I can't believe it. And I'm not just saying that to appear humble. I truly did not expect the call I received this morning from RWA Board member Priscilla Oliveras Kissinger telling me I was a 2017 Golden Heart® finalist. Unlike previous years when I entered, I really didn't hold much hope on this one because it had always scored so abysmally in the Golden Heart®. However, I also understand how subjective this business is. I figured I had nothing to lose to try it one more time. After all, it was my third try on my other Golden Heart® manuscript. Brace yourself, I'm going to get a little sappy here.
The bottom line: it's about more than writing skill and a good story. It's also about being lucky and having your manuscript land in the hands of judges who enjoy your voice and your story. Which is why I'm embracing Lady Luck today, and I am beyond thrilled.
There are many phenomenal writers out there who also entered this year and didn't get that call today. I'm here to tell you it doesn't mean what you've written isn't worthy of making the finals. It means this is a subjective business and luck plays a role, whether in contests, or finding the right agent to represent you, or in finally finding that perfect editor who adores your story and voice. Of course, you have to do the work to hone your craft and develop a great premise that hooks the reader; but beyond that, it's out of your hands. It's all about timing and a healthy dose of luck. So congratulations to all the lucky finalists today! This is going to be a fun ride.
To those who entered and didn't get that call--NEVER give up!