Tomorrow is the day the RITA and Golden Heart Finalists are announced. These two prestigious Romance Writers of America awards are a huge deal in the romance writing and reading community. The prizes not only gives you exposure to readers and agents and editors, but they are marks of validation by your peers. A sign that you and your writing are stellar examples of everything that romance novels can be.
One year ago, I received a phone call that told me I was a Golden Heart finalist in the Paranormal category. It was the most surreal moment and I blubbered and blabbered to poor Nikki Enlow who was the board member that called me. And even then, I didn’t realize how big of a deal this nomination was.
The Golden Heart is RWA’s top award for unpublished. About 1200 manuscript are entered each year and evaluated by romance writers. The finalists are then vetted by acquiring editors and agents. For me, the nomination was a huge validation because it meant my peers deemed my writing was publication worthy.
By the time the national conference took place four months later, I had sold my book, signed with my dream agent, and met a group of women who have become my writer sisters, truly sisters of my heart. The other 2014 Golden Heart nominees have proved to be amazing confidants, support, and mentors in this crazy world of book writing and publishing. We call ourselves the Dreamweavers and I can’t believe how lucky I am to be a part of them.
The best part of going to the conference in San Antonio was to meet so many of the Dreamweavers in person. Of course, being treated like the princess at the ball with all the finalist functions was fantastic, but mostly because I shared those moments with the other Dreamweavers.
Tomorrow, I’ll be glued to social media as the announcements are made. A finalist won’t be mentioned until she or he has received their personal phone call. I can’t wait to see who’s in for an amazing year of dreams coming true.