Thursday, September 18, 2014

Why You Should Submit to the Golden Heart® This Year

With Guest Piper G Huguley.

Thank you for having me to this wonderful blog. Seekerville has been such a friend to me and I’m glad to be able to be able to have something to contribute to this storehouse of knowledge. Folks may be in the midst of making a decision about whether or not to participate in the biggest, most prestigious contest of the year and I want to give a few more nudges in anyone’s direction if he/she are unsure if they are going to enter the Golden Heart®. If you meet the qualifications and are not published, you should enter and here’s why:

1.    You get a great phone call. I don’t remember who called me last year, but this year it was Leslie Kelly. I immediately dubbed her Santa Claus. Because Old Saint Nick might as well have been calling me as her. Unbelievable.

2.    You get a cool place of honor in all social media. Sometime later that day on March 26, all the new nominees get linked together in a place of honor on Yahoo. There are exchanges of twitter handles, e-mail addys, and a new Facebook page. Now you are in a class with some 30+ people. This represents power as shown in number 3…

3.    I’m a loner nerd. It is true. In college, I was a worker loner nerd. Now I have sisters! When two of us Dreamweavers (Golden Heart® finalists class of 2014) made the quarterfinals in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, the Dreamweavers turned out in full force to leave us reviews and good wishes. It was awesome! As for the Luckies (class of 2013) since we have started to publish, we are having a fine time subverting the Amazon algorithms! (There is a very confused someone out in Washington State who cannot fathom why a New Adult novel about young people loving it up the newsroom seems attached at the hip to that Reconstruction era romance about African Americans—heh, heh.)

4.    If your family doesn’t understand your current writing issue, your fellow Golden Heart® sisters will! These are folks who are practiced in craft and writing. They are champion readers. If you want to brainstorm, it’s not hard to find help to do that. A number of them already have a well-oiled machine in place to critique and brainstorm, since that’s part of what got them to the Golden Heart® in the first place. But no one minds helping you out in a pinch.

5.    Make your announcement –any announcement-- in the e-mail forum you will be cheered! You may not think the announcement is such a big deal, but just reveal it to your fellow Golden Heart cohort and they will cheer you on! It makes you feel very good about yourself. I try not to abuse this privilege though. Writers need to be lifted up way too often…

6.    If you don’t feel like hearing goofy contest comments, enter the Golden Heart®! You won’t get any here—it’s just a bunch of feedback numbers. I wish I could write a column about doing what you need to do to take advantage of the system, but I don’t know this new system. I know the one from the past two years, so my knowledge is meaningless here. I’m obsolete. I’m sorry. *dodges rotten tomatoes and eggs*

7.    If your family is fed up about hearing about your Golden Heart® dress, snap a picture and put it up in the forum. Your fellow Golden Heart® folk will oooh and aaaah over the beauty that is to come.

8.    When you get to RWA, you may attend a dinner with your Golden Heart® class. No loner nerd over here anymore! People will eat with me. Just because I wrote a story. That’s pretty cool.

9.    It’s only $35.00! Yes, RWA waited until I was ineligible to reduce the price! Seriously. That’s a pretty good deal.

10.    I am grateful for all of the friendship that people have extended to me over the years, whatever the origin.  People gave me great comfort during the initial loss of my mother. In terms of my writing, I have benefited greatly from all of my writing friendships. The Golden Heart ®has allowed for the creation of yet another kind of writing friendship and I’ve been blessed by it.

Please notice that I did not indicate you should sign up for the Golden Heart® to make connections with agents or editors, to get a heart-shaped necklace, or so that you can be treated like a queen at the conference when everyone sees your pink ribbon. That’s because these things may or may not happen for you. A fair portion of both of my classes, the Luckies and the Dreamweavers, are blowing it out of the water with their agent news, acquisition news or sales numbers. But these things, to me, are icing on the cake. I have far more enjoyed the companionship and the warm embrace. Kind words from others, when people reacted in a way I didn’t expect, have sustained me. I am grateful for all of it.

What do you prize most about your writing friendships-- wherever they may take place?

Today Piper is generously giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to one commenter. Winner announced in the Weekend Edition.

Piper G Huguley is the author of the “Home to Milford College” series which follows the building of a college from its founding in 1866. The Preacher’s Promise is book one in the series. Upon release, the prequel novella to the “Home to Milford College” series, The Lawyer’s Luck reached #1 Amazon Bestseller status on the African American Christian Fiction charts.

