill to have you sitting with us in NYC. Anne's right, you're pretty much the sweetest person I know.

Hi Vince,

I'd enter a romantic comedy in Single Title Contemporary if it's set in modern times, or in Historical if it's set in the past. I think a rom com would definitely be a contender, so polish up the first 50 pages, tear through a draft of the rest of the ms, and throw your hat into the ring. You'll be glad you did.

And if anyone who doesn't have an agent yet needs a little more incentive, listen to this. At last year's Golden Network retreat, a very well known agent who sat on one of the excellent panels of presenters commented that immediately after the GH finalists are announced every March, agents go after them like "chum in the water." And it's true! Some of last year's finalists got cold calls from agents asking to see their GH mss. Agents visited some finalists' websites, or sought them out on Twitter. I can't quote any stats for you, but I do know that all the attention resulted in a number of finalists signing with agents. It certainly doesn't happen that way for everyone, but finaling definitely draws agent attention. Just something to consider...

Pam Hillman said...

Wow, Vince, you got to spend the day with Tina, Ruthy & Mary at the Will Roger's museum??

NOW I'm jealous!!!

Pamela J said...

I'm not a writer that has questions about my ms to present for a contest, just commenting for the big birthday bash during these weeks for Seekerville. It's been great fun to be here and witness all the camaraderie among you all.

Ask most anyone that knows me, I'm "a little opinionated" myself at times. Others that are the same doesn't bother me most of the time but, glad for your 'warning'.

I work best when I "have a built-in deadline". Something about the pressure gets me moving and completing like nothing else. A good prod helps make those creative or productive juices going.

My biggest problem is "battling the constant urge to procrastinate" and that's the opposite end of the room from deadline. The two never shall meet, not even in the middle. It's like they do this tug-of-war with each other.

Food DOES taste much better if the "job waiting to get completed" IS complete before sitting down to eat (read?). Something about peace of mind does that to me, anyway.

I can see how having "polished your first 50 pages till they shine" would be wonderful, like having icing on the cake or like having dessert after a wonderful meal: all ready to serve without a fuss.

"You're going to fail a lot on the way to success" also applies to many of us, even though we don't write like all you authors. The important thing: "Persistence in the face of adversity". Continue striving for the goal set before us, as Paul in scripture says. (I, for one, am SO THANKFUL you authors out there continue in your persistence because you crank out those WONDERFUL books for us readers to enjoy)

I'll tell you what... behind the great authors are great supporters and I have to praise all those behind the scenes that give gentle (ok, sometimes not so gentle) nudges to keep the motivation going. Whoever you are, THREE CHEERS FOR YOU ALL TOO!

Leaving with this last thought... sometimes my cake falls in the middle or doesn't raise in the first place. The ingredients are there or maybe just one thing missing, something just didn't work right. The right combo in your stories that didn't make it are there for you to do, sometimes they just need a little shaking up (honing down) and then... the next masterpiece emerges. GO FOR IT, that is what all us readers are watching and waiting for.

Pam Williams
cepjwms (at) wb4me (dot) com

disclaimer: these thought are by someone who knows nothing about writing...

Dianna Shuford said...

Lisa and Anne- thanks for that kick in the pants. My goal was to enter the Golden Heart this year. Each year I've vowed to enter that contest, but this year I'm determined to meet that deadline.

Seekerville- sign me up for that contest because I'm going to enter. :)

Anne Barton said...

Cindy, thanks for sharing your moving and beautiful story about your cousins. It's definitely a special kind of friendship--almost like siblings sometimes, but a little bit cooler because you don't have to share a room with them. :) And boy, the mention of Creepy Crawlies really takes me back--those things were the bomb!

Amanda, congrats on the decision to enter the GH, and YES you are absolutely right--finishing a manuscript is an accomplishment that calls for a celebration. I love that there are so many P&P fans here. :)

Karen, thanks for coming by!

Bridgett, yep, LOTS of perks.

Pam Hillman said...

Lisa is right. I had a very well-known agent email me to ask if I was agented. Yes, I was, but I was very flattered that she asked.

Anne Barton said...

Hi Julie! OMG, I loved the post you did on The Good, The Bad, and the Really Ugly. Such good information and so funny.

