Tag Archives: competition

My critique group has an opening

If you’re a romance writer looking for a small, online critique group, check out my crit partner Lynnette’s blog. Our group is looking for one or two more people, and we run a contest to find partners we think we’d work well with.

Lynnette’s blog has info about the three current members, but you can find out more about us (and see if you think we’d be a good fit for you) by subscribing to our blogs and following us on Twitter.

Here are some handy links:

Lynnette Labelle – Chatterbox Chit Chat blog; follow Lynnette on Twitter

Suzanne Johnson – Preternatura blog; follow Suzanne on Twitter

Katrina Latham (me) – Reader, I created him blog (yes, you’re reading it now); follow me on Twitter

Soon Lynnette will be posting more info about the contest, so now’s a good time to stalk us a bit and decide if our personalities and writing styles might mesh with yours.


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I’m a winner!

I’ve been trying to finish up my manuscript for RWA’s Golden Heart Award, so apologies for leaving the blog so fallow. I had some great news a week ago – I was the Grand Prize winner of the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood’s blog! The fantastic Anne Marie Becker read my entry for the Golden Heart Award and gave me loads of valuable feedback. Thank you so much, Anne Marie. I really appreciate your encouragement and tips.

If any of you haven’t read the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood’s blog, definitely check it out. They were the finalists of the 2009 Golden Heart Award, and this post is dedicated to them.

Some of the best of the Ruby Sisters’ blogs:

For general writing advice

The First Five Pages…and the Red Line of Death by Jeannie Lin

Be a succesful hooker. by Rita Henuber

Go for the Gold! Tips for Turning Your GH Entry Into a Potential Finalist by Laurie Kellogg

Specifically about the Golden Heart Award

Golden Heart–The Final Edit Before You Mail by Kelly Ann Riley

Judging the Golden Heart – 101 by Jennifer Bray-Weber

The Woman Behind The Curtain by Bev Pettersen

Golden Heart Rotisserie by the Numbers by Jamie Michele

About being a writer

Year-End Tax Tips for Writers by Diane O’Brien Kelly

Business Planning for the Golden Heart and Beyond by Laurie DeSalvo

How To Be “Mommy!” and Still Write a GH Manuscript by Heather McCollum

Okay. I entered. Now What? by Autumn Jordon

You Are Not Alone (Tips from your Traveling Companions: Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion) by Anne Marie Becker

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Getting an unbiased opinion

I mentioned earlier that I sent my first three chapters to some writerly friends. None of them write romance, only one of them reads romance, and one of them told me, “I have to be honest, I absolutely HATE romance novels!”

I’m hoping that that’ll be a good thing. They’ll all help me make my manuscript stronger without worrying about the conventions of a particular genre.

Even though I told them all that I don’t want any ego-stroking, I’m not sure how honest they’ll be with me. Half of them are writers I work with, so we’re used to editing each other’s news stories. I know they can point out problems without feeling like they’ll hurt my feelings.  The other half are friends who are fantastic creative writers who are blunt to a fault.

But how do you get unbiased opinions from people who don’t know you?

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Dontcha break my heart (my achy Golden Heart)

(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.

Not so.

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Romance novel contests and competitions

I had never thought about writing competitions as a way to publication until I read Meredith Duran’s Duke of Shadows, her first published novel and winner of Gather.com’s First Chapters Writing Competition.

The competition seems to be defunct, as do most of the others I’ve seen people write blog posts about in the past.

I’ve done a bit of digging to find out more about romance novel contests.

Tami Cowden has an article with tips on selling manuscripts, and she talks about knowing your goals before you enter a competition, as they can be expensive.

Charlotte Dillon has a page with loads of links you can trawl through with information about entering, and surviving, competitions.

Book Crossroads has a really helpful post with Ten Warning Signs that a Writing Content is a Loser.

Anyone know of specific writing competitions coming up that are suitable for unpublished romance novelists? Post ’em here!

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