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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Golden Heart Reflections

Personal Weather Report - High pressure during period of intense activity.

Writing Activity - My first contemporary is currently at 49,000/60,000 words.

Today marks the end of a special year for me. On March 25, 2008 I received an unexpected phone call that changed my life. I learned that two the four manuscripts I'd entered in the Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® contest had finaled. I never dreamed I'd final, but I'm so thankful I did.

Yes, I enjoyed the validation. The Golden Heart is the largest contest for unpublished romance writers in the country. Of the 1,200+ entries, only 70 were chosen as finalists in ten categories. Mine were two of the five inspirational finalists. Each entry was given a score by five first round judges. So, this means ten of my peers found my work to be of high enough quality for it to final. Even after all this time, I still find that amazing.

As much as I enjoyed the recognition, though, what was far more important to me was what happened as a result of being one of the 2008 GH finalists. For two years I'd written in isolation, and then suddenly I had 63 writer friends, my fellow Pixie Chicks as we call ourselves. I'm blessed to be a member of this group of wise, witty, wonderful women.

Tomorrow, we Pixie Chicks will no longer be the current finalists. Another group of writers will receive phone calls that change their lives. Some of the Pixie Chicks are sure to be repeat finalists, but they'll still be part of us. The bonds we formed this past year will last, just as they have for finalists of prior years.

I didn't enter the contest this year, so I'll be able to sleep soundly tonight. Come tomorrow I'll cheer for those 60+ women who will become the new group of finalists. I know what a thrill it is to get that call, be treated like royalty at Nationals and join a very special group.

To all the 2009 Golden Heart finalists, I offer my heartfelt congratulations. Enjoy your year!

2 comments:

Tea With Tiffany said...

Congrats on being a Golden Heart finalist!

Anne Barton said...

Keli, it's fun to look back and see how far we've come, isn't it?

That double final was very special and a huge accomplishment. I'll bet the memories of your GH call will always give you chills--even after you're a seasoned, multi-published, famous author.

Let's see if we can make this year even better!