Wow, I had NO IDEA you could get your ranking after the conference! I'm not sure I'd want to know how I did some years. And how frustrating to miss by one or two places--UGH!

Kirsten, YAY! Glad we gave you the little push. :)

Hi KC! "My heroine is spayed."--> Lol, LOVE that. Sounds perfect for a middle grade adventure book. :)

Anne Barton said...

Carol, I'm so jealous that you're heading to the signing. And you're bringing cookies? How sweet! Good luck in the Rattler and with deciding about the GH. I think it only costs $50 for RWA members, so quite a discount if you join.

Paula, thanks for coming by. And lol, be careful because "dabbling in writing" is how lots of us got hooked. :)

Thanks, Eva Maria! :)

Christina said...

I can say that our webmistress at Hearts Through History received a call from a top agent the week the finalists were notified and signed with her a few weeks later. She has since sold to Ballantine. All since the announcement in March.

Missy Tippens said...

Welcome, Anne and Lisa!! I was so thrilled for you when y'all won. So very exciting!

Great post!! I agree 100%. This contest is expensive but worth it for the chance to final.

As for cousin stories...OH MY! I dare not tell. :) My closest cousins were three girls. With my sister and I included, we were stair steps, born one baby a year for 5 years straight. We had so much fun together throughout childhood and the teen years! especially at Thanksgiving at my grandparents' house.

Today, we're spread out in TN, GA, KY, CA and TX. Well, the TX one just moved back to KY but she's still far away. I miss spending time with them so much!

Anne Barton said...

Hi Vince! I agree with Lisa's advice--Single Title Contemporary. I often judge that category in the GH and LOVE comedy.

I like your reasons #11 and 12 too. CONGRATS on winning the eHarlequin contest!!! I think it IS a sign. Please give us more details when you can!

Donna, lol--no, you're not a wimp. Glad to hear you're looking forward to next year.

Natalie, congrats on dipping your toe into the contest pool! That's a big step. You'll be a contest diva before you know it.

Casey, no, you don't have to be an RWA member, but the entry fee is higher. All the details are on the RWA site:

Good luck with your decision. :)

Kerry said...

Congrats to Anne and Lisa! I've entered. I don'y have my synopsis finished yet, but I am working on it. (boo, no fun). Thanks for the list - lots of stuff I didn't know (this is the first time I have entered)

Anne Barton said...

Jamie, it's SO fun to have Lisa as my CP. We were both actually writing romance novels without realizing the other was, and when I found out I was so excited. When I read Lisa's work I was even MORE excited. Insanely. Good. Stuff. :)

Virgina, "you never win unless you try"-->so true!

Hi Pam! Thanks for helping us field all these questions! Isn't it funny how we analyze the scoresheets? As if they can somehow reveal where things went awry? One of my stories that finaled this year didn't final last year. Very few changes. Which is why it pays to enter and enter often. :)

Cara Lynn James said...

I sold my first book because I finalled in the Golden Heart in 2009. It's a contest near and dear to my heart!!!

Welcome to Seekerville Anne and Lisa!

Casey said...

Thank you for that link, Anne, I appreciate the added info. :)

Anne Barton said...

Pam, thanks for your thoughtful comment! I loved what you said about all great authors having wonderful supporters behind them. So true, and it applies to us fledgling authors too--not sure I could do this without my family solidly behind me. :)

Dianna, YAY for taking the leap! Good luck!

Christina, yes, I'm so thrilled for Ashlyn! The five finalists in the Regency category this year formed a little support group. Four of us sold within a month of the contest, and the fifth recently made the decision to self-publish her stories. Very exciting!

Hi Missy! How cool to have 5 girls in 5 years! I'll bet you have some stories. :)

Anne Barton said...

Kerry, way to go on entering and good luck with that synopsis! Lots of us don't like writing them, although it sounds like maybe Vince does. :)

Cara, thanks for having us here! Always love visiting you all.

Jamie Adams said...

Vince your stories were the best. I loved the alternate endings. Congrats!

Janet Dean said...

Congratulations, Anne and Lisa, on the Golden Heart wins! What fun to be critique partner cousins!

I had fun with my girl cousins when we gathered into my grandparents' house, jumping on the feather beds, herding the sheep, feeding corn to the boar.

