Golden Heart – I didn’t final, but I won.

March 26, 2008 at 10:17 am | Posted in Bria, contests, Honorary Heartlette, Kristan Higgins, motivation, romance, writing | 6 Comments

I’ll admit, I didn’t think I’d be ready for the Golden Heart deadline and, being the superstitious Boston Irish that I am, I feared I’d final.But I didn’t. No surprise there.

The happy surprise is that, while not moving on to the final round for the national award, I’m pretty sure I won.

When the first deadline came about in December, I had been writing for about six months. I loved my story. I loved my characters. I liked my writing. But I had a lot to learn, and in the last several months I’ve submerged myself in it.

Craft books, workshops on CD, self-editing guides, reading for more than just enjoyment, working with amazing women on the Diva board (the entry never would have been in the mail without Mamad, Kaige, Lanie, Neith and a lot of help from those as I did chat drive-by’s) and partnering with the Lovely Ann as my CP.

The experience has been hair-raising. My Murphy’s Law fear pushed me to be as close to complete and polished as possible. My availability pushed back. And the friction that caused – well, it bettered my writing by an unimaginable amount.

Sentence structure, word choice, tight prose all became more consistent.

And now for the big “author confession” – I’m dyslexic. I can’t see those mistakes that are obvious to everyone. And I thank God every day since January when we started for my CP Ann. She corrects errors and points out potential errors. She also asks the hard questions and tells me straight forward when something doesn’t work or she just plain doesn’t like it.

So, my advice for those aiming for the December’s deadline:
o Get a Critique Partner. Don’t know how to set that partnership up? Read these guidelines
o Don’t fluff the deadline – strive for it as if it were publication, not a contest
o Plan ahead – start NOW
o But most of all, do it for the joy.

I’d like to take this moment to give a very special shout out to KRISTAN HIGGANS – our very first Honorary Heartlette. Kristan finalled in the published author’s equivalent of the Golden Heart – the RITA.

So, pick a goal and run at it, but mostly, Go Write.



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  1. How’s that Virginia Slims ad go, “You’ve come a long way, baby!” Now I’m not advocating going out and smoking, but you’re right in that you definitely won. It may have just been a race with yourself to get the thing in the mail, but you conquered it! WTG, Bria!

    Congrats to Kristan Higgans too!

  2. hey Bria and Jessica
    I checked out the list yesterday hoping to see your names, but know that while you didn’t final in the GH this year, the RITA will have your name on it in two years (two since the publishing industry takes that long to get the book out!). So watch out RITA participants 2010, you don’t have a chance against these two ladies!

  3. You’re absolutly right, honing the writing process makes a winner. If not now, then tomorrow. That’s how the story comes alive. And my number one goal is to do justice to my story.

    I didn’t final either. But 2007 was a fabulous year for learning.

  4. Yeah Laurie – starting with our week at the Beach. The growth this year, for me personally, has been amazing. I’m glad to hear I wasn’t the only one.

  5. Are you attending next year? Going to San Fran? I booked my year on Jan. first with educational events. I’ve already taken in two fabulous workshops….Donald Maass and Michael Hauge. So I’m working, working.

  6. Wow! Maass AND Hauge – sweet!

    I just booked San Fran but I’ll be skipping the Beach House to go hear Maass in Minnesota and visit the lovely CP.

    I’m glad to hear your working – I think we had a pretty driven group at the BH – If you’re going to Nationals I’d love to see you guys!

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