Huguley is also the author of “Migrations of the Heart,” a five-book series of inspirational historical romances set in the early 20th century featuring African American characters. Book one in the series, A Virtuous Ruby won the Golden Rose contest in Historical Romance in 2013 and was a Golden Heart® finalist in 2014. Book four in the series, A Champion’s Heart, was a Golden Heart® finalist in 2013. 

She blogs about the history behind her novels at She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and son.

The Preacher's Promise

“If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.”—Daniel 3:17

1866 – Oberlin, Ohio 

Devastated by her father’s death days after her triumphant graduation from Oberlin College, Amanda Stewart is all alone in the world. Her father’s unscrupulous business partner offers her an indecent proposal to earn a living. Instead, to fulfill a promise she made to her father, she resolves to start a school to educate and uplift their race. Sorting through her father’s papers, she discovers he had carried on a mysterious correspondence with a plantation in Milford, Georgia. She determines to start her teaching work with the formerly enslaved. However, when she arrives, the mayor tells her to leave. There’s no where for her to go.

Virgil Smithson, Milford’s mayor, blacksmith and sometimes preacher man with a gift for fiery oratory, doesn’t want anything to do with a snobby schoolteacher from up North. On top of everything else, the schoolteacher lady has a will hard enough to match the iron he forges. He must organize his fellow formerly enslaved citizens into a new town and raise his young daughter alone. Still, his troubled past haunts him. He cannot forget the promise he made to his daughter’s mother as she died—that their child would learn to read and write. If only he didn’t have secrets that the new schoolteacher seems determined to uncover.

To keep THE PREACHER’S PROMISE, Amanda and Virgil must put aside their enmity, unite for the sake of a newly-created community in a troubling age, and do things they never imagined. In the aftermath of the flood that was the Civil War, God set his bow upon the earth to show love and understanding for humankind. To reflect God’s promise, these combatants must put aside their differences and come together--somehow.

The 2015 RWA Golden Heart® opens to entries on December 2, 2015. Details can be found here.


  1. Coffee's brewing!

    Glad you found so much benefit from entering the Golden Heart.

  2. Thanks for the coffee Helen!

    It was beneficial and I hope others find it that way as well!

    Congrats on your success!

  3. Thanks for the great post, Piper! And the coffee, Helen

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  5. Yay. Piper, my friend, your post. You have given me so much encouragement! So glad we can be loner nerds together! You rock.

  6. Thank you Marianne! Enjoy Helen's delicious coffee!!

  7. Thank you for commenting from afar, my wonderful writing friend Julie. You also rock!

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  9. This is so awesome, Piper!! I'm so glad I had a chance to meet you and cheer you on, too :). Going to share this information for all those still on the fence about entering. (Sheryl Lister)

  10. Good morning Piper! What a great and inspiring post. Thank you for sharing!

    Thanks for the coffee Helen! My eyes aren't quite open yet.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  11. I've had the pleasure and honor of reading parts of several of Piper's works over the years. Her writing is strong, but above that, Piper captures the emotion of the moment, the time and the very essence of life's culminating moments.

    Kudos to her for her courage in going indie! I'm proud of her and so glad her work is out there for all the world to see! Deserving... and good. She's made this Seeker so proud!!!!

    I'm grabbing coffee and leaving fresh pastries from Jackson's Bakery here in upstate. Oh my stars, you'll love them!!!!!

  12. WELCOME to the other side of the blog, Piper.

    I had the pleasure of meeting Piper in person at RWA#14, and she is just as lovely and vibrant and beautiful in person as in her photos!

  13. Love the cover of your release, Piper. Who does your covers?

  14. With a busy family and other career, how do you fit in your writing time, Piper?

  15. An uplifting post, Piper, thank you! I love your covers.

    The support of other like-minded sisters is so important.
    It's easy for us loners to lose ourselves in the intensity of a good story for days on end! :-)

    Thanks for the reminder not to do that!

  16. Sheryl,

    Welcome to Seekerville! Thank you so much for stopping by and spreading the word! It is the support of wonderful people like your self that keeps me going. I hope that you feel better soon. Take Care!

  17. Cindy W.

    Thank you for your kind words and i hope it was inspiring. I know of several people out there who may be on the fence about entering and I hope this gives them the extra push they need. Thank you for commenting!

  18. Great post, Piper! And wow, what a cool blog.

  19. Ruthy!

    Thank you for bringing the pastries! Are they fallish things like pumpkin doughnuts and apple fritters? That's what I brought along with ham and cheese pie and a spinach one for vegetarians. I love hearing about all of the fall stuff that is in upstate NY--tell me more!