I also have terrific memories of being a Golden Heart finalist twice, meeting Tina, Myra, Julie and Missy through this awesome contest. I never won but finding these dear friends made me a winner.


CatMom said...

Thanks for visiting us today, Anne and Lisa! I really enjoyed your list of reasons, and once I join RWA, I feel certain I'll be entering the Golden Heart (you've definitely convinced me!).
Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo
p.s. So neat that you 2 are cousins! My cousins are scattered around the country, but last year many of them attended my daughter's wedding, so it was like a reunion---FUN!!

Debby Giusti said...

Hi Lisa and Anne,

Thanks for such a great blog post! Love your top ten reasons, especially #5: There’s nothing quite like the adrenaline rush from a mad dash to the Fed Ex drop-off.

Submitting a contest entry, especially the GH, requires ensuring the pages are perfect and all "t's" crossed and "i's" dotted. Which is exactly what must be done when a manuscript heads to an editor's desk. So great practice. IMHO, there's an art to pulling the pages off the computer and making them ready for the mail. Often a long process, as well.

I mailed a manuscript at 11:15 AM today that needs to be at LI on Monday. (That's why I haven't been on Seekerville the last couple days.) Yes, I was down to the wire, but UPS will get it there, God willing, and I'm happy with the book. But that last push to get it out the door can be exhausting. You mentioned adrenaline rush. That too!

Now to celebrate!

Toasting both of you and your success with my Diet Coke! WAY TO GO!!!!

More Seekerville Golden Heart finalist next year...I feel it!

Good luck, everyone!

Carol Moncado said...

Waving from Tulsa!!!!

These ladies are so fun!! And so are Vince and Linda!!!

Following Ruthy driving Mary's car through town on the way to Mazzios and WE JUST GOT SEPARATED! Oh whew. Back together!!

Wish you were here!

Missin' y'all!!!!

Audra Harders said...

Hi Anne and Lisa and welcome to Seekerville! Winning the Golden Heart in itself is a heart-stopping treat...winning it along with your favorite cousin? Well, I can't say yeehaw enough for you!

So tell me, what was the first thing that ran through your head(s) when they announced your name(s) as winners?

The Golden Heart is a contest is truly a rite of passage, even if it's only to be among the throng waiting on March 26 to see if your name is on the golden list!

Love it : )

Audra Harders said...

Carol! You luck bucket! You're in Tulsa and driving around with the crew? I'm so jealous.

I'm raising my Starbucks and store-bought chocolate chip cookie to you!

Christina said...

Debby, I think that is part of my problem. I just recently went through a critique group change. My first group, all of whom I'm very close to, have had mega family issues and have dropped from the writing scene. I haven't found that same kind of connection with other critique partners. I've done all that I know I can do to have my manuscript in tip top shape, but I don't trust "great story" from my current cps to say it's as best as it can be. Maybe that's because I'm my harshest critic but a little voice in my head says that's not the case.

I think if I had that same kind of previous connection I'd have no problem throwing my baby out to the sharks, but relying on myself for perfection and a bunch of prayers makes me super hesitant.

Christina said...

Hope everyone who made it to Tulsa had a great time.

Connie Queen said...

I'd love to enter this contest, but I don't think my manuscripts are ready.

Good luck to all those who enter.

MaryC said...

As Debby and others have said, the adrenalin rush of finishing and getting that mss mailed on time is actually kind of cool.

I remember my first GH - back then it was a postmark deadline rather than received by. My dear husband drove me to the post office in midtown Manhattan because they were open until midnight. Talk about down to the wire! I still have such a vivid memory of running up those steps with my precious story in my hands.
Darling man that he is, he also brought me roses for finishing the manuscript.

Several months later when I got that finalist call, I was actually in shock. I remember babbling something to the poor woman who called about how we had squirrels in the ceiling but I no longer cared because I was a GH finalist. :)

Definitely a rush.

Ashley Roberts said...

That's a great help ladies! Thank you!

Ashley Roberts said...

Best of luck to anyone who decides to enter. I don't plan to enter.

Ashley Roberts said...

Congrats on your wins, ladies!

Ashley Roberts said...

ooh definitely have to agree on the pride & prejudice thing. love that movie!! the books was very good also.

Ashley Roberts said...

hi carol! waving from fl!

Ashley Roberts said...

hi carol! waving from fl!

