>Like so many do, I entered the 2006 Golden Heart Contest sponsored by the Romance Writers of America. This year I entered A Suitable Wife, my most recently completed WIP. It was a re-write of the first manuscript I ever wrote and had been entered in the GH back in 2004. Back then it made the top half and the scores were 8, 7, 8, 5, & 7 for a total of 35.0.
This year, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my scores put me in the top quarter, with an improved overall score of 38.1.
In the Golden Heart, there are 5 judges. More and more these days, the judges are encouraged to use point delineations (such as 8.2, 8.5 etc.) because of the narrow margin of scoring. My 2007 scores were 8.7, 8.5, 7.5, 7, and 6.4. Final scores equal to or greater than 35.2 were required to make the top quarter.
Overall, I’m happy with that increase of 3.1 points of improvement. Hopefully, I improved the manuscript by re-writing it, improved my writing skills in the interim, and the scores reflect that.
Currently, I’m taking an online course from Margie Lawson, titled Empowering Character’s Emotions. It’s proven to be very valuable, even though I had a few personal glitches that prevented me from participating in the online exercises. I’ve saved the lectures, poured over them, and done as much of the exercises off line as time has permitted. I’m sure another sweep through A Suitable Wife would improve it again. I know more ways to make my writing stronger, more interesting, more ways to strike an emotional chord in the reader.
At this point, A Suitable Wife awaits a verdict on a Silhouette editor’s desk. I SO want to get at least a revision letter, but am afraid to hope for it too much.
Dang, this is a tough business! But if perseverance counts for anything, I WILL be published one day in the not too distant future.
Thanks for listening. I’m continuing improvements on my current WIP.