    Thank you for your kind words about my work. I don't know if it was courage as much as frustration that people could not see what I saw. Thank you so much for your encouragement over the years!

  20. I'm on the other side!! Yippee!!!

    Thank you for this opportunity Tina! It was a pleasure meeting you as well. You are as wonderful in person as you are when you are cracking the whip in Seekerville!

    See the picture where my desk is. The kitchen where I must continuously cook is a very short distance away. So I can keep them happy and write, pretty much all at the same time. My "other" career life where the research that I do is part of my work anyway, allows for me to be able to pretty much write four days of the week. Well, that's the plan on paper. It doesn't always work out like that, but... :)

    I started a contest on and JShan is my wonderful cover designer who seems to have pulled my characters out of my head. He lives in Sri Lanka and is amazing. He just 'gets' me. I think it's a God thing. :)

  21. Mary Hicks,

    You are so alike. I thought I was the only weird one in the world and I meet people like Julie Hilton Steele....:)

    It's wonderful! We do need the interaction, don't we? Thank you for your kind words and for stopping by!

  22. Denny,

    Welcome to Seekerville! I love your gmail avatar you Golden Heart winner you!

    And yes, Seekerville is very cook and is in fact, the kind of writer friend support that I've been talking about in this blog. Hmmm. I may go somewhere else and blog about Seekerville....

    Thank you for stopping by!

  23. Lovely post, Piper. You are amazing. You have so much to be proud of. Two nominations back to back are resounding endorsements. I loved reading both of your books. Congrats on going Indy. Only the best from here on out.

    Thank you Piper. I think I will enter Golden Heart. It sounds like they not only get scores but create a community, and who doesn't need more of that?
    Plz. enter me in the drawing.
    Oh, one more fall goodie we have in Northern New England, CIDER DOUGHTNUTS! I picked some up at the farmstand, help yourselves.
    Kathy Bailey

  25. OH AND DON'T FORGET...Seekerville will be doing a reimbursement of GH fees for at least one entry this year. More info in the upcoming Contest Update.

  26. Seekers love the Golden Heart! I got published as a direct result of finaling in the Golden Heart contest, so I'll always appreciate it.

  27. Piper - awesome post (no surprise there). Getting to know the Dream Weavers has been one of the highlights of my writing life.

    I might add that while being a GH finalist doesn't guarantee an agent or a sale, it does get your MS moved to the top of the stack.

    I entered the Golden Heart on a whim, it was the best split-second decision I ever made.

  28. Piper -
    Great post and so true! As one of your Lucky 13 sisters, I can attest to the sense of community and support you receive from your Golden Heart class. Thanks for spreading the news!

  29. Thanks Piper - awesome as always. You may have just talked me into trying my hand at this Golden Heart thing

  30. Congratulations, Piper! So many good things going on for you.

    You've convinced me to check out the Golden Heart. Thanks for sharing.

  31. All great reasons to enter the GH!! And I love that your group is the Dreamweavers. One of mine was the...Go4phers! lol Really.

    2004. The Gophers. Cringe. lol At least we weren't the Noodles. Any Noodles on here? :) I can't remember what the 2001 and 2007 groups are called. Will have to look.

    But, yes, for FOUR+ months, your "class" is about the coolest thing EVER, especially for the first-time finalist. No question is too small, no excitement too over the top.

    Piper, are the groups still unofficially formed by one of the finalists? That's the way it used to work.

  32. Great post, Piper! I agree with all of your reasons. I couldn't make it to the conference -- and I STILL made tons of new friends!

  33. PIper, I loved reading your experience as a Golden Heart finalist! :) I love the connections that happen in a situation like yours. And I love that you're no longer a loner writer. :)

    I think what I prize most about writing relationships is the way we can encourage each other. Those who are further along the journey than I am help me improve my stories, but they also encourage me. They've been there. I in turn can pray for and encourage others. It's those connections that are most important. :)

  34. HI Piper, I've had the privilege of meeting Piper in person also and you're right Tina. She is lovely.

    And congrats on the contest wins, finals, and subsequent book sales. What a fun ride.

    And through contests is how the Seekers met and formed such lovely friendships. You will treasure yours also, I'm sure. smile

    I agree that is is important to enter the Golden Heart. We need to keep our Christian presence in RWA. Hugs.

