2012 Golden Heart Survey: What are your plans?

What are your plans for the 2012 Golden Heart contest for unpublished romance manuscripts? Many members of our Ruby-Slippered Sister community are ineligible this year (congratulations to you — and you can still take the survey), but I know I’m not the only one still hunting for that book deal. So spill the beans!

Click here to take the anonymous survey

On Tuesday, 09/20, come back to the RSS blog and I’ll reveal what, if any, trends we can spot.

Now that you’ve taken the survey, what are your thoughts on it — or the Golden Heart contest in general? Do you think any categories will be added, deleted, or merged? Any predictions on which categories will receive the most entries?


Pardon yet another interruption, Dear Readers, but here’s some more trivia about the Rubies that just might come in handy during our Birthday Bash on September 21! (Did someone say PRIZES??? ….Hmmm, we’ll never tell!!)

Shea Berkley is a kickboxer who trains with some serious MMA dudes.

2 Rubies are barrel racers

Katie Graykowski was deported from the Bahamas.

Gwyn MacKenzie had her own Professional Make-Up Artist and Dress Advisor business.

Vanessa Barneveld and a couple of friends hung out with the Red Hot Chili Peppers in the band’s hotel room.

Jamie Michele met Fabio when she was 15.


31 responses to “2012 Golden Heart Survey: What are your plans?”

  1. liz talley says:

    This year I’m not eligible for the GH, but if I were, I’d be entering it. This year I’m entering the Rita for the second time and I have three eligble books. I’m not holding my breath because I really liked my two books last year and they were in the middle and lower quadrant for the Ritas 🙁 This year I requested NOT to get my scores for that reason. Depressing!)

    But why would I not enter? It’s a crapshoot, but if I get lucky, it’s another chance for my name to pop up in front of many romance readers and lots of industry people. But I’m going to have to forego new boots or something. Starting to get expensive. 🙂

  2. Just a note: EVERYONE can take the survey. There’s a slot that Rita-eligible writers fall into. There should be a slot that everyone falls into, even pre-published writers (which, I recently learned, according to publishers, refers to a writer who has signed a contract on a book but whose book has not yet been released — i.e., in contest limbo).

  3. Elisa Beatty says:

    I can’t believe it’s already time for the Golden Heart cycle to begin again!!! Thanks for doing the survey, Jamie–I’m eager to get a sense of which categories are going to be most popular again. (And…hey…you met Fabio when you were 15???? I’m betting it was life-changing for at least one of you!)

    I think I’ll be entering the Golden Heart again this year…hopefully for the last time! I’ll only have one complete manuscript that’s eligible, which really makes it a crapshoot, but it’s so hard to resist!

    Any word on whether RWA has taken any further steps towards switching over to an all-electronic contest? I know the logistics are daunting, but it will be great once the kinks are worked out.

    Other than that, I think it’s a fabulous contest all around.

    Has there been any buzz about categories changing? (One of my favorite things about Golden Heart is that it has a separate Regency category.)
    Anybody think Golden Heart will ever have an erotica category?

    • Fabio was tall, stunning, and wholly magnetic. That much was clear to me. I was a very … *aware* 15-year-old, kids, so know that I fully recognized his power.

      Re: categories, I think we’re still a ways off from an erotica category. My anecdotal understanding from contest coordinators who offer an erotica category is that it’s generally hard to attract enough entrants to make a viable category.

      Coordinators, please offer an alternate picture if you have one to paint! This is merely what I’ve heard through the coord grapevine.

      Additionally, I have heard that when erotic entries are entered into traditional categories (which is permitted as long as the entry otherwise meets RWA’s guidelines for that category), they are often returned by judges. I’ve heard this happens in the Rita, where it might be more obvious from a book’s packaging that it is an erotic novel, but the same might be true of the Golden Heart, as well.

      Personally, I’m always surprised that there’s a separate category for series romantic suspense. Why not series historical, or series paranormal, or series inspirational? (I’m sure we could go on there!). It doesn’t get many entries, and I don’t understand why it’s the only remaining sub-series category. (The term get a little confusing, don’t they?)

      • I definitely think series paranormal should be added as a category, with the way paranormal has grown by leaps and bounds.

        • I love numbers and procedure, so I’d love to know precisely how they go about evaluating such things. Do they look in the Series category to see how many paranormals they get? Or in the Paranormal for series? And how would they *really* know, in the latter case?

  4. Hope Ramsay says:

    I am also ineligible for the Golden Heart, and this year I am eligible for the Rita with two books. I’m entering, but have no illusions. (And thanks Liz for the tip about not requesting my scores. I think I’ll do that).

    This June I got a chance to touch Jill Shalvis’ Rita. Jill and I share an editor, which is how I got to actually hold the statute. It was a religious experience. 🙂

    I want I want. But I’m realistic, too. I think in addition to having a really great book, you also have to be around for a while. There are elements of the Rita which are more like a popularity contest. But I’m okay with that. I’m just happy to be eligible to enter . . . for now.

