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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Preparing for the Golden Heart

Hello fellow Noodler friends and fans!!!

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to participate on the loop, so I’m excited to be this month’s blog mom. And what a great month to be here as we get set to discuss Preparing for the Golden Heart.

This month will be filled with advice on many aspects of preparing for the GH, from deciding whether or not you’re ready to enter, to manuscript preparation tips, to judging advice and expectations, and the list goes on. In fact, looking ahead to tomorrow we have “Why You Should Enter” from Dr. Deb.

Do you have any pressing questions in need of answering? Give us a try. If we don’t know the answer ourselves, you better believe we’ll go searching for it. Or for the person who can help you out.

For starters, if you’re not familiar with the Golden Heart, head to the Romance Writers of America web site for the nitty gritty details at

Let’s just say it’s the end all and be all of contests for the unpublished in our industry. It’s the crème de la crème. The big taco and the big kahuna all rolled into one. Making the finals in the Golden Heart is tough, yet ultimately so blessedly rewarding. Finaling in the GH is what brought the Noolders together, and I’ll forever be grateful for having been grouped with such remarkable ladies.

There are reasons why you should enter the GH; however, there are also reasons why you shouldn't. You want to really make sure your entry is ready. And that you’re ready for the possibility of what could potentially happen next. Like, an editor reads your book, falls in love with your characters, and wants to publish your novel. Or, you don’t final, your scores are low and you’re depressed for a little while. Personally, I go for the chocolate or margaritas at that point. :-)

It’s the nature of the business. Subjectivity. But we’re tough cookies, aren’t we? And if after joining us on our blog this month and asking your questions, you feel your writing is ready to give the GH a try, you can be sure the Wet Noodle Posse gang will be in your corner.

So let’s get this ball rolling. Anyone care to share whether or not they’re thinking of entering, or if they already have, this year? Have you entered in the past?


At 8:35 AM, Blogger Louisa Cornell said...

I entered last year for the first time and thanks to all of the help I received from the Posse (BIG bow in the direction of the Divine One - Diane Gaston) I was a finalist! I had a fabulous week at Nationals and the whole experience was AMAZING!

Now I am at the panic phase of trying to finish my second book so I can enter it this year!

And as soon as I finish that, I am going back to revise my 2008 finalist because I think I might enter it in 2010.

What are the opinions of the Posse on entering the same manuscript more than once, even if it has already finaled once?

At 8:41 AM, Blogger Esri Rose said...

I believe it's fine to enter a MS more than once. Usually you've tinkered with it enough that it's not quite the same book anyway, but even if you haven't changed it a lick, they haven't made that illegal yet, so go for it.

Posse, any thoughts on whether she should rename it?

At 10:49 AM, Blogger Mo H said...

I think you can definitely enter it again. As Esri said, you've probably changed it since 2008. I believe the Divine One can tell you why it's a good idea to re-enter it, once revised. Oh, Diane? You want to chime in?

At 10:58 AM, Blogger Avery Beck said...

I entered my 2007 finalist, after significant revisions from a Harlequin editor, and it finaled again in '08. (Hi Louisa!) I did change the title because I wanted it judged on its own merit, not because someone recognized it as a finalist. I also wanted to find out if '07 was just luck, LOL.

I don't think I'm entering this year, I figure if two finals couldn't sell me, I should save my cash... (hmm, noodlers, I'd love some opinions on that!) Good luck to the '09 entrants!

At 1:07 PM, Blogger Kempt said...

Avery, I never entered a story more than once, but if I had, I'd have done the same thing - change the title. Also, I never put my name on an entry, something that's optional these days. Like you, I wanted to know the story wasn't finalling because someone recognized the name from another final.

As for your two finals not bringing you a sale, bear in mind it was essentially the same project, albeit re-worked. Unfortunately, it's not just about talent. You have to hit the right editor with the right project at the right time. If you enter a completely different project this time, it might be the right one for right now.

Lastly, even though multiple GH finals might not get you that sale right away, it does tend to open doors for you when you can cite multiple finals on your resume. In my experience, editors and agents are much more open to looking at your stuff in that situation.

At 1:09 PM, Blogger Norah Wilson said...

LOL! I was just doing something in Gmail for my daughter and was signed in as Kempt. Sorry about that. That last message was from me.

At 2:18 PM, Blogger Prisakiss said...

Hi Louisa and Avery, it's great to see some fellow Pixie Chicks on the Posse blog!

I'm still on the fence about entering myself. My latest manuscript isn't finished, and I'm not sure if I want to put that kind of pressure on myself at this time in my busy life.

I have entered a finaling manuscript in the GH contest in a consecutive year, but did not final again. And I must say, the doubts really plagued me. Was the first final a fluke? Or, did the subjectivity of this business rear its ugly head again? It's hard not to wonder.

I did not change the title of the manuscript when I re-entered, but I also did not put my name anywhere on the manuscript. For whatever it's worth or if you're taking a poll. :-)

This year I won't re-enter a manuscript from last year. Too much money, and an editor has already requested it. I just need to finish polishing that baby and send it on to NY. I don't feel there's a need to pay the entry fee when what I want to happen (an editor requests my book) has already happened.

Although it's important to remember that a request is most definitely NOT a sale. Which is the goal we all seek.

I think I'm going to utilize the info I glean from this month's blog, as well as see how much writing I'm able to get done this month before I decide whether or not to enter this year (with a new manuscript).

Anybody else wanna chime about their GH experience? Past and present?

At 2:33 PM, Blogger Louisa Cornell said...

Shout out to my fabulous Pixie Chicks sisters!

And Priss, honey, I said I was entering this year. I didn't say the manuscript was finished yet! LOL
My goal is to have it finished by November 11th, polish it for two weeks, mail it by November 25th and then chew my nails and sweat until the calls go out.

And thanks for the hints on re entering LOST IN LOVE. Will definitely go with a different title just to give it the best, most unbiased chance. And it will definitely be different as I got a some great input from an agent as to how to make it better.

At 10:05 PM, Blogger Prisakiss said...

Well, guys, I'm wrapping up my day on the blog. It's getting late and I still have some other work to get done.

Thanks to all who posted, and to my fellow Posse and Pixie sisters. :-)

Hopefully I'll see you back on the blog tomorrow, and throughout the month, as we gear up to enter or consider entering the Golden Heart.

And even if you're not entering, I guarantee that you'll learn something valuable during the course of our chats.

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, I'll bid you all a hearty "Buenas Noches!"

At 10:11 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

I entered my two medieval time travels too many times to count. I did not enter one of them for the past two years and neither of them last year. But in hopes that there might be a different editor judge, I might enter them both again this year. I haven't decided.

Like Esri said, as long as it's still within the RWA rules, you have nothing to lose except money. And that's what might stop me from reentering manuscripts that have already finaled.

I say do what you want. It's fun to final and until I sell I figure why not??!!

I'm not sure whether I will change the titles or not...If I can come up with something I like, I might...

At 10:26 AM, Blogger Esri Rose said...

I wondered who that savvy Kempt person was!

At 12:09 PM, Blogger Elyssa Papa said...

I'm entering the GH again after going back and forth if I wasn't going to do it or not, but then figured what do I have to lose besides $50. I knew I would regret if I didn't enter. This is my second consecutive year, and I feel as if I'm much savvier than last year. But that could just be delusions! LOL.

At 1:40 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Good for you, Elyssa! Lots of luck. I hope you are a finalist this year!


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