  35. Piper - As one of your Lucky 13 sisters, I agree with everything you said. My debut novel, Confessions of the World's Oldest Shotgun Bride, came out last Monday, and 4 of the 7 "also bought" books on Amazon are books by other Lucky 13s. Sisterhood is powerful. :-)


  36. What an amazing experience! Congratulations and thanks for sharing your wonderful stories with us!

  37. Hey Piper, what a great post! I didn't know they reduced the price to $35. How cool is that?

  38. Piper, your enthusiasm for the Golden Heart makes me wish I was eligible to enter. Your post is inspiring. And isn't it just wonderful being a guest at Seekerville? I will never forget how much fun I had here after my book released. Love the Seekers!

  39. Great post, Piper! I am so excited about your books...will be I live about 90 miles east of Atlanta.

  40. You've been very inspirational to me Belle and are part of the writing friend contingent that lifts me up. Thank you for commenting and for stopping by!

  41. Kathy,

    So glad to hear that you are contemplating it. I hope you do it! Pass the Cider Doughnuts please!! Thank you for commenting!

  42. Cara Lynn,

    Even though we've never met, your path has been inspirational to me as well. It reminds me that we don't always know how we may have touched someone's heart. Thank you!

  43. Julie,

    Thank you for the reminder. You are right. Putting the Golden Heart into the subject line is a faster way to be read.
    Or rejected.
    I submitted some queries to agents one Sunday, thinking that it would take some time for the agents to get to it and it came back the next day with an R. So it does help....:)

    Looking forward to reading your stories my dear Dreamweaver. Thanks!

  44. AE

    Thank you for stopping by girl! I hope you are having a great release week for your GH winning book Mindsweeper!! (see how I worked that in...) :) Thank you for your comment!

  45. Cindy,

    Glad to hear that you are thinking of doing it. You've been so successful this year, I would say to you, go for it!! Thank you for commenting!

  46. Jackie,

    So far so good for me. And things may be getting better soon.....

    I'm thinking you need to get your stuff ready for December 2! Thank you for your comment!

  47. Hey Pam,

    Yes, one of the finalists unofficially does the organization. These past two years it has been that whirlwind, Nan Dixon, but she's been bought by Harlequin, so 2015 will have to figure it out without her miraculous spreadsheets!

    Go4phers? Noodles? Interesting. When we looked over the previous names of classes, I don't recall that those came up....amazing. I'll make a note of it. Thanks for stopping by!

  48. Pintip,

    You couldn't make it for the best reason--a new baby (Seekerville loves babies)! And you are right, the connection is still there. It's very strong. Thank you for dropping by and enjoy your little one!

  49. Jeanne T,

    I agree with you. Those connections are very important. I love that I have made them. And, I'll tell you something else. When I lost my mother last year, my best friend in the whole world, my writing friends have helped me out and continue to do so. I'm grateful for that. Thank you for stopping by.

  50. Hi Piper,

    Great post! I agree that the best of of finaling in the GH is being part of the GH class. I'm also a loner because I'm an extreme introvert. On March 26, I gained over thirty news friends, because as you said, I wrote a story. The cool thing is that these new friends understand me in a way that people who have known me for years just don't. It's a writer thing. Writers need writer friends. I know my GH sisters are there to support me when I'm down, and cheer me on when I'm up. The GH experience has been one of the best of my life by far.

  51. Sandra,

    Thank you for stopping by! It was fun meeting you too in the goody room last year in Atlanta! Seekerville is the ultimate representation of the benefits of writing friendships. So awesome! And yes, we must keep the Inspirational category going. It's on a roll--can't stop now!

  52. Gail,

    I know someone is scratching their heads up in Washington State somewhere--trying to figure it all out! I love it!
    Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

  53. Sherri,

    Thank you for your comment. And what I said to Cara is true for you too. Your writing journey as inspired me as well. I just wanted to let you know. Thank you.

  54. Preslaysa,

    I know!! A price cut--when does that happen these days?? Are you going to give it a try?

    Thank you for commenting!

  55. Christina,

    Thank you! And you may have to check the rules...if your wonderful novella is under 20k you may still be eligible as long as you don't publish anything over that by the deadline--Dec. 2. I think. Just check to make sure. Thank you for stopping by!!

  56. Jackie,

    So glad to hear that you are excited about my books! And if you go shopping on Amazon or come to my next signing at the Hilton Atlanta Northeast Hotel on Oct. 11 between 4:30 - 6:00 p.m., I'm grateful! Thank you!

  57. Ahh, Piper! You were so generous with your time at RWA ATL to allow me to live vicariously. I would have never guessed you consider yourself a loner nerd!

    I just know that big things are on the horizon and then you might have to rethink that loner-nerd title.Perhaps try on NYT bestselling author. I bet that will fit just fine! I treasure your friendship. HUGS.

