Where Are They Now – The Rebelles (Class of 2017)

Welcome to the final edition of our eight week series: The Golden Heart Finalists, Where Are They Now?  The Golden Heart opens in just over a week and as the aspiring authors are getting their entries ready, we have one last chance to check in with a Golden Heart class – this year’s finalists, the Rebelles of 2017.  It’s only been eight months since they got the call and originally I hadn’t planned to do a Rebelle post since they just finaled, but when we added in a Rebelle survey we got a great response and now we get to share their experiences with you. 

(All of the information was voluntarily provided by the finalists themselves – and if you are a Rebelle and you missed our call to arms – which was a bit belated! – please post your own update in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!)

The Rebelles of 2017, Where Are They Now…

Though they only finaled eight short months ago, the Rebelles have formed a Golden Heart class bond and are active as a group.  Of those who replied, four signed contracts, four are still pursuing publication, and one is in the process of deciding on her path.  But don’t take it from me, let’s hand the mic over to the Rebelles…

Sarah Morgenthaler said of the Golden Heart, “It’s helped me focus on my career goals. Seeing all these wonderful, talented women out there writing/revising/blogging/promoting their work…it’s such a motivation to do the same. My Rebelle sisters are definitely an impressive group!” Right now she says, “I’m just going to keep writing the stories that make my heart happy. If I’m lucky, those stories will one day be out in the world.” She went on to add, “For those considering the GH contest, go for it! My life is so much fuller for having taken that jump. And just keep writing!”

For Susannah Erwin, the Golden Heart “put me in front of agents and I signed with one.” Right now, she’s “Working on a R&R from Harlequin!” (Congrats, Susannah! And good luck!)

Christina Britton said the Golden Heart “made me feel as if maybe I might actually have some talent” Now a full time traditional author, she plans “To put out about 2 books a year traditionally published.”  Her upcoming book, “With Love in Sight won in the 2017 historical category, and was sold to Diversion Books in a 3 book deal. It will debut March 27, 2018!” (Woohoo!)

Alexis Daria explained, “I think being a Golden Heart finalist boosted awareness of my name and my debut novel.” What’s on tap for her? “My GH book came out [in October], and the sequel comes out in a couple months. Planning to write more stories in this world, and working on some other projects with my agent’s guidance.” She added, “I think being a GH finalist and joining TGN helped me expand my network and make lots of wonderful new writing buddies. It was a great experience!”

Jennifer Henderson said “The GH really made me see myself as a real writer. I went to the national conference, started a social media presence, and developed a website because of it. I made an incredible network of writer friends with my GH class. It spurred me to be more active in my local chapter, and now I’m on the board.”  And her plans? “I’m currently querying and am working on my next manuscript. My dream is to be traditionally published.”

Two-time finalist (2016, 2017) Kari W. Cole said of the Golden Heart, “It gave me professional focus and exposure. Helped me secure representation and now a publishing contract.” Now her goal is “To build a readership, write more books, and build a profitable career.”

For Lynnette Labelle, “The best part about the Golden Heart was becoming a part of the Rebelle sisterhood. These women are supportive, loving, and hilarious! I can’t imagine my life without them.” What’s in her future? “I’m currently taking a break from writing as I prepare for my new career as a literary agent. I’m currently a literary assistant with The Seymour Agency as I train to become an agent. Woohoo! I can’t wait to start this new journey.  Some agents are also authors. I might do both, but I’m not sure. Follow me on Twitter for agent-type tweets and updates: @Lynnette_Novak.”

C. R. Grissom said, “The GH final opened doors for me. First, I have a sorority of sisters willing to critique, cheer, offer condolences or advice. Next, industry professionals are more inclined to take a chance on your query or submission.” Right now, she says, “I’m plotting the second book. I plan to enter the Golden Heart contest again.”  She also added, “I wish more unpublished authors would enter the Golden Heart.”

Well, they’re about to have the chance!  The Golden Heart opens next week!  And in the mean time…

Check Out These Rebelle Books!

Thank you to everyone who responded to our survey! And remember, if you’re a Rebelle, we’d love to hear more about where you are now in the comments today!

8 responses to “Where Are They Now – The Rebelles (Class of 2017)”

  1. So great to hear from the Rebelles! I hope this is only the beginning to great things to come for you. 🙂

  2. Seana Kelly says:

    Congratulations, Rebelles! I know we’ll be hearing a lot from you❤️

  3. Julia Day says:

    Congrats to all of the great news (and so fast!) from the Rebelles. And thanks to all GH-ers who joined the Rubies for this series!

  4. Addison Fox says:

    Congratulations to all the Rebelles!! So glad you’ve joined us for this series and wishing you all many many book sales!!


  5. C.R. Grissom says:

    I offer my thanks and gratitude to The Rubies. This group embodies the spirit of the Golden Heart sisterhood. You stay together and support each other throughout your careers. If someone asks me what it means to be a finalist—I tell them I’ve been welcomed into a family of writing sisters.

    For those of you wondering if you should enter—the answer is an emphatic yes. While the contest doesn’t offer feedback, you get five “grades” for your work. Take a chance. Enter the contest. There’s nothing to lose and so much to gain. <3

  6. Tamara Hogan says:

    Rebelles, how awesome to read your updates! As someone who just registered to judge the GH (again, always!) I look forward to some spectacular reads!!!

  7. Thank you so much for this blog post Rubies! I adore being part of this sisterhood. Seriously, taking a chance on entering the Golden Heart was one of the best decisions I ever made and I encourage everyone who is on the fence about it to take a leap and do it! ❤️

  8. Diana Lloyd says:

    Wow, Rubies, thanks for the shout out to the Rebelles! We were the first lunch ladies of the GH. This Rebelle sold a 3-book deal to Entangled 8 months after being announced as a GH finalist. My first book, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR BARON, will be released Summer 2018. So many other opportunities have come my way since the GH. I strongly urge everyone to enter, it has been an AMAZING experience.


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