Changes to the RITA & Golden Heart Awards
Posted by Elizabeth Langston Aug 3 2012, 12:01 am
I didn’t know what a hot sheet was until I attended the RWA® National Conference, but I learned quickly. The RWA July hot sheet announced changes to the Golden Heart® and RITA® contests. The discussion kicked off in Anaheim and has not stopped since.
Join the Rubies today as we offer an open forum to debate the rules and criteria for the Golden Heart and the RITA Awards.
The new rules for the Golden Heart and RITA are posted in the public section of the RWA website. If you are an RWA member, you will find the hot sheet on myRWA. I won’t try to duplicate everything here. Instead, I’ll paraphrase the key points. (Disclaimer: this is my personal summary. RWA did not assist or approve. Please visit the RWA website for complete and accurate content.)
Applies to Both Contests
- A romance is defined as a work with a “central love story” and an “emotionally satisfying or optimistic” ending.
- Both contests are limited to 1200 entries.
- 2013 entries must be received at RWA by 5pm CT, January 2, 2013.
- Future entries will be judged against a “four-tiered scoring system.” The maximum score an entry can earn is 50 points. The Romance element is worth up to 20 points, with the elements of Plot/Story, Characters, and Writing worth up to 10 points each.
- 10% of the entries in each category (up to 8) may advance. (An entry must earn 40 or more points to advance to the final round. )
Applies to the RITAs
- RITA entries will be submitted in print book format.
- For the 2013 RITAs, there will be 11 categories. (We lose three and gain two–a net loss of one from 2012.)
- The Regency Historical category will be eliminated. (The Historical Romance category will now include the Regency period.)
- Contemporary Series: Suspense/Adventure will be eliminated. (The Romantic Suspense category remains.)
- Contemporary Series Romance has apparently been separated into two categories by word count. Long Contemporary Series are more than 60K words; Short Contemporary Series are less than 60K.
- For the 2014 RITAs, there will be 10 categories. (We lose one–a net loss of two from 2012.)
- Novel with Strong Romantic Elements will be eliminated.
- The RITAs are open to RWA members and non-members.
Applies to the Golden Heart
- Golden Heart entries will be submitted electronically.
- If contest staff are unable to open any file in a GH entry, the submission is disqualified.
- For the 2013 GH, there will be 7 categories. (We lose two–a net loss of two from 2012.)
- The Regency Historical category will be eliminated.
- The Novel with Strong Romantic Elements category will be eliminated.
- GH entries must not be published while “they are under consideration for the Award.”
- Individuals who have novels that “have been offered for sale to the public” are not eligible for the Golden Heart.
- Entrants must be RWA members.
That’s my summary of changes to the Golden Heart and RITA contests. Tell us what you think. What are your concerns? In your opinion, which changes improve the contests and which do not? The Rubies look forward to a lively, civil, productive discussion.
Elizabeth Langston is a 3-time Golden Heart Finalist in YA. Her debut novel, Whisper Falls (Book 1 of the Whisper Falls trilogy), will be released in November 2013 from SpencerHillPress. To learn more, visit her website or blog.