  58. PIPER! Great to see you on the posting side of Seekerville! I'm cheering as you sail away from Unpublished Island!

    I enjoyed The Lawyer's Luck and look forward to The Preacher's Promise and finding out about little Miss March. What stunning covers you have!

    Your thoughts on the GH make me smile....yes, confused Amazon algorithms....but especially the "companionship and warm embrace" from the writing community.

    I value the knowledge and encouragement I receive, and hopefully share, when chatting with members of my Faith, Hope, Love chapter of RWA and with everyone here in Seekerville. What blessings!

    Thanks for your post which nudges me closer to entering the GH. I want to support the continuation of the Inspirational category!!! The lower fee helps, too.

    Now I want you to write a post about your experiences with indie publishing! :) Thanks, Piper!

  59. Jessica,

    You are so right. And it's interesting that in a profession where we need to bring characters to life that we tend to be introverted. For me, my family doesn't know a lot of what I do in my writing. My writing friends fill in that gap. Then I can go hang out with my fellows. Thank you for stopping by my fellow Dreamweaver!

  60. Lyndee,

    I'm so glad that you stopped by. And we had a good time at RWA in Atlanta, didn't we. I'm looking forward to more at another time!
    And people do tell me that I don't seem shy or a loner in person, but I am. Just trust me...:)
    Things are stirring around--I'm not at liberty to say more just yet, but soon...
    Thank you for your kind words--they mean so much!

  61. Sherida,

    Thank you for coming by and for your kind words about The Lawyer's Luck. So glad that you enjoyed it!
    And I do hope that my post inspired you. Every bit helps, you know.
    And I'm always blogging all over the place. Someone asked me this morning was I on tour. Not officially, but it must seem that way to some! I appreciate your support so much!

  62. Piper,
    I love seeing your success! Congratulations! We're so proud of you!

    Thanks for sharing your Golden Heart experiences with us today. I hope lots of Villagers will enter so we can cheer them on at RWA 2015!!

    Looking forward to seeing you soon at M&M!

  63. Hi CP Piper,

    I can finally say I remember you when...

    I'm so proud of your accomplishments because you followed God's calling despite all the obstacles. I can't believe we haven't met face-to-face, but my room is booked at M&M.

  64. Piper, I so agree with your post! I also was a finalist twice, once with Tina, Julie and Myra. Once with Missy. We forged forever friendships and then their friends became friends and that blossomed into the Seekers. Proof that you never know how God will bless you through the GH.

    You may say you're a loner but you're vivacious and fun! Even writing your characters are keeping you compsny. :-)

    Mega congratulations on your books! They sound wonderful!


  65. Piper, how do we find out more information about the Golden Heart? Sounds very interesting. Please enter me into the drawing for the Amazon card.

  66. Such a great and heartfelt post, Piper! THanks so much for sharing this with the world. You're amazing and I'm so honored to be your Dreamweaver sister!

  67. Thanks for sharing! I love becoming familiar with all the contest options out there. :)

  68. Piper! So excited to see you on Seekerville, CP! What a fun post! You've convinced me entering is a great idea! :) Y'all know I'm pinching every penny for ACFW conf.'15 right now, but otherwise I'd definitely give it a go! Good luck and best wishes to everyone who enters!

  69. I finaled twice, but I can't remember the name of my groups. Bad groupie, Tina. But the Golden Girls formed in 2005 thanks to the GH. Julie, Tina, Janet and Myra.

    Myra won that year. I finaled in 2007 and my friend Carla Capshaw won. Another well deserved win.

    You never feel bad about not winning because finaling at all is so cool. There are after all, over one thousand entrants. And heck, I read Myra and Carla's work and they are amazing writers.

  70. Hi Piper,

    Our Lucky 13 inters are so supportive on so many levels. I feel so to have met you all! Great post. There are no cons in entering this contest :)

  71. Hi Piper! The Preacher's Promise looks really good. Going to add it to my wish list. :)

  72. Debby,

    Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement! I hope so too! See you at M&M!

  73. Elaine,

    I appreciate that you were one of the early ones who helped me to keep focus on what I had to do, despite the obstacles. Thank you so much for that. I'm looking forward to M&M so that I can meet you face to face!

  74. Janet,

    I like the way that you think of it when you say in writing the characters are keeping you company. That's true! Thanks for that great approach!

    I'm also glad you said you never know how God will bless people who enter the GH. I just wanted for people to come away from thoughts of agents and editors to other potential benefits as you and I have experienced. Thank you for your kind words Janet!

