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Posts tagged with: Where Are They Now

Take Aways from the Where Are They Now Golden Heart Posts

Today, the Golden Heart contest opens for entries.  This is your moment, aspiring romance authors!  And if you need some extra motivation or reasons to enter, check out our Where Are They Now posts.  For the last two months, we interviewed a number of Golden Heart finalists from yesteryear in our Golden Heart: Where Are They Now? series. 

No two experiences were identical.  Some Golden Heart finaling manuscripts went on to publication and to win the RITA while others would stay under the bed, though many of those finalists would also go on to publication with other works.  For some finalists the benefit was a boost of confidence, a sense of validation, a chance to get the attention of editors and agents, or the bond with their Golden Heart class, a network, a community of fellow writers in the trenches with you.  

Not everyone went on to fame and fortune – the career paths were all over the writing map, but the Golden Heart does seem to still be a good indicator of future writing talent.  Now, you can certainly argue that by entering the Golden Heart in the first place, you’ve already indicated a certain level of dedication to your craft.  You’ve completed a manuscript.  You’ve polished it.  You’ve taken the step to put it (and yourself) out there in front of people who will judge it.  All of those things are necessary steps on the way to a career as an author.  Steps you have now cleared.  So by ENTERING the Golden Heart, you are already a step ahead.  

Every writer’s journey is different, but I found it incredibly powerful to read those success stories and see how far many of those aspiring authors have come. 

Our survey was, admittedly, wildly unscientific.  We couldn’t avoid a lot of confirmation bias – the authors who heard about our survey and answered the call were those who were still apart of the romance writing community.  And those who chose to take their time to answer our questions were undoubtedly more likely to be the writers who felt the Golden Heart had impacted them the most.  We can’t know for sure how many were indifferent to the final experience or have left writing entirely.  This business is uncertain, with lots of ups and downs no matter what stage you’re at, but I have always felt that with any relationship you get out of it what you put into it and many of those who have invested in their Golden Heart classes and their Golden Heart experiences have reaped impressive rewards.  

The future of the Golden Heart is uncertain.  The contest’s meaning has shifted with the rise of self-publishing. Some have questioned its relevance, but so many of those Golden Heart finalists surveyed used the same words over and over.

Confidence. Community. Opportunity. Validation.  Things that still have value, even as the industry changes.

Just something to think about, if you’re still on the fence.  Happy Golden Heart entry day, everyone. 🙂

Are you entering?  Did you enter in years past?  Do you think contests still have value?

Where Are They Now – The Rebelles (Class of 2017)

Welcome to the final edition of our eight week series: The Golden Heart Finalists, Where Are They Now?  The Golden Heart opens in just over a week and as the aspiring authors are getting their entries ready, we have one last chance to check in with a Golden Heart class – this year’s finalists, the Rebelles of 2017.  It’s only been eight months since they got the call and originally I hadn’t planned to do a Rebelle post since they just finaled, but when we added in a Rebelle survey we got a great response and now we get to share their experiences with you. 

(All of the information was voluntarily provided by the finalists themselves – and if you are a Rebelle and you missed our call to arms – which was a bit belated! – please post your own update in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!)

The Rebelles of 2017, Where Are They Now…

Where Are They Now – The Mermaids (Class of 2016)

Welcome to the final week of our eight week series: The Golden Heart Finalists, Where Are They Now?  We’ve loved checking in with the Golden Heart finalists from years past to see what paths their writing careers have taken them on and this week we’re closing it out with a two-fer of our two most recent classes – the Mermaids of 2016 (today) and the Rebelles of 2017 (tomorrow).  So let’s see what impact the Golden Heart has had on some of the finalists after only a short time…

(All of the information was voluntarily provided by the finalists themselves – and if you are a Mermaid and you missed our call to arms, please post your own update in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!)

The Mermaids of 2016, Where Are They Now…

Where Are They Now – The Starcatchers & Lucky 13s (Classes of 2011 & 2013)

Welcome to Week Seven of our eight week series: The Golden Heart Finalists, Where Are They Now?  We’ve been at it a while now and we’ve met quite a few Golden Heart finalists, but each week we’re finding new and unique stories on the post-Golden Heart journey.  This week, we’re visiting with the Starcatchers of 2011 and Lucky 13s of 2013!  So let’s get to it!

(All of the information was voluntarily provided by the finalists themselves – and if you are a Starcatcher or Lucky 13 and you missed our call to arms, please post your own update in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!)

The Starcatchers of 2011, Where Are They Now…

Where Are They Now – 2008, 2006 & 2004

Welcome to another installment of our eight week series: The Golden Heart Finalists, Where Are They Now? We’ve visited with some of the early Golden Heart finalists and some from more recent years, but now we’re going back to the middle – the even years of 2008, 2006 and 2004!