Ashley Roberts said...

Julie, great post!
Anne, congrats on the debut book!

Virginia said...

Mary C, you just made me cackle out loud! Then I had to read the post to my daughter who is reading a book on the bed behind me. She laughed so hard she was tearing up!

I think 'having squirrels in the ceiling' might be our new phrase for babbling in shock.

I keep hearing how the GH is such a good contest because agents and publishers can trust it. Maybe that's my real motivator. So, I can say one ms has finaled in three contests, but maybe they're not familiar with all of them. But if I could get a final in the Gh, it might mean more than those three together.

Does anyone have any thoughts on the paper vs digital version you can turn in? I just feel better with paper because I know it's all there and with digital so many problems come up. I just turned in a final revision for a contest and the coordinator told me it was too big on her end, while it was fine on mine. She was lovely about it and even let me send a last-minute version to see if we could fix the formatting.
It was painful...

Anne Barton said...

Janet, jumping on the feather beds sounds so fun! Gotta love grandma's house--she lets you get away with things the parents NEVER would. ;)

And I totally know what you mean about there being lots of ways to win. When you girls met each other it was like hitting the jackpot.

Patti Jo, I'm glad we convinced you! It must have been great to see all your cousins at your daughter's wedding. Lisa and I don't live close to each other, but at least now we know we'll see each other at RWA Nationals every year. I hated saying goodbye to her when it was time to go home.

Debby, CONGRATS on delivering your book today!!! And double congrats for being happy with it! You must be ready to either celebrate or crash. :)

Carol, thank you so much for the update from Tulsa! You were following Ruthy and she LOST you? LOL, glad you all made it to Mazzio's! (That sounds like Lisa's and my kind of place, BTW.)

Digging for Pearls said...

Great post. I'll have to check out the contest. :)

Jodie Wolfe

Anne Barton said...

Audra, it was so surreal. My category was the first, and it all happened really fast. The first thought that went through my head was "I can't believe this wonderful thing is actually happening" and the second thought was "oh no, I have to give a speech." Or it might have been the other way around. I'm not too hot with speeches.

I don't know what Lisa was thinking, but she gave a charming, witty, gracious acceptance speech. When she got back to the table there was a lot of tears and squealing. :)

Connie, thanks for dropping by and if you're not ready this year, maybe you can shoot for the next. :)

Mary, that is SO sweet that your husband bought you roses for finishing the story and rushed you to the late night post office. What a great story! And your GH call is too funny. Squirrels in the attic does seem sort of random, lol.

Thanks for the congrats, Ashley!

Virginia, the GH definitely opens doors--as Lisa mentioned, it's not unusual for agents to seek out the finalists and request their work. And if you query, you usually get a pretty quick response.

As for the paper vs. electronic entry, I recommend sending the full on a CD--it will save you a lot in printing and postage costs. Also, if the RWA staff has any difficulty opening the electronic file, they'll contact you and give you the opportunity to resend. So there's no risk involved. :) The copies of the entry have to be paper, however. I always took my entry to a copy center in order to avoid wear and tear on my printer. Good luck to you!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Wow, Lisa I didn't know that about the agents interest in the GH!! Good to know.

Ashley Roberts said...

I agree with Mary. top ten is never wrong!

Ashley Roberts said...

i'm a regency fan also!

Ashley Roberts said...

ooh yum... chocolate...dove chocolate!

Jan Drexler said...

Yay Debby! Looking forward to reading your next one!

Ruth Logan Herne said...





That rocks, Dude. So happy!

Oh my stars, you guys, I could just grab all o' youse up and hug youse. Great day today, a great signing, just so much fun. Wonderful folks. Meeting Vince and Linda.... Oh, I've waited for that day!

So nice, so gracious, such good people. Just like you'd expect, only better. Way better!

Andrea and Carol... we are just blown away and honored that you took the time to drive all the way down here to be with us. We will never forget that. What a blessing you are, and what a wonder you are to Seekerville. We are grateful beyond words and just so dog-goned happy!!!!

Tina had a niece come to the signing, we met a bunch of her friends, we accosted innocent customers... all in all a great day!

I took ONE wrong turn and ended up fifteen minutes late (okay, twenty) for pizza, but that's because I'm a dork.