  75. Hi Sandy! Welcome to Seekerville! It would help to say something about how to enter the contest, right?

    Tina does an excellent job every month in the contest update, so make sure that you stay connected with Seekerville. The basics are on the website now ( but more will be coming soon. Thank you for your great question and good luck to you!

  76. Lenora,

    Thank you for stopping by in the midst of your excitement this week, my Dreamweaver sister! I appreciate your kind words and look forward to reading your books!

  77. You are so right-- Piper!
    The Golden Heart community is so supportive. I hate it when I feel like I'm not able to keep up with all the news, or offer sympathy when needed.

    Prosecco is popping for your successful series!!

  78. Jennifer,

    No problem. I'm always of the mindset that it is great to be informed. Thank you for stopping by!

  79. This is like comment 1,000 and no one will see it, but I second Piper's encouragement to enter the Golden Heart! Even the years I got only numbers were helpful because I saw areas I could improve on.

    And agents, editors, and contracts might be icing, but it's pretty yummy when you get it. ;)

  80. Natalie,

    Thank you for your kind words about my post. I know just what you mean. We are all pinching pennies for one thing or another. Keep on keeping on and everyone will be able to know about your wonderful work.

  81. Miranda,

    That's right. I can't think of any drawbacks either. Thank you for stopping by and reminding me to say that!

  82. Hi Amy C

    Thank you posting your kind words about my story. If you read it, I hope that you will enjoy it. Thank you for stopping by!

  83. Nan,

    Thank you for stopping by Master organizer of the last 2 GH classes. Congrats on your success and thank you for the Prosecco. I'm a teetotaler, but I'm so glad that you stopped by!! I will have a cupcake instead....:)

  84. This is only comment 84, Kristi!

    I'm so glad that you stopped by to point out that even though there are no written comments, the numbers can tell entrants where their potential weaknesses are so that they can improve.

    Congrats on hitting the Golden Heart trifecta of agent, editor and contracts! It doesn't happen for all of us, but it must be nice when it does happen. And that's a possibility that it could. Thank you for stopping by!

  85. I'll have to look into this one, Piper. Sounds like a blast. :)

  86. Piper, fried apple pies, my own SECRET recipe (yeah, TRY TO GET IT, TINA!!!!) for fried apple pies!!!!!

    And pumpkin roll and carrot cake.

    Just for you, my friend!

  87. Great post, Piper! I'll never forget the thrill of getting that call, but the best part was instantly gaining so many new writer friends. Class of 2013, The Lucky 13s rock!!!

  88. Whooo HOOOO!
    Go Piper!!

    Words of wisdom here, though I don't write romance...

    I sure treasure the writing friendships, especially here in Seekerville. Nothing like tossing out seemingly unrelated phrases or the alphabet soup of acronyms and seeing (even virtual) nodding heads instead of blank stares. ;)

    Plus as you alluded, writing is a solitary venture so it's great to have folks come along side.

    Congratulations and all the best as you continue!

  89. We will not rehash how I tried to BUY a Golden Heart final by entering 5 different books in one year.




    And the lowest scoring one is selling like hotcakes on Amazon with 100 reviews averaging 5 STARS... so I've been vindicated!!!! And three of the others have been published by Love Inspired, and the fifth...

    The fifth is Running on Empty, my highest selling and highest ranked independent, a book that has nearly two hundred unsolicited reviews and has garnered me more e-mail and messages than all of my other books put together. A book about one woman's courage to face the past and emerge triumphant.

    So Piper: The courage of our convictions is a God-inspired thing.

    Go big or stay home... You went big! I'm so stinkin' proud of you!!!

  90. Hi, Piper!

    Another believer in the power of three here... I totally agree with your reasons to enter. It's such a unique contest. The new best friends you gain as a finalist mean so much more to me than anything else!

    Congratulations on all your successes so far. I can't wait to see what you achieve next!

  91. This is such an encouraging post. Great perspective. Love your 'reasons why' list. Makes me think it takes a village to raise an author. :-)

  92. It's great that the Golden Heart community was so supportive of you and your writing! I always love hearing about people who uplift each other instead of focusing completely on competition.

  93. Hi Piper,

    Congratulations on your books! They are so beautiful! I am sure you will have great success!

    The Golden Heart is a fabulous contest (like the Oscar awards). I finaled in 2008 and that was the boost I needed to validate my writing - as well as put me in touch with other writers. Up until then, I'd been pretty much writing in a vacuum.

    The only down side is that there is no written feedback other than a number.
    So my advice would be to enter other contests first to gain valuable feedback and once you've applied the judges' advice, then go for the GH!