As our Golden Heart series has progressed, we’ve seen some themes emerge, but every Golden Heart experience is unique and this collection of award-winning authors is no different.  From the moment they got the call to now, a lot has happened…

(All of the information was voluntarily provided by the finalists themselves – and if you are a finalist from 2008, 2006, or 2004 and you missed our call to arms, please post your own update in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!)

The Classes of 2008, 2006 & 2004, Where Are They Now…

Where Are They Now – The Firebirds (Class of 2012)

Welcome to Week Five of our eight week series: The Golden Heart Finalists, Where Are They Now?  Last week we got updates from some of the OGs of the GH, but this week we’re back to more recent years and welcoming the chance to catch up with the Firebirds of 2012!

In March of 2012, the Firebirds got the call notifying them that they were Golden Heart finalists and later that year many of them made their way to Anaheim for their shot at taking home the Golden Heart necklace… and they banded together as another strong Golden Heart class.  But don’t just take my word for it.  Let’s hear from the Firebirds…

(All of the information was voluntarily provided by the finalists themselves – and if you are a Firebird and you missed our call to arms, please post your own update in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!)

The Firebirds of 2012, Where Are They Now…

Where Are They Now – Golden Heart Finalists from 2003 and Earlier

Welcome to Week Four of our eight week series: The Golden Heart Finalists, Where Are They Now?  This week we have a two-fer! In the past few weeks, we’ve been catching up with the more recent Golden Heart classes of 2010, 2014 & 2015, but this week we’re taking it Old School, y’all.  On Thursday Beth Langston will host the Golden Heart classes of 2005 & 2007, but today it’s our chance to take a look at the Golden Heart Back in the Day as we welcome the finalists from 2003 (Welcome, Wet Noodle Posse!) as well as finalists from as far back as 1988!  (Confession: this was the week I was looking forward to the most!)

Back in the days before ebooks and indie publishing, before digital entries were even an idea, when all the aspiring authors would lovingly box up five copies of their entries and mail them to Houston every fall, the Golden Heart was the gold standard and these authors got the Call.

(All of the information was voluntarily provided by the finalists themselves – and if you are a Golden Heart finalist from 2003 or earlier and you missed our call to arms, please post your own update in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!)

The Early Years of the Golden Heart Finalists, Where Are They Now…

Where Are They Now? – The Dreamweavers (Class of 2014)

Welcome to Week Three of our eight week series: The Golden Heart Finalists, Where Are They Now?  Every year we interview the new Golden Heart class, but lately we’ve been wondering what they’ve been up to and so this series was born.  So far we’ve caught up with the Dragonflies and Unsinkables, and this week we’re shining a light on the Dreamweavers!

In 2014, the RWA National Conference was in San Antonio and in March of that year the Dreamweavers got the call to come to the Riverwalk for their chance to bring their dreams to reality. Now let’s see what’s happened to them in the three and a half years since!

(All of the information was voluntarily provided by the finalists themselves – and if you are a Golden Heart finalist from 2014 and you missed our call to arms, please post your own update in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!)

The Dreamweavers of 2014, Where Are They Now…

Where Are They Now – The Unsinkables (Class of 2010)

Hello and welcome back for Week Two of our eight week series: The Golden Heart Finalists, Where Are They Now?  Last week, we caught up with the Dragonflies of 2015, but this week is all UNSINKABLES!

Back in 2010, massive flooding in Tennessee put the Grand Ole Opry under water and moved the RWA National Conference and Golden Heart ceremony to Disney World, but these Golden Heart finalists were not deterred and named themselves Unsinkable in honor of the fact that even natural disasters could not keep them down!  So lets see what they’ve been up to in the last seven years…

(All of the information was voluntarily provided by the finalists themselves – and if you are a Golden Heart finalist from 2010 and you missed our call to arms, please post your own update in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!)

The Unsinkables of 2010, Where Are They Now…

Where Are They Now? – The Dragonflies (Class of 2015)

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the first edition of our eight week series on Golden Heart finalists past!  Every year from March to July we do a series of interviews with the new crop of Golden Heart finalists, leading up to the ceremony at Nationals, but this year we got to wondering… Where Are They Now?  And so this blog series was born! 

Each week we will feature a new year (or group of years – we had to combine some so we could get through them all).  All of the information was voluntarily provided by the finalists themselves – but if you are a Golden Heart finalist from a particular year and you missed our call to arms, please post your own update in the comments.  We’d love to hear from you! 

And now, without further ado…

The Dragonflies of 2015, Where Are They Now…

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