    • Hope, I touched Kresley Cole’s RITA (I rubbed its belly, actually!) in 2010 and went on to final in the Golden Heart last year. Those statuettes have some *serious* mojo 🙂

      When you win yours, I’ll be hunting you down for a little more shared magic, heheheheh!

  5. Rita Henuber says:

    Oh! This is going to be a very interesting GH and RITA contest.
    Thanks for the survey Jamie. Can’t wait to see the results.

    • Yes, FABIO! I was attending some sort of charity event at UCLA. My father was the fire marshal for the university at that time, and we often got tickets for cool events. My mother and I were wandering around the reception, and, well, how could we miss him? I remember that he was standing in front of a window with the sun setting behind him. I barley knew who he was, but it didn’t matter. He was truly, absolutely magnificent. He wasn’t even handsome in any conventional way. He was just…man. Pure man, but with this layer of elegance and kindness that made me want to waltz with him.

      Later that night, Clint Black sang a love song while staring at me in the front row of the theatre. My skin just sizzled! My dad — a big country fan — talked to him later backstage, and asked him what he thinks about while he’s performing. Clint sad that night, he was mostly just checking out a hot blonde in the front row.

      Come to think of it, though, my dad may have made that up to make me feel special!

  6. Survey done, Jamie. Now, to get my rear in gear…

  7. Kelly Fitzpatrick says:

    I did very well in the Rita last year with Lily in Wonderland, but sadly my publisher is not keen on printing my novella This Side of Dead for the Ritas so I will not be entering. Still crying ’bout that.

    • Congrats on doing well! Lily is a great book; I’m glad it was recognized, even if it didn’t end up finaling.

    • Vivi Andrews says:

      Right there with ya, Kelly.

      I scored high marks with my Carina novella in the RITA last year, but my current publisher doesn’t print the books in time for this contest (our print books are released a year after the ebook so the copyright year doesn’t match which knocks us out of contention) so I’m SOL on entering any time soon.

  8. Sally Eggert says:

    Thanks for doing the survey, Jamie! I look forward to seeing the results. I still haven’t decided exactly what I’m entering this year, but definitely at least one in RS. I entered three mss last year, and wow this process gets expensive! But so worth it when it works out, and fun to have the feeling of that possibility on the horizon along the way. Even so, I’m thinking this year, maybe one possibility on the horizon will be enough, considering the cost. 😛

    • It does get expensive. When I got to the “how many manuscripts to you plan to enter?” question, I really had to pause and consider. I have three, I suppose, but I’d really like to finish up a fourth, and the first two have had their chances.

  9. Kate Parker says:

    Virginia Kantra brought her RITA to our chapter meeting after she won in New York. She finaled four times in the Golden Heart before she won and became published. I rubbed RITA’s head and wished for similar success. I’ve already finaled three times. Please. Let this be my year.

    I filled out the survey and can’t wait to see the results. Thanks for that, Jamie.

  10. I filled out the survey!

    With at that RWA is doing to get the chapters under the MyRWA umbrella, I don’t think this is the year that they’ll be able to go “all electronic” for the GH entries. But… NEXT YEAR! Fingers crossed!

    • That should’ve been “with all that RWA is doing”…

    • Agreed. They’re taking on a big project, and I certainly wouldn’t ask them to do another right now.

      But myRWA does have a contest module that might allow entrants to electronically upload entries, or so I hear from the excellent Judy Scott at RWA. As Golden Pen coordinator, I’m excited to learn more.

  11. Laurie Kellogg says:

    I consider myself a gonna-be not a wanna-be author. So even though I have no contract as of yet, I still think of myself as a pre-published because the prefix PRE means before or prior to. And since being published is my goal and I have not reached it yet, I am PRE-published. 🙂

  12. Julie Brannagh says:

    I took the survey.

    I recently asked why the GH/RITA does not allow electronic entry. I was told that there would have to be another RWA dues increase in order to accept electronic entries.

    Maybe it’s time to contact various board members and find out exactly how much it would cost to do the work to accept electronic entries. The sheer amount of paper and data CD’s that are wasted each year must be mind-boggling.

    • That’s very interesting, as it seems to me (as an observer not privy to RWA’s financials for the contest) that going all-electronic would save RWA (and entrants) a great deal of money on postage.

  13. Great idea on the survey, Jamie! Can’t wait to see the responses. Since I sold last year, I’m ineligible for the GH, and it’s rather bittersweet. I’ve been a member of every Golden Heart class for the past five years and have made such amazing friends on the GH journey. Already I’m a wee bit jealous of those of you who will get the call on March 25 and get 60+ new BFFs. Hugs and good luck, Jamie!

  14. Gosh, I’m so behind! I do plan to enter. I mean, I would rather sell first, but failing that, I’ll have another stab at it. 🙂


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