  94. Very late checking in, but so fun to have you as our guest blogger today, Piper!!! What a super list of reasons to enter the GH!

    But hey, admit it, the little golden heart is a pretty nifty piece of bling to add to your collection!

    You're so right about the camaraderie, too. I can honestly say that if not for my 2005 GH final, I'd never have connected with Janet, Tina, and Julie, which means I'd probably never have become a part of the Seekers.

    And the Seekers are the ABSOLUTE BEST thing that ever happened to me! (Okay, if you don't count hubby and kids.)

  95. There is nothing like the support and generosity of the RWA community. As much as I love my civilian friends, they absolutely can't relate to the peculiar issues and thoughts that writers experience, so that kind of fellowship is invaluable. I think the best part of finaling in the GH is the sense that maybe you're on the right track. So much frustration and rejection in this business, that when you final in a contest you feel this sort of relief. Like maybe you're getting there. Publication can seem to elusive.

  96. Hi Piper~
    I love the scripture you used for the intro to your book, "If it be so, our God is able..."

    Beautiful cover and storyline is so interesting. I've often wondered what it was like during this rebuilding process. Putting The Preacher's Promise on my TBR list.

    Congratulations onn your success and many blessings for your future works :)

  97. Piper, it has been my honor to be your sister for the past two years... AND to be attached at the hip to your wonderful books. ;) Everything you wrote in this post is so absolutely true, I can't think of a thing to add. The Golden Heart experience has been one of the most meaningful in my entire life, and my sisters are the best part!

  98. Anna,

    I think this is your year....Thank you for stopping by!

  99. Ruthy,

    Just in time! I was going to make dinner for myself, but tonight my dinner will consist of all the fallish things--fried apple pie, pumpkin roll and carrot cake! Look at all of the veggies!


  100. Piper,
    Congratulations on your success. Love your awesome cover and the premise of your story.

    Best of luck to you

  101. Sandy,

    Yes you are right! I appreciate your help and explanations--you have been there at important times. Thank you so much for stopping by Seekerville!

  102. Hey KC,

    The community aspect is so important. It's good to belong to something. It's such a blessing.

    It's been a long time! So glad to see you! Thank you for stopping by!

  103. Thanks, Piper! I just might do that. :)

    Your book cover looks great and hints at the secrets in your blurb. Sounds like a good read.

  104. Ruthy,

    I remember that story! And what a triumph! Proud of me? More like proud of you! You are one of the ones who led the way, and helped me to make the decision to go big in the first place. Thank you for that!

  105. Vanessa,

    I so appreciate that you stopped by to include your thoughts here. Thank you for the support and congrats on all of your success as well!

  106. Kav,

    It does take a village! A Seeker Village! :)

  107. Heidi,

    You are so right. We need to hear more of the stories of support. Thank you for stopping by and commenting today!

  108. Susan,

    You are right, the GH is more of an end stage contest. I should have been more clear about that. It certainly seems to have worked in your favor with all of your great successes. Your kind words mean a great deal coming from you! Thanks for commenting today!

  109. Myra,

    It is a blessing. And I loved how Tina said you were the winner. She was nothing but happy for you! That's how it is. Continued community.

    Looking forward to seeing you soon at M&M! Thank you for commenting--it wasn't late at all!

  110. Suzanne,

    You make a great point. Publication is very elusive, so at every point where you can stop and celebrate how far you have come is a victory.

    I appreciate your great insight and your comment today. Thank you!

  111. Loved the post, Piper, and hearing about your experiences as a GH finalist. Congrats on the release of your novels. Beautiful covers.

  112. Tracey,

    I appreciate your kind words about the scripture and my story. I hope that you enjoy it. Thank you so much!

  113. Amy,

    Thank you so much for your kind words! I keep seeing how attached we are on Amazon and I kept thinking--I hope she doesn't I'm glad that you don't!

    Thank you for your support my dear Lucky Dreamweaver sister. It means a lot to me.

  114. Becke,

    I so appreciate that you took time to come by Seekerville today. Thank you for your kind words!

  115. Anita,

    Thank you for your kind comments! The blurb is one of those hard things, so I'm glad to hear it worked for you! Thank you!

  116. Pat,

    Thank you for your compliments on my covers. When I first saw the one for The Preacher's Promise, you could have knocked me over. I said nothing to the designer about how my hero should look, but that's exactly how he looks. It was an amazing thing. Thank you so much for commenting!

  117. You nailed it, my friend! It's all about the company along the journey and I'm so glad to be sharing it with you and our other Dreamweavers!

