It's Great to Be Golden Again
By Jacqueline Floyd
I'm happy to announce with great pride and all humility, that I am once again a Golden Heart finalist. Too Late for Love? is a finalist in the Series Contemporary category. It would be overstating the case to say I knew it would happen. But I did hope.
When the entries go out in November, it's easy to be confident. I tell myself that I'm submitting my best work, or at least, I'm submitting all of my manuscripts that are eligible. And I'm a fabulous writer. Or at least, I'm pretty good. Most days. So, all right, maybe I'm not that confident even when they leave my hands. But I'm open to the possibility of being a Golden Heart finalist. I've been one before, I tell myself, it could happen again. Really. It could.
The moment I get the confirmation that my entry--or, I should say, entries-- have arrived and been accepted, I try not to think about them again. Except when I'm reading the Golden Heart entries I've agreed to judge. Since I'm a firm believer in 'What goes around, comes around', I read every entry with an open mind. I don't want to be petty or harsh or overly judgmental, because those aren't the attributes I want my own judges to have. I want them to be open to the plot, impressed with the characters, wowed by the prose, so I look for those qualities in the partials that I read. It's tough enough to be judged by a panel of five of your peers without encountering unnecessary negativity. So I try to put only positive thoughts into the atmosphere. Even in the years when it hasn't worked with my Golden Heart judges, positivity just seems like a better policy to live by.
But after that, I really do try not to think about it again until March. And really, by then, I just can't help it. It's the RWA version of March Madness.
This year, the notification date of March 25th was a Tuesday. In my opinion, Tuesday is a terrible day for notification. It's clearly a work day for most people. And let me just say, it was not my most productive day at work. About 11:00 AM, I told one of my co-workers that notification was going out to the finalists in a national writing contest I had entered. She seemed to think it was still early in the day, and by some standards it was. But in my heart of hearts, I thought if I hadn't been contacted by noon, 2008 wasn't going to be my year. I was trying to make peace with that thought when (hallelujah!) my phone rang, or more accurately, vibrated in my pocket.
Jacqueline Floyd is a member of RWA, OVRWA, OIRW, and the Golden Network. As well as frequently submitting manuscripts to agents and editors, she's won and placed in numerous contests including the Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award of Excellence, RWA's Golden Heart, and OVRWA's first chapter contest. She writes short contemporary and single title.
It's Great to Be
Three by Five
What Is It You