Announcement: The Third Annual ‘Make it Golden’ Contest!


The Rubies have TWO big events coming up and you don’t want to miss out on either one of them!

First, on September 21st, it’s the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood blog’s THIRD birthday bash, and once again, we’re putting on a huge celebration where WE’LL be giving away the gifts! Books, critiques, gift cards — I guarantee you do NOT want to miss this!

The second date to mark on your calendar is SEPTEMBER 24th, when the Rubies will be hosting their third annual MAKE IT GOLDEN contest.

As you may remember from previous years, the MAKE IT GOLDEN contest is designed for unpublished authors who are polishing up their entries for RWA’s Golden Heart Contest–the contest that brought the Ruby Sisters together when we were finalists together in 2009.

We all know how important a strong opening line is in grabbing the attention of Golden Heart judges, and this contest is a great chance to test yours out!

Check out the 2011 finalists here.


First Prize: Golden Heart Entry Fee
Second Prize: Critique of first 25 pages (any genre) by RITA Award Winning Author (and our very own fab Ruby) Darynda Jones
Third Prize: A beautiful Ruby Slipper Ring Holder









  • Anyone eligible to enter the 2013 Golden Heart (see RWA’s rules here) is eligible to enter (though, of course, Rubies are not eligible), and the best part is, there’s no entry fee. In other words, it’s FREE!!
  • Finalists and winners from last year are welcome to enter again, BUT ALL ENTRIES MUST BE NEW!
  • We will accept the first 100 entries.
  • Due to the entry cap, only ONE entry 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 which manuscript you want to enter. We want to be fair to all participants and give everyone an equal opportunity to participate.
  • Starting at 12:01 a.m. on September 24th, 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. Please do not leave us hanging in the middle of a sentence! Find a good stopping hook (at 50 words or less) and use that. PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A CHANGE FROM LAST YEAR’S RULES where we were only accepting the first line.
  • Any entries that violate these rules (go over the 50 word limit, do not start with the word ENTRY, or more than one entry from the same person) will result in that entry being disqualified.

Ten finalists will be listed on the blog at 12:01 a.m. EST on Monday, October 3rd. ENTRANTS SHOULD CHECK THE RUBY BLOG AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE ON OCTOBER 3rd TO FIND OUT IF THEY HAVE FINALED. It is entirely the entrant’s responsibility to check the blog to see if he or she is a finalist.

The ten chosen finalists will have the rest of the day, until 12 midnight EST on October 3rd (in other words, almost 24 hours), to post an expanded entry, starting with that fabulous 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.) Again type ENTRY in caps and post, your expanded entry (max. 250 words).

The three winners will be announced on the blog October 8th.


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21st: The Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Birthday Bash!
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 24th: Starting at 12:01 a.m., we will accept the first one hundred entries for the contest.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 3rd: Ten finalists will be announced on the Ruby blog.

We are so excited for both our Birthday Bash and our Make it Golden Contest and hope you’ll join us on the blog for these amazing events!

8 responses to “Announcement: The Third Annual ‘Make it Golden’ Contest!”

  1. It looks like I’m one of the lucky few who is fortunate enough to get the blog to load today.

    I’m looking forward to reading all of the fabulous openings, Cynthia! Thanks so much for taking charge of our celebration and contest.

  2. I love all these celebrations and giveaways – such a fun way to kick off autumn. Looking forward to reading people’s first 50 words!

  3. June Love says:

    I can’t wait to read the entries. I know they’ll be spectacular.

  4. The last two Make It Golden contests were such fun, but tough to pick a winner! Can’t wait to see this year’s entries.

  5. […] But before we get to the most excellent list of prizes you can win this year, I’d like to make a short public service announcement about our third annual MAKE IT GOLDEN CONTEST coming up on MONDAY, September 24th. If you’re planning on entering the 2013 Golden Heart contest, this is the perfect opportunity to test your opening and have a chance at winning your Golden Heart entry fee! Full details here. […]

  6. Meggan McQuaid says:

    What a wonderful idea for a contest! Um, so maybe this is a dumb question…does the word ENTRY count as one of the fifty words?

    • The word ENTRY is just so we can easily identify it as an ‘official’ entry and does not count towards your fifty words. Not a dumb question at all! In fact, I’m going to add that clarification to the rules. 🙂

  7. Ginger Ring says:

    Sounds like fun. I’m in!


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