Goldies Patio Grill for hamburgers????


I'm so not kidding.

Then we found a little street of shops, and The Jerusalem Store a Mediterranean specialty shop. Oh my stars, I met Nabil, the owner, a gentle Muslim man and we got a chance to talk. I bought sesame seed paste, a selection of amazing caramel/sesame/nut candies and a cool looking rice/bean/lentil soup mix that I think Dave will love. Can't wait to play and try things on Yankee Belle Cafe!

Such a gentle man, Nabil. So good to talk with him. Amazing.

Anne, I know, once I got to know Keli, I couldn't hate her. And that took all the fun out of hating her.

Ridiculous, really. ;)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I've decided as I scroll that I love Pamela J.

Ashley Roberts said...


Tina Radcliffe said...

Both Anne and Lisa were grace under pressure with their speeches..and it is so fun to have someone you know..or someone you kinda know, even..WIN!! It was really cool to be in the audience!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Dagnabbit. I just lost a long bunch of answers and Hey's to youse.

The computer here ate them.

So I'll just send my love and hugs and won't even try to remember everything I said because I've got to do some e-mails. Dagnabbit, the one time I forgot to copy my comment.


But Carol and Andrea, e-mail us or text us or let us know here that you're getting home okay. Bad storms surrounding the area. I want you safe.

Yes. I'm a MOM!!! ;)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Ashley... chocolate rocks. You're so totally in, girl!

Helen Gray said...

I'm late, I'm late, I'm late.

Does anyone need coffee?? Here's a pot, just in case.

Been out of town for a family funerial. That's three deaths in my family in just over a month. Not fun.

I agree with the top ten list, but I don't think I'm going to enter. I did some prioritizing this year, and the 'pricey' fee, high level of competition, and lack of feedback pushed this one down my list. Maybe next year.

Best wishes to those who do enter.


Helen Gray said...

I just officially changed the spelling of "funerial."

Carol Moncado said...

I'd love to text you, Ruthy dear, but I don't have your number ;). We're past Joplin about 30-40 minutes from my house. Andrea has 45-60 minutes after that.

You text me when you get lost tomorrow, darlin'. If I have time I'll look up tonight where you want to go to see what we talked about.

My letters turned white. Hope it shows up...

Linnette R Mullin said...

Hey, Ladies! Neat post! Thanks for joining the party! :D I won't be to go for it this year. Still struggling with too many health issues. Have to write at my body's pace. God luck to everyone else. :D

Lisa Connelly said...

What a friendly, gracious group you all are here in Seekerville! I had such fun working with Anne on the post and reading all of your comments.

Confession time: This is actually my first-ever blog post and, to be honest, I was a little worried about it. But you've been so welcoming and supportive that I'm thinking maybe this social media stuff isn't so scary after all! Thanks for inviting me to Seekerville and for helping me get my feet wet in your very friendly waters.

And thanks to you, my dear cousin Anne, for guiding me through the didn't hurt at all.

Of course, Anne's been guiding me for a while now. She introduced me to RWA, urged me to enter the GH, held my hand through the joy and angst of being a finalist, and now she's blazing the trail to publication. She's an awesome writer, and I won't be surprised when, a couple of years from now, she's blogging about what it's like to be a RITA finalist!

Virginia said...


I missed the news and then saw Ruthy's post and had to soft through all the comments... Way to go! I entered something on eHarlequin and didn't win but have always wanted to try again. I love their podcasts and the chat rooms. :)

That's so cool you won. :) Now I can live vicariously.

Carol Moncado said...

I made it home. Andrea is still on her way :). Be safe. Storms aren't supposed to hit us thankfully :).

Had a blast today! Thanks ladies, Vince and Mrs. Vince, And tinas friends!!!

Susan said...

Love this post!

I'm planning to jump in and enter the GH for the first time this year. Scary. And fun. But mostly scary. :-)

Patsy said...

Helen, glad to see that you could make it. Sorry about the funerals. I know that's stressful to have that many in a short period of time.

Christina said...

Vince, congratulations!

Helen, hugs! I'm sorry to hear about the funerals. It's been a year for us too. I've made two eighteen hour trips to the coast since April. I'm praying there won't be another this year.

Pamela J said...

