A Brief History of the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood!

We’ve got lots of new folks joining the Winter Writing Festival this year, some of whom may have been wondering exactly who the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood are. So here’s some quick history:


The Rubies are a true sisterhood, but not by birth.

We came together on March 25, 2009, when we were all named Finalists in the Golden Heart Contest®, run by the Romance Writers of America®. The Golden Heart has long been the highest honor in romance writing for unpublished manuscripts, and being named a finalist has catapulted many writers quickly from obscurity to publication.

The day we finaled, almost ten years ago, We immediately formed an email loop to squeal, gush, and exchange questions of “OMG, what next?” The excitement was hard to describe. We said we felt like Cinderella, or like we’d fallen down Alice’s rabbit hole, or like….we’d been picked up by a tornado and transported to Oz. We talked about magic glass slippers, and yellow brick roads, and fairy godmothers, and the importance of banding together on this exhilarating, scary journey….and before we knew it, we had our name:

The Ruby Slippered Sisterhood.

Our motto followed soon after:

“There’s no place like the best-seller lists!”

Since then, some of us have indeed hit the bestseller lists. Hundreds and hundreds of books by Rubies have been published. Several Rubies have been nominated for (and even won!) the Rita, the Romance Writers of America’s version of the Oscars.

We’ve had terrific successes…but also disappointments and set-backs and heartbreaks of all kinds, in the big, scary, ever-changing world of publishing.

No matter what, though, we’ve been here to support each other, not just in our writing, but in all the crazy, difficult, wonderful, devastating things life throws at us, and our sisterhood has saved each of us more times than we can count. Truly, that powerful bond is the best thing that could ever have come out of finaling in the Golden Heart.

Along the way, we’ve also dedicated ourselves to providing a friendly, supportive online community for other writers trying to battle their own Wicked Witches and Flying Monkeys. Since September, 2009, our blog (designed by our own, amazing Liz Bemis, of has published many thousands of posts to document our journeys, and also provide entertainment, inspiration, and encouragement for all.

In addition to the annual Winter Writing Festival, we also host our annual Make It Golden Contest each September when we celebrate our Blog Birthday, and we’ve become the go-to party site every March 26 when the new Rita and Golden Heart finalists are announced, followed by our interview series with the year’s new class of finalists. Year round, we provide daily content to keep other writers, and our ever-increasing band of loyal readers, excited about romance and the fine art of storytelling.

We hope you’re enjoying the Winter Writing Festival, and invite you to stay with the Rubies throughout the year to continually strengthen your own writing life!! Thanks so much for being with us!!

7 responses to “A Brief History of the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood!”

  1. What Elisa said is so true about our sisterhood. I love my sisters. They’ve held my hand through so much.

    And I love that we have a platform to continue to help writers who are just beginning their journey. It’s always good to pay it forward.

    See you in the sprints this weekend.

  2. Elizabeth Essex says:

    Thanks for this reminder of how far we’ve come, as well as the wonderful things ahead of us all, Elisa. Much praise goes to you, and to all the Rubies who have worked so tirelessly to keep this blog such a vital and encouraging place over the past ten years!

  3. So happy to be part of this group! <3 <3 <3 Here's to another ten years of the writerly unity!

  4. Jennifer Whitney Bray-Weber says:

    I am so honored and damn lucky to be a part of this sisterhood. I cherish it more than words express. Thank you, my Rubies, for your friendship, wisdom, and support. Love live Sisterhood!

  5. Paula Huffman says:

    Thank you, Rubies, for sharing your journey and for supporting the rest of us in our own!

  6. Being part of the Ruby Sisters was the biggest win. Love the Sisterhood!

  7. Gwyn says:

    It’s hard to believe how much time has passed since those gush and celebrate days. On the other hand, it seems like we’ve always been together. Being a Ruby is such a blessing. I’m thankful for the honor every day. Love you all more than you’ll ever know.


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