by Donna MacMeans
Everyone has been a little high strung in the lair this week.
You might recall that a contest, RWA's 2006 Golden Heart contest, brought us all together so many years ago.
Now, one usually doesn't enter the Golden Heart without having had som
e success at smaller regional contests. Consequently you could say that the banditas are a collection of successful contest sluts.
I'm afraid the sluttiness doesn't go away once one becomes published. There's a whole array of regional contests for published authors. While the prize in an unpublished contest is often an editor read - for the published author, it's just another credential to add to their biography (and sometimes a framable certificate or plaque). But the grand prize remains RWA's RITA contest which earns the author, besides bragging rights, a
So why are we antsy in the lair? Thursday is the day the finalists in the Golden Heart/RITA contest are announced. First the finalists receive a phone call, then the names go up on the contest website and the congratulations begin flying. This year the winners of the Golden Heart and RITA contests will be announced in late July at the RWA convention in Nashville. Of cour
se, we'll announce any bandita finalists here and post their good news on the scroll. For more information on the RWA convention, follow this link: www.Rwanational.org
The nice thing about the Golden Heart/RITA contest is that much like the Academy awards, the contest is judged by peers. For the Golden Heart, scores are collected from five RWA member judges to determine the finalists. A panel of editors determine the winner. For the RITA, scores are collected from five other published author judges to determine the finalists. Then another panel of author judges chose the winner.
But while we wait for Thursday's announcement, I thought I'd explain some of the differences between the big published author contests.
Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Awards - Every year the reviewers at Romantic Times Book reviews magazine nominate various books/authors for a variety of awards. The reviewers choose the winner in each category and announce the winners at their convention (which this
year will be in Columbus, Ohio) in late April. The nice thing about this contest is that there is no entry fee or submission process. If you've published a book in the past year, you are
automatically entered. This year we have three banditas as finalists: Christine Wells/ Wicked Little Games, Anna Campbell/Tempt the Devil and Kate Carlisle/Homicide in Hard Cover. As I'll be at the RT Convention next month, I'll be cheering loudly for my fellow banditas to win. For more information on the RT convention, check out this link: http://guest.cvent.com/EVENTS
RomCon - This is the first year for this contest, but the prizes are simply amazing. This is the only contest with a significant financial award for the winner, but it is an expensive contest to enter and, unlike the RT award, one must enter. Like many of the smaller regional contests, the judges are screened readers. The finalists will be announced next month on April 30th. The winners will be announced at the RomCon convention in early July in Denver. For more information, check out this link. http://www.romconinc.com/
So my question for you is - do contest wins or finals make a difference to you as a reader? Not everyone enters their books into contests due to cost factors. We banditas enjoy the validation that a contest win or final can bring. Are you a contest slut? How about in another venue? Before I started writing I used to enter my paintings in local art shows. I guess once a slut, always a slut (grins). So what do you think?