Ruth (ok if I call you just Ruth?) You copy your comments too?? Whew! Glad I'm not the only one... I've lost too many good answers that couldn't be reproduced (good in my opinion, 'member before I said I DO have an opinion) I'd have cried if the comment I put in earlier today had disappeared into blog-world-cyber-something...
Pam Williams
cepjwms (at) wb4me (dot) com

Anne Barton said...

Jodie, thanks for visiting!

Ruthy, lol on the desk clerk staring. Maybe he's trying to learn some new dance moves. :) So glad you all had a great day. I loved the updates from Carol and Vince and I even saw some ADORABLE photos of you guys on Facebook. SO EXCITED for Vince and I want to hear more about this contest.

Tina, thanks for nice words about our speeches. Lisa and I split a turkey sub in the hotel room just before getting dressed for the awards. We thought about practicing our speeches and then decided, nah, what was the point. I *should* have practiced.

Anne Barton said...

Helen, very sorry to hear about the loss of a loved one. Keeping you in our thoughts & prayers. Thanks, as always, for the coffee. :)

Linnette, you're so right. You have to listen to your body and know your limits. Take care of yourself and feel better soon.

Susan, congrats on taking the leap! Scary fun is a good way to describe it. Wishing you all the best!

Tina Radcliffe said...

VINCE!!! Congratulations!!!! Send us a link.

Cathy Shouse said...


I couldn't resist a cousins story.

One of my girl cousins was born in December, then a guy cousin was born Feb. 1 and I was born Feb. 17. We have always been very close. We had a big birthday a year ago and celebrated it together.

I feel sorry for people who don't know their cousins well and/or don't keep in touch.

I'm thinking about the Golden Heart Challenge. I didn't know they read just the first 50 page or that the synopsis is long. I need to check the categories but I'm pretty sure mystery is not a category. It seems wrong to put it in RS, when you know it doesn't have a chance.

Julie Lessman said...

Thanks, ANNE, and I don't know if they will do it anymore, but about six years ago, I was brassy enough to e-mail RWA's Erin Frye to find out if I could get more a definitive placement score, and she said yes, after the conference. So I did! So if someone was entering the GH again and placed in the top quarter, I would certainly recommend asking because you have nothing to lose!

Also, for a weekend, you guys rocked today -- thank you for a great day in Seekerville!


Valri said...

Good luck to all those that enter! I'm not a writer, I'm a reader but I can't wait to READ whoever wins :) Hey, if someone is going to spend that much time writing a manuscript, SOMEONE has to read it, right????? I'm so glad there are many of you who have the talent of writing so those of us who have the talent of reading can read those wonderful books :)


PatriciaW said...

I won't be ready for this year's Golden Heart, but I want to encourage everyone who is close enough to potentially enter. Go for it!!.

Best wishes to all the 2012 entrants, and look out, 2013!

Vince said...

Hi Everyone:

Thanks for the congrats.

The contest was Janet Tronstad’s and part of the Harvest Moon Festival activities at eHarlequin.

It’s a neat contest because you can read all the entries. As Ruth likes to do, I took a risk. I entered two almost identical entries and it worked.

The link below is probably dynamic so you may get there and have to go to the last page of comments to find the winning announcement. My entries are somewhere between the first pages and last pages. My two entries are called “Romance” and “Romanticism”.

This has sure been a remarkable and wonderful weekend. I hope everyone can get to meet Ruth, Mary and Tina when they come to your town.

Plan on going to Dallas next year if you can!


Peggy Rychwa said...

I loved Pride and Prejudice and have the new and older versions.

Sounds like a worthwhile contest!

Sherri Shackelford said...

I can't remember if I entered once or twice. I think twice. I never had horrible scores, but I had no idea you could see your actual ranking! That's fascinating.

Gwendolyn Gage said...

Thanks for bringing The Golden Heart Contest to my attention! I do have a manuscript that I want to see published. How to I find out information about the contest fee and how man words to submit? Thanks again!

MaryAnn Diorio, PhD said...

Great information, Ladies! I entered the GH before I even read your post, and I must say it served as a welcome confirmation for me that I did the right thing in entering. Thank you so very much for sharing your insights. May our Lord bless the work of your heart and of your hands, for His glory and for the building of His Kingdom. And best wishes to all of my Seekerville Sisters who have entered the GH! :)