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MAKE IT GOLDEN CONTEST ENTRY DAY

Welcome to the TENTH Annual MAKE IT GOLDEN Contest!!

The MAKE IT GOLDEN contest was born as a contest for unpublished authors polishing up their entries for RWA’s Golden Heart Contest. Though the Golden Heart is now a thing of the past (sob!), stories will always need openings that grab reader attention! 

So this contest lives on as a great chance to test your opening lines out! 

Check out the finalists from 2018’s contest, 2017’s contest2016’s contest,  2015’s contest2014’s contest, and 2013’s contest , (plus 2012’s contest here, 2011 here, and 2010 here).

Any time between now and one minute past midnight at the very of end the day today (actually 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time on September 27), just post your unpublished romance manuscript’s first 50 words (with the word ENTRY in all caps at the top, which does NOT count toward your word total), and you’re in the running to win one of our prizes:

GRAND PRIZE: a $50 Amazon gift card!

SECOND PLACE: a $20 Amazon gift card!

THIRD PLACE: a $15 Starbucks gift card

And, of course, huge heaping helpings of glory for all three!!

All UNPUBLISHED authors are eligible to enter, and entry is COMPLETELY FREE to enter, but only the FIRST FIFTY ENTRIES CAN QUALIFY, so don’t delay!

OFFICIAL RULES — PLEASE READ CAREFULLY:

  • Finalists and winners from previous years are welcome to enter again, BUT ALL ENTRIES MUST BE NEW TO THIS CONTEST!
  • We will only accept a maximum of 50 entries, first come, first served.
  • Due to the entry cap, a maximum of THREE entries per person will be accepted for this year’s contest. This applies even if you write under multiple pen names.  
  • Starting at 12:01 a.m. on September 26 (that’s right now!), 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. Also, try to find a logical cut-off point: please don’t leave us hanging in the middle of a sentence! Just don’t go over 50 words.
  • The word ENTRY does NOT count towards your 50 word limit. This is just so we can identify it as an ‘official’ entry.
  • Any entry that violates any of these rules (i.e., goes over the 50 word limit, is one of four or more entries from the same person, is not from a romance manuscript, is an entry from a previous year, is an entry from an author already published in book-length fiction, or is posted after 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time on September 27) will result in the entry being disqualified.

Ten finalists will be listed on the blog at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, October 3. ENTRANTS SHOULD CHECK THE RUBY BLOG AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE ON 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 on October 4 (in other words, a bit over 24 hours), to post an expanded entry, starting with that EXACT SAME fabulous 50-word-max 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. We will also disqualify your entry if it’s not posted by 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time on October 4.) Again, type ENTRY in caps at the top and post your expanded entry.

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

START POSTING THOSE ENTRIES!!!! We’re sure they’ll be a fascinating, intriguing, highly entertaining mix as always, and we’re looking forward to reading them!!

(image courtesy of kangshutters / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

24 responses to “MAKE IT GOLDEN CONTEST ENTRY DAY”

  1. Lisa Abraham says:

    ENTRY

    I was on fire. Well, not literally. Literally, I was only a bit warm from having bowled half a set, but I was on a hot streak. My team and I were dominating our opponents and, if we clinched tonight, we would move up to the finals.

    0
  2. Brittany Green says:

    ENTRY

    When most people think of time they think of a straight line, a line full of overlapping lifetimes and generations. Lives begin and they end. You’re born, you live a life of seemingly unimportant moments connected by milestones and accomplishments, the memories that make a lifetime.

    0
  3. ENTRY

    “Always late.”

    Always critical. Sam didn’t say it out loud. She only reciprocated Mom’s hug, applying the same amount of pressure Mom used, counted to three, and backed away.
    Three seconds for family and close friends. One second sufficed for anyone else. Just one of the many rules Sam memorized.

    0
  4. Haleigh says:

    ENTRY

    Today begins the first act of my real-life big break.

    The droopy-looking lady at the front desk tips her head to look at me questioningly. “Grace King?”

    I nod, and she puts a loopy checkmark next to my name. “Room 103.”

    Okay. Deep breaths.

    0
  5. Stephanie Wheeler says:

    I noticed her smell before I ever saw her face.  That’s what drew me to her. I caught it in the air, mingled with moisture and salt, just beyond my ability to make sense of it. I lifted my nose a few inches and inhaled.
                I immediately yearned for more.

    0
  6. Kirsty Fitzpatrick says:

    ENTRY

    “Da has only gone and chopped Eli’s head off!” Molly’s screech sailed through the house.