  118. Piper, thanks for joining us today. I've been so excited about your GH success! You're so right about the advantages of finaling.

    BTW, I love your book cover!

  119. Carrie,

    We had a great time didn't we? And there's more fun ahead! Thanks for taking time away from Stud Muffin's birthday to comment! Tell him I hope he has a great birthday!

  120. Missy,

    Thank you so much for stopping by! Your kind words of support mean so much to me. I appreciate them so much.

  121. Thank you so much Seekers for having me here today! It was great fun and all I dreamed of--and more!

  122. What a wonderful post, Piper! *squeezes my Lucky 13 sis* Still celebrating your incredible accomplishments!

    Like you, I've gained so much from my GH finals. I will forever be indebted to the RWA and the GH contest. It has brought me 2 of my 3 CPs, along with innumerable friendships that I will forever & always cherish.

    It's a true honor to be "alone" together with all my writing friends. ;)

    Now…everyone go enter the Golden Heart!!!!

  123. Great story. You make me want to enter the contest. I have no idea if I'm qualified. :)

  124. Joining in late in the day to lend my voice in support. I love the Golden Heart. It gave me a boost when I was first starting out. I remember when I got that call thinking, "People really don't think my stories are boring!"

    Great Seekerville post, Piper. And isn't Seekerville the very model of great writing friendships?

    Seriously, one of my first thoughts after selling was - I can't enter the GH anymore. :(

    But I'll give you something - my first final (back in the dark ages) they not only gave comments, they gave detailed score sheets. Oh how times change.

  125. Darcy,

    *Squeezes you back* Thank you so much for your kind words! And if entering the contest has contributed to cultivating your wit--believe this woman--it is beneficial! Thank you for coming by! I so appreciate it!

  126. Rhonda,

    Thank you so much for coming to Seekerville! I appreciate it!

    And no, you are not eligible. Try the RITAs!

  127. Once again, I leave for work and come back to find crumbs on the dessert buffet table. Woe is me.

  128. Mary,

    I will tell you a little secret. Once upon a time, very long time ago, before I knew what I was doing, I too, entered the Golden Heart. I had just come out of Pampers.

    Well, not really, but I was a junior in college. I had written my novel. And you used to have to box that thing up and ship it. I remember those detailed score sheets. I know when you are talking about. I got back that thick envelope with those sheets telling me how awful that story was. They were right.

    Thank you for stopping by and triggering that memory!

  129. Tina,

    The crumbs have been there for hours. I have been a bad hostess. Is there something fallish to offer?

  130. Let's bring out Ruthy's apple pies. She'll never figure out it was us who took them!

    Pies! Pies! Pies!

  131. Yay for pie. Just the thing to go with my coffee. And I do have some.

    Sorry about that, Piper. :( But think of it as a look how far you've come, baby kind of memory.

  132. Piper, loved your post! I'm so thankful you shared. Congrats on your book! I'm having a slice of Apple pie.

  133. Great post, Piper! I agree with everything you mentioned. I feel so honored and blessed to be a Lucky13 and an Unsinkable. The friendships created in those Golden Heart years are priceless.

  134. Piper thank you for your insight and encouragement! It is so great to see all you have accomplished! And I love your cover!

  135. It sounds like you took a lot away from the experience!!

  136. Having apple pie for breakfast!! Thank you for taking Ruthy's pies Tina and Mary!

  137. Thank you Terri, for your kind words. Hope you enjoyed the pie! I sure did!

  138. Jacqui,

    Thank you for stopping by. You are right--writing friendships of all stripes are priceless and fun! I appreciate your kind words!

  139. Donna,

    Thank you for your support! It's good to see you--it's been a while. I appreciate what you said about my cover--I love it too! Have a great day!

  140. Mary Preston,

    I sure did! I'm very appreciative. Thank you for commenting and for stopping by!

  141. PIPER!!!! I am soooo sorry I am late, but we were traveling yesterday, so I am completely off a day on both email and blogs.

    But, WOW, what a post, my friend, and DOUBLE WOW, what a HUGE accomplishment to win the GH TWICE!! I am so impressed, I can't stand it, but even more so over your incredible attitude. You are a class act, my friend, and I couldn't be happier for you!!

    Ritas, here you come ... :)


  142. I'm late!
    I've never entered the Golden Heart because I'm not a member of RWA. Maybe it's time to change that?
    We shall see. :)
    Great post, Piper!

  143. A lot of good reasons to enter Piper!

  144. Your book sounds great! And glad to hear the entry fee is $35 now. I wonder if more will sub multiple manuscripts now.