Posts tagged with: 50 opening words

It’s Our 2017 MAKE IT GOLDEN Contest Entry Day!!

Welcome to the EIGHTH Annual MAKE IT GOLDEN Contest!!

The MAKE IT GOLDEN contest is designed for unpublished authors who are polishing up their entries for RWA’s Golden Heart Contest. We all know how important a strong opening is in grabbing the attention of Golden Heart judges, and this contest is a great chance to test yours out!

**The 2017 contest is now CLOSED to entries. Thanks to all the brave and talented souls who entered!! The entries are fantastic, and now the Rubies face the very difficult task of trying to narrow down the field to just ten finalists!! Entrants, be sure to check back here as early as possible to see if your entry is in the finals!! Get those 250 word (max) extended entries ready!**

Check out the finalists from 2016’s contest2015’s contest, 2014’s contest, and 2013’s contest , (plus 2012’s contest here, 2011 here, and 2010 here).

Any time between now and one minute past midnight at the very of end the day today (actually 12:01 a.m. on September 26), just post your romance manuscript’s first 50 words (with the word ENTRY in all caps at the top, which does NOT count toward your word total), and you’re in the running to win one of our prizes:

GRAND PRIZE: the Rubies pay your $30 Golden Heart entry fee, plus a $25 Amazon gift card! 

SECOND PLACE: a $20 Amazon gift card

THIRD PLACE: a $15 Starbucks gift card

And, of course, huge heaping helpings of glory for all three!!

Anyone eligible to enter the 2018 Golden Heart (see RWA’s rules here) is eligible to enter, and the best part is, there’s no entry fee. It’s COMPLETELY FREE to enter, but only the FIRST FIFTY ENTRIES CAN QUALIFY, so don’t delay!


  • Finalists and winners from previous years are welcome to enter again, BUT ALL ENTRIES MUST BE NEW!
  • We will only accept a maximum of 50 entries, first come, first served.
  • Due to the entry cap, a maximum of TWO entries per person will be accepted for this year’s contest. This means even if you are planning on entering more than one manuscript in the Golden Heart, or write under multiple pen names, you will have to choose a maximum of two manuscripts total you want to enter in MAKE IT GOLDEN.
  • Starting at 12:01 a.m. on September 25 (that’s right now!), entrants will post the opening of their manuscript, 50 words MAXIMUM, in the comments box. Start by typing the word ENTRY in all caps so we don’t miss it. Also, try to find a logical cut-off point: please don’t leave us hanging in the middle of a sentence! Just don’t go over 50 words.
  • The word ENTRY does NOT count towards your 50 word limit. This is just so we can identify it as an ‘official’ entry.
  • Any entry that violates any of these rules (i.e., goes over the 50 word limit, is one of three or more entries from the same person, is not from a romance manuscript, is an entry from a previous year, is an entry from someone not eligible for RWA’s Golden Heart Contest, or is posted after 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time on September 26) will result in the entry being disqualified.

Ten finalists will be listed on the blog at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time on Monday, October 2. ENTRANTS SHOULD CHECK THE RUBY BLOG AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE ON OCTOBER 2 TO FIND OUT IF THEY ARE FINALISTS. It is entirely the entrant’s responsibility to check the blog to see if she or he is a finalist.

The ten chosen finalists will have the rest of the day, until 12:01 a.m. October 3 (in other words, 24 hours), to post an expanded entry, starting with that EXACT SAME fabulous 50-word-max opening, and continuing with the next consecutive lines up to a MAXIMUM TOTAL of 250 words. (Really, a maximum of 250. Any more than that, and we have to disqualify the entry. We will also disqualify your entry if it’s not posted by 12:01 a.m. on October 3.) Again, type ENTRY in caps at the top and post your expanded entry.

The three winners will be announced on the blog on Tuesday, October 10.

START POSTING THOSE ENTRIES!!!! We’re sure they’ll be a fascinating, intriguing, highly entertaining mix as always, and we’re looking forward to reading them!!

(image courtesy of kangshutters /

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