    I jumped; the photo I’d been staring at crinkled. I grabbed the book closest, squirrelled the photo inside its back page, and launched it across my desk under the kneejerk calculation that distance equalled invisibility.

    0
  7. Rachel Alexander Grilliot says:

    ENTRY

    “Can I ask you something,” Tim asked as he traced the roses that bloom down my back.

    “I think you just did,” I mumbled into the pillow.

    I had to recognize the restraint he had shown in not asking about the tattoos in the six months we’d been sleeping together.

    0
  8. Olliren Hrabal says:

    ENTRY

    My heels clacked as I headed for the lectern. Brushing my fingertips over the embedded screen, my copious notes rushed by, stopping at the next section of the lecture. “The fault doesn’t only belong to the corporations and governments whose philosophies amounted to an environmental version of pull and pray.”

    0
  9. A. K. Hudson says:

    ENTRY

    Even if you weren’t fae, picking up a one-night-stand on Midsummer was ridiculously easy. In fact, it was a little insulting to both Ryan and his paramour. Clichéd. Meaningless. Everything he usually looked for to make himself feel good and keep his mind from wandering too far.

    0
  10. Lana Sloan says:

    ENTRY

    Un-showered and splattered in chocolate ice cream, I tossed the block of glittery splinters that used to be a phone into the backseat of my car. Slamming the door closed, I crouched beside my back tire, on the shoulder of the two-lane highway, just inside the town limits of Beau.

    0
  11. Sammi Spizziri says:

    ENTRY

    The first sign it was a mistake coming to this party is my song blaring through the speakers as I walk in.

    The second is that I recognize at least six people, and not from real life. These are legit famous people who have earned their invite.

    0
  12. Sammi Spizziri says:

    ENTRY

    Mom always encouraged me to get out of Ridgeview and chase my dreams, but she never said those dreams would mean inhaling horse manure on a Saturday afternoon.

    I avoided breathing through my nose as I set up an interview with the owner of an NYC horse carriage ride company.

    0
  13. Kate says:

    ENTRY

    When most people hear the word archaeology, they think King Tut and Indiana Jones; sand, blue skies, and the glint of mystery sparking the air. Don’t get me wrong — nothing quite matches the feeling of unearthing an artifact or discovering long-hidden ruins, but it’s not all adventure.

    0
  14. Elisa Beatty says:

    Loving these entries!! Keep ’em coming!!

    0
  15. Becke Turner says:

    Entry

    Dana Grant’s Rules of Nursing: keep one’s butt out of proverbial sling.

    Dana accepted the clipboard and marched to the elevator—with the danged sling hugging her butt. Someday, she’d learn to assess before volunteering. Now, she had to find the missing oncology fellow who had fractured her proficient unit.

    0
  16. Becke Turner says:

    ENTRY

    Finding a bargain spiked Shelly Peach’s spirits almost as high as good sex. Not that she had a recent comparison. But hey, at thirty-one she still possessed a great memory and a vivid imagination. Of course her latest purchase wasn’t as good as sex, but it was close.

    0
  17. ENTRY

    By the time her plane touched down in Maui, Jessica Chavez swore she’d never fly again. Slightly problematic, given that she was now on an island in the South Pacific. But after three flight delays, extreme turbulence, and an obnoxious seat partner, she was done.

    0
  18. Gwyn says:

    Some good stuff here. Going to be another tough year for voting.

    0
  19. LAL Thompson says:

    Entry

    Jake wasn’t reading the magazine he held. Instead he studied the woman sitting across the room with her nose in a book. Oblivious to her surrounding, Lena Grayson had grown into her beauty, her cooper gold hair falling in waves around her shoulders.

    0
  20. Jacie Floyd says:

    These are great. Such fun reading all of them!

    0
  21. Margot Ryan says:

    ENTRY

    I guess I understood why I’d been called the bad boy of the Purple Sevens, especially when you put me next to Charlie Diamond, who was smaller, blonder, and more charismatic. I was a lump of coal next to his diamond—made of the same stuff arranged a little differently.

    0
  22. Gloria Polanosky says:

    ENTRY

    Kassie’s stomach growled loudly. By the sound, one would think that she hadn’t eaten in years. But, then again, the smell of her father’s cooking always made her hungrier than she was. The delicious aromas of coffee, egg, bacon and baking bread drew her like a magnet towards the kitchen.

    0
  23. Wow, we have some fantastic entries!!! Thank you guys for being brave enough to show your underwear in public! 🙂

    0
  24. Awesome! Awesome! Looking forward to more.

    This is going to be so hard picking ten.

    0

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