Contest Rules for the 2018 MAKE IT GOLDEN Contest!

The Ruby Slippered Sisterhood will celebrate our NINTH blog birthday tomorrow, with our usual celebratory fun and fabulous prize packages!!

The following Wednesday, September 26, in keeping with Ruby tradition, we’ll be opening our 9th Annual MAKE IT GOLDEN CONTEST, and giving our Golden-Heart-eligible readers a terrific chance to shine (plus have a chance to earn more great prizes!!)

The MAKE IT GOLDEN contest is designed for unpublished authors who are polishing up their entries for RWA’s Golden Heart Contest–the contest that brought the Ruby Sisters together when we were finalists in 2009.

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

We’ve had a good track record, with lots of Make It Golden finalists (often multiple finalists per year) going on to final in and even win the Golden Heart: M. Kassel, Jeanne Estridge, Greta MacEachern, Eileen Emerson, Caroline Bradley, and Jeanine Englert, just to name a few! Some are now published and topping the bestseller lists (2011 Finalist Tracy Brogan, we’re looking at you!). Check out the finalists from 2017’s contest2016’s contest, 2015’s contest,    2014’s contest, 2013’s contest , 2012’s contest here, 2011 here, and 2010 here.

Finalists and winners from previous years are welcome to enter again, BUT YOU MUST STILL BE GOLDEN HEART ELIGIBLE (see RWA’s 2019 contest rules here) AND ALL ENTRIES MUST BE NEW TO THE MAKE IT GOLDEN CONTEST!! Maximum of TWO entries per person. (Even if you use more than one pen name.)

TOP PRIZE will once again be your Golden Heart entry fee paid for you by the Rubies, plus a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Second place will win a $20 Amazon gift card.

Third place will win a $15 Starbucks card.

The best part is, entering the contest is completely FREE!!

All you need to do to enter is follow the official rules, below:


Official Rules of the MAKE IT GOLDEN CONTEST (read carefully!!):

Starting at 12:01 a.m. EST on Wednesday, September 26, we will accept the first fifty eligible entries submitted for the contest, each containing up to the FIRST FIFTY WORDS of the entrant’s romance manuscript.


Submit your entry via the “comment” box on the blog, typing in the word ENTRY in all caps at the top so we won’t miss it.

There is no entry fee.

We will close to entries at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time the same day (to give our West Coast friends plenty of time to enter). Entries will be disqualified if any of the following are true: the entry goes over the 50 word maximum; the entry is posted after 11:59 p.m. Pacific time; the entry was submitted in a previous year; the entrant posts more than two entries (even if posted under more than one name); the entrant is known to be ineligible to enter the RWA Golden Heart contest (i.e., already a published author).

The Ruby Sisters will read the entries and choose ten finalists.

Ten finalists will be listed on the blog at 12:01 a.m. EST on Wednesday Oct 3. ENTRANTS SHOULD CHECK THE RUBY BLOG AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE ON WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 3 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. Pacific time at the very start of October 4 (in other words, a total of 27 hours), to post an expanded entry, starting with those very same fabulous opening words, 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 the expanded entry.

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



FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21: The Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Blog Ninth Birthday Bash!

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26: Starting at 12:01 a.m. Eastern time and ending at the next midnight Pacific time, we will accept the first FIFTY eligible entries for the contest.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 2: Ten finalists will be announced on the Ruby blog at 12:01 a.m. EST. THOSE FINALISTS HAVE 27 HOURS (until 12:01 a.m. Pacific time on OCTOBER 3) TO POST EXPANDED ENTRIES!!


3 responses to “Contest Rules for the 2018 MAKE IT GOLDEN Contest!”

  1. Tracy Brody says:

    Good luck everyone and hope y’all enter the GOLDEN HEART!

  2. Kat Turner says:


    Before Evie knew of her clairsentience, mortuary science seemed like the perfect career choice. She’d gravitated to the profession for the quiet and lack of drama, only to find out that dead people never shut up.

    Irony was one evil clown.

    She locked the front door of the funeral home

  3. Kat Turner says:


    Light and Enlightened, Helen’s yoga studio, was about to be Dark and Forgotten.

    Well, fuck that. As she strode toward the rides and screams enlivening the Minnesota State Fair, Helen dug the foreclosure notice from her purse and crumpled it into a ball. She chucked the wadded up paper into


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