The Sweetie Chronicles

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

Golden Heart Calls Tomorrow

In 2009, I attended my first RWA National Conference. Until that point, I had no idea just how important the Golden Heart contest was. Then, on the final night of the conference, everyone got dressed up to watch the awards ceremony. It was truly an eye-opening experience. In that moment, I realized just how prestigious and career-changing a Golden Heart could be. In my heart, I set a goal to work as hard as I could to become a Golden Heart finalist.

The scary part is that there's a whole lot of luck involved. Each entry gets five judges, and everything depends on them. Some judges might never give out perfect scores, no matter how good the entry is. Some judges might not like witches or paranormal stories. There's no way to know what my judges thought of my entries at this point. Somewhere, though, someone is holding that list of 2011 Golden Heart finalists. Someone knows. And tomorrow, everyone will know.

The calls start going out at 9 Eastern Time tomorrow morning, and I'm already super nervous. On one hand, I know that being a GH finalist isn't the most important thing in the world to me right now. I'm already self-published and have sold over 10,000 copies of my books. One of the best perks of being a GH finalist is getting first pick of editor and agent appointments. To be honest, that's not important for me this year. I'd still be interested in talking to an agent as long as they were willing to represent me for only foreign rights and audio and that sort of thing. I'm not actively looking for a print deal or a traditional publisher so there's not much an editor could do for me at this point. That's a great feeling!

But at the same time, I still want to final. I know I don't need it for validation or anything like that, but it would just be one more self-confidence boost on this journey. It would be one more goal accomplished.

Last year, I came really close to becoming a finalist in the contemporary series romance category. I had a low 40's score (can't remember it right now, but something like 42.7) that some people said in other years would have been high enough to final. But it's all about who the top 8 scores are, so last year was a tough year for that category. This year, I entered 2 manuscripts in the Young Adult category. I entered Beautiful Demons, which is obviously my first self-published book as well. I also entered Pandemic, my zombie apocalypse book. I honestly don't know which of the two will have higher scores, but I just really hope in my heart of hearts that one of them is a finalist this year.

Tomorrow, I plan to stock up on healthy snacks and spend the day by my computer writing. I want to work hard on the rough draft for Book 4 instead of just sitting here waiting for the call that might not come. That way, whether I final or not this year, I can know that I'm working toward my future. And it's a future of my own making. That really means something to me.

1 comments:

jilliebeans March 25, 2011 at 7:55 AM  

I just read your excerpts. If you don't final, I'll be really shocked!
Good luck!

Sarra Cannon

Young Adult Indie Author

I always secretly wanted to be a cheerleader. And a witch. Now, I write about both. The first five novels in my Peachville High Demons Young Adult Paranormal series are available now in ebook!

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