Deadline Diaries

Five Romance writers tell all.

Monday, November 27, 2006

American Title Update -- And Speaking of Contests...

Posted by Kate

The American Title III Second Round of voting is over and two finalists have been eliminated. But you know the drill: if I told you who they were, I’d have to kill you.

Sorry, but rules are rules! (Don’t you just hate hearing that?)

And somebody said that you're not supposed to try and bribe me for the results! I don't get that! Whoever thought up that stupid rule is the one who should be voted off the island. Just my opinion.

But while we wait to hear the American Title contest results, I want to mention that to celebrate her latest book, "Must Love Mistletoe," Christie's giving away free books!! Just leave a comment anytime this week and you're eligible to win!!

Now that's the kind of contest I can get behind!

I've spent the last year entering contests. I don't recommend this route for everyone, but I realized last year that the best way for me to get my work and my name out there was through contests. So I began to look around for the ones that might be right for me and I started entering them. I had three full manuscripts and one partial that I began to send out.

For some reason, the planets were aligned and the universe was paying attention to me, because I was lucky enough to be a finalist and a winner in many of the contests I entered. It was exciting and also nervewracking--and expensive! Most contests cost anywhere from $15 to $50 and when you're entering two or three manuscripts in each contest and you're entering one or two contests each month, it gets a little crazy. And then there's postage and return postage and supplies. It adds up. But money was no object. I was on a mission!

The mission culminated with RWA's 2006 Golden Heart contest. I decided to go for broke and enter all three completed manuscripts. This was definitely not cheap, by the way! The Golden Heart fee is $50.00 per entry. But lest we forget, I was on a mission, so I sent off the check and waited.

And incredibly, all three of my entries finaled. The day I received those three separate phone calls, I was thrilled, stunned, and yes, slightly embarrassed. I mean, wasn't I the little piggy, taking three finalist slots!

Then I saw that there was a triple Rita finalist and a number of double finalists in both the Golden Heart and the Rita, including our very own Maureen Child! I wasn't the only piggy! LOL

Yes, I won the Golden Heart! But really, the unexpected benefit of jumping into the contest circuit is that I've met so many great people along the way. The other nine American Title III finalists talk every day and it's great to have nine new friends who completely relate to what I'm going through. My fellow 2006 Golden Heart finalists still chat daily on an email loop we set up last March. One of them just had a baby, several are on holiday cruises, they're winning other contests and making great book deals and we all celebrate the good times and commisserate over the bad times. They live all over the world. It's very cool!

This year's Golden Heart entries are due next week and the Ritas will be due soon, too. If you've entered, I hope you enjoy the trip and are lucky enough to find new friendships along the way. No one else can relate to your life and your fears and your triumphs as much as a fellow writer can. Good luck!

Have you entered the Golden Heart this year? The Rita? Another contest you're excited about? Let us know so we can cheer you on!!


At 7:33 AM, Blogger Susan Mallery said...

Hi--I'm finishing up my contest entries for the year. It's a lot of work, signing the books, packing them up, hauling their little spine-y butts to the post office. I've made 2 runs so far and am still not done.

Contests are fun when you final, and even better when you win. I've learned that my sheik books will never win or make the finals. Although they sell incredibly well, they bomb in contests. I think I'm pushing buttons or something.

Contests are interesting and like Kate said, a great way to get your work out there. The first book I sold was a Golden Heart finalist. Finally it that contest let me know that my writing was really close and now I just had to hit with the right story!

At 7:55 AM, Blogger Christine Rimmer said...

Kate, you do crack me up. How can anyone so funny be so modest, too? It's a conundrum (Hah. I think I even spelled that right. *g*) Don't ever change...

And yes, it does get pricey entering contests. I'm down to just my local capters Readers Choice Awards and the RITAs.

And no, I haven't done RITA entries yet. But hey. I have till Friday...


At 7:56 AM, Blogger Christine Rimmer said...

That would be "chapter's." Sheesh. I can spell Conundrum, but not Chapters...

At 8:28 AM, Blogger Michele said...

Kate, you've really had a fantastic year in the contest world, but you've worked hard and earned it. You're such a talented writer and I can't wait for you to be published so I CAN BUY ALL YOUR BOOKS! :-)

Contests are fun and brutal. I've been fortunate to final in a few and it's always exciting to know someone outside your circle of friends likes your story. LOL

And sometimes the judges' comments are less than stellar, but there's always something to learn from those as well. (Although, it may take a few days to be objective about the suggestions! Not for me, of course, because I ALWAYS rein in my temper and see the bright side of life--LOL!) ;-)

Best of Luck to all who enter the RITA and Golden Heart this year! Keeping my fingers crossed for you guys...


At 9:18 AM, Blogger Maureen Child said...

I'm back in the Ritas and the NRCA and a few others! Like Kate, I don't really mind being a little piggy!! oink oink! It was very nice having a double finalist ribbon!! Of course it would have been nicer to WIN....not that I'm competitive or anything! LOL

It does get pricey entering all these contests....but my favorite is badge jewelry!! For finaling, for winning, I love getting the prize to put on my name badge!! Yes, I know piggy again...I can live with it!

So everybody get out there and enter! It's fun! There's badge jewelry and if someone doesn't like your stuff, you can content yourself with the fact that they obviously have no taste!! LOL

At 9:23 AM, Blogger Christie Ridgway said...

It's that time of year again already! How does it go so fast?

I have books to bundle up and get to the post office. Thanks for reminding me, Kate. I don't enter a lot of contests (too lazy to do that bundling, I think) but most years I enter the Ritas and I've finaled a couple of times.

However, my most fun at the GH/Rita ceremony was last year when I got to present an award! That was so much fun, though I was very nervous I'd flub someone's name or title.

At 9:39 AM, Blogger Maureen Child said...

Forgot to say...GOOD LUCK KATE!!!

At 10:40 AM, Blogger Kathleen said...

Good luck to everyone who is entering!!

At 11:36 AM, Blogger Kate Carlisle said...

Sorry my blog went on and on and on....I never realize how long it is until it's posted and then, yikes! Too much information! LOL

But more importantly, GOOD LUCK to all my DD peeps entering the Rita this year!!! Susan and Christine and Maureen and Chris, wow! I'm excited and will be cheering for you all to get the finalist phone call--or two or three!

Hi Michele - Thanks! You're right, I always learn something from the judges' comments, even the brutal ones. Although I'd much rather learn something from the nice judge. *g*

And Maureen is right -- badge jewelry is the best reason to enter any contest!!

At 5:47 PM, Anonymous Kim said...

Best of luck to all of your entries....Susan--I personally love your sheik books--:) (too bad I am not a judge! LOL)

Have a lovely evening ladies.

I have a sick dh. What is it about sick men? UGHGGHGHGH

At 6:11 PM, Blogger Kate Carlisle said...

Kim, I feel your pain. My DH is the most self-reliant, handy, easy-going guy on the planet until he gets a sniffle. Then he's just pathetic! LOL

(And I really love Susan's sheik books, too. I don't know what's wrong with those judges!)

At 6:45 AM, Blogger Christine Rimmer said...

Kim, hugs!

At 6:50 PM, Anonymous Barbs said...

Good Luck, Ladies! May you each Win First Place for all your entries.

Kim I'm sorry for you (I think) my dh goes into the bedroom, closes the door and doesn't want to be bothered. I hate it though cause then when it''s bedtime and I go to bed I can't read I have to be nice and not turn on the reading lamp. Only a few times have I had to wait on him so I feel very lucky, I think he now knows I'm a lousy nurse! LOL


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