Entering the Golden Heart

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Tomorrow the information for entering the Golden Heart and the Rita contests will be up on the RWA website. I plan to enter this year, at least two manuscripts. If they let me reenter Hot Shot, I may. I'm considering entering the single title category instead of the long contemporary, but I don't know if that will make a difference.

I'll enter Beneath the Surface, and I want to enter Don't Look Back, even though I just started it in the contest circuit. Usually I don't enter a manuscript that doesn't have prior success, but I didn't really give DLB much of a chance.

There's nothing like the cachet of finalling in the GH, except maybe winning! When I finalled the first time, I got emails from people I didn't even know congratulating me. I was on air for days. When I finalled the second time, it was more of a relief.

One of the benefits, other than being able to put "Golden Heart finalist" in my queries, is getting to know women with similar experiences and goals. Chapters and email loops are great, but not all writers are on the same level. One of the things I noticed when I joined the GH loop was that these women were all ACTIVELY seeking publication. Some still are, some have achieved it. Some had been writing longer than my 11 years, which both encouraged and discouraged me. After all, I'd been told that being a GH finalist made my career, and here were women who'd finalled before and hadn't sold. BUT they hadn't stopped trying. Yeah, they got discouraged, but they didn't give up.

I loved getting my little golden heart, in fact, I wore it to school for a week. (This was when I was at the job I hated.) I loved getting the attention at the Merritt conference, which was a week or so after the announcements. I loved getting to go to NYC and Dallas, meeting these women I'd only known online, celebrating. That's why I'm willing to put up $150 (gulp) again, for that chance.

Here's a great article about being a GH finalist.
Golden Heart Finalist

So who here is entering? I believe you have till the middle of November to sign up, and till the beginning of December to submit your ms. JoAnn, if you can finish Damien, I think you should enter.

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Peggy said...

I'd like to give it a try, but $150.00??? Wow, that's per entry? Might be a bit steep for me.

Stacy Dawn said...

I hoping to enter this year...but I have the added expense of the Canadian exchange to do too so it will more than likely just be one.

Trish Milburn said...

Well, since I've (sigh) not sold yet, I'll enter again this year, hoping one of those miracles like finaling and having a judge who wants to buy your manuscript happens.

I've got three I'll probably enter in Romantic Elements and one in Romantic Suspense and maybe on in YA if I think I'll get it done in time. Not finished yet.

Peggy, where did you see $150? The entry fee has typically been $50, or is the $150 for non-RWA members?

KATZ said...

Hey Mary - thanks for stopping by my blog!
I was planning to enter the Golden Heart (just for kicks), but $150 is an expensive kick!
We'll see...


Stephanie said...

hey Mary,

Count me in!


P.S. Thanks for the heads-up on the registration.

Toni Anderson said...

It is $50 US, Mary is talking about entering 3 mss.

Expensive still, but worth it if you final :)

Haven't got anything to enter this year. Well, not really. The Intrige I have written is in the hands of the HI editor, what is the point of entering Storm Warning in the Golden Heart when the editor I wrote it for has it in her hands? The kudos of finaling obviously, but really I'm not after the glory, I'm just after publication.

And I don't do well in contests so I can just write something for next year :)

Good luck Mary!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you're going to go for it, Mar! You are my favorite 2-time GH Nominee! But I'd rather focus on writing for Triskelion and build on what I've got started with them. I truly am happy there. For now, I've found the place for me.


Amie Stuart said...

I think I'm gonna pass this year. The ms. that came the closest to finaling last year is one NY wont touch and the one that didnt is the one that nearly got bought--how's that for bizarre? And I have nothing new to enter.

I haven't finished a single Single Title all year and I don't see me doing it now (I have a requested full I'm working on but it's three novellas not one single story and it's straight erotica so that's definitely out ;-)).

Anonymous said...

Every year I go throught the should I or shouldn't I GH quandry. My manuscripts tend to either do great in contests or bomb in them. My GH scores kill me. They're always spilt. Top scores and 2s or 3s. UGHHHHHHH!!!!! But I love the day finalist calls go out. Even though I've never been called, I'm thrilled to watch and see and congratulate those who are called.
I have a romantic elements novel I LOVE. And I have a Long Contemp. that could work as Romantic Suspense. I don't know. It's crazy.

Jill Monroe said...

When it comes to the Golden Heart, I was a firm believer in the broadcast method - enter every single thing you have eligble and hope for the best.

It's a lot of money, and you don't get feedback, but, if you final, I really do believe it takes you to a whole new level.

MJFredrick said...

Cece, that happened to my friend Robyn DeHart. The book that she sold got a lower score in the GH than the one she didn't.

And Mary Beth, I hear you on the spread of scores. Both times I finaled was benefit of standard deviation - high scores but one. This year I firmly believe I missed finaling because the one low score wasn't low enough.

Speaking of standard deviation, got my Put Your Heart in a Book scores yesterday - one perfect score (150 out of 150 - yay!) and one 109.

Shesawriter said...


Good luck to you. I haven't decided if I'm going to enter again. Prolly not. I dunno. I guess it depends on my mood. Who the hell knows? LOL!


MicheleKS said...

Mary, you have inspired me. If I can find $50 by Nov. 15 I'll enter the GH. I've never entered before so this will be all new for me.

But this will give me a deadline to shoot for and God knows I need one of those right now.

MJFredrick said...

Tanya, I was torn when I entered in 2004, but the experience was so great the first time, I wanted to repeat it. But once a GH finalist, always a GH finalist, ya know?

YAY, Michele! Good luck!!!

Anonymous said...

Mary, I've thought about it, but you know, my scores last year were abyssmal, and I've had published authors say my writing is great and didn't deserve those scores. So I alternate between hoping someone will "get" my writing, and wondering if it's worth it.

MJFredrick said...

It is such a crapshoot, Danica. The ms that just finalled in Magic got 9s and a 6. Argh! And Amy Edwards, who had an INCREDIBLE entry, didn't final because of standard deviation. It can be really frustrating. I've heard it said it doesn't matter if you don't final in the GH, but if you do.....


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