Posted by: selenafulton | March 29, 2012

After the big day…

Well, Monday was a big day for unpublished writers in the romance genre. The academy awards for romance writers. The Queen Mother of all romance writing contests. Congratulations go out to all the finalists for the Golden Heart contest.

But I digress…Last fall, many of us scraped together our contest fee monies and we polished our manuscript until it shined. We traded manuscripts with our critique partners and agonized over our synopsis. We made six copies of our first 50 pages, a copy of our entire manuscript, and then we mailed it to RWA for the Golden Heart contest.

And the minute our manuscript left our hands, travelling merrily to Houston, we found more to fret about. A misspelled word on page seven? How could that be? Or was I supposed to put the synopsis in front, or in back of my entry? And, OH NO! It hasn’t arrived yet!

With a sick feeling in our stomachs, good or bad. It was done. Then we put March 26 on our calendars…and waited.

Some of us further polished our manuscripts, because now we were completely convinced it was junk and had no chance of finalling. Some of us began new manuscripts.

I put it out of my mind, until about the last couple weeks. Then…it crept up on me, the anxiety, the thrill. Only a few would final. I told myself, I have just as much chance of finalling as anyone else. I visualized what I would write to my fellow authors. I even figured out what I would wear when I received my Golden Heart award.

But the morning of, I awoke. I felt it. I would not final this year. And as the names came in, one by one, I knew this wasn’t my year.

Was I disappointed? Sure. Did this mean my manuscript was garbage? No. Did I sit in front of my computer and wallow? Well, maybe for a little while. Hugs from my hubby, and a little chocolate helped.

Then a smile came across my face. You see, I won’t be eligible next year. Because I won’t be an unpublished author.

My novella Never Let Go comes out with The Wild Rose Press on June 20, 2012. How neat is that? I must learn to navigate the marketing waters, all the while writing new material. Because you can’t stop. You must keep writing.

So next year, I will be on the sidelines…cheering for my fellow authors who have entered this prestigious contest. I will cry happy tears for those who final and go on to win. I will commiserate with the rest who tried and didn’t succeed.

I applaud all of you who entered and gave it your best. Congratulations to all of you!


  1. And ask yourself, how many people have finaled or even won the Golden Heart, but never got published?

  2. Well, Selena, at least you entered. That’s better than me.
    And yes, congrats. You are a published author now.

  3. I guess my main thought is that fortunately that day only comes one day a year. But there’s always the hope that next year I might be ineligible . .

  4. Ask yourself this, too…how many authors entered, didn’t make it, but went on to become bestselling novelists? Stephen King sent CARRIE in eighteen times, then threw it in the trash. His wife came along, got it out, and mailed it off again.

    I started writing when I was around thirteen, and didn’t stop sending off manuscripts time after time until 22 years later, Berkeley bought my first baby, BLACKBERRY WINTER. Never give up, never slack off, and never, ever think you can’t do it, because you can!

    • Indeed, Sherrie! You are living proof.

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