(Manuscript #1 word count: 64,892)
I was in Dublin killing time in an internet cafe as Hubby read every single sports report published online, when I thought I’d look up information about Romance Writers of America’s romance novel competitions. They announce the winner at their annual conference, and I knew that next year’s is in July, so I figured I had plenty of time to finish up my manuscript and send it in.
The deadline to enter an unpublished manuscript for a Golden Heart Award is December 2, 2009. That’s when all your materials have to be in Houston (and they can’t be sent electronically). You actually have to fill in the entry form and pay even earlier – by November 16.
I’ve known for months I want to enter, but I had no idea I needed to be so quick about it! I immediately started searching for more information about the contest and found a fantastic new blog – The Ruby Slippered Sisterhood. The group was formed of 2009’s Golden Heart finalists, and their blog gives great information about the contest. In fact, it gives great info about writing in general, with at least one post I plan to print off and memorize (more about that in a later post).
To make things even tastier, they’re giving away prizes every day to one commenter, including a critique of the first 15 pages of your entry by a Ruby Sister. These prize drawing take place during their launch month, and at the end of the month they’ll have a grand prize drawing where three very lucky commenters will have their Golden Heart entry critiqued by a Ruby Sister.
Now that’s sheer class. How fantastic that people who have received recognition in a very competitive industry are taking time out of launching their own writing careers to help other writers.