Back on the contest subject…

In very surprising news… THE MISEDUCATION OF APRIL HILLSON has finalled in RWA’s Golden Heart competition.

Yes, this is the same ms whose publishing misadventures I described on Friday. Maybe this will breathe new life? (Not holding my breath, but one never knows!) That sounded pessimistic. I don’t mean it that way. Finalling in the GH is HUGE. I’m super happy. Just trying to be realistic.

This development also reminded me of the post I did last week over at DWT, about subjectivity and contests. This particular project is one that typically gets strong reactions — either positive or negative — and therefore typically doesn’t do well in contests. It doesn’t follow “the rules”. It has two time lines — both told in first person. There is no hero evident in the first chapter… Well, the first 7 or 8 chapters if memory serves… and the heroine sleeps with other men before she finally gets around to even kissing the hero in like the second to last chapter… Also, the heroine comes off pretty weak and annoying at the start… She has a sharp character arc to climb… So, on most contest scoresheets, I’d fail. Miserably.

In fact, virtually the exact same entry–don’t even know if I moved any commas–was entered in this same contest last year and barely made the top half. I did get three really high scores, but two judges HATED IT — basically giving it a failing score.

Anyway… Grateful to have rolled some lucky dice on judges this year! Thank you to the five lovely RWA members who judged my entry in the preliminary rounds. Love you! Seroiusly. I really think I love you. We need to meet.

  15 comments for “Back on the contest subject…

  1. March 26, 2007 at 4:25 am

    The story sounds amazingly interesting. Two time lines? Love those complex plots. Have you read Labyrinth by Kate Moss (no, not the model). Same type thing — two time lines, two heroines, can’t disclose # of heroes (spoiler).

  2. March 26, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    Congratulations, Maureen!

  3. March 26, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    Yay, Maureen! Congrats on the contest. This must give you a nice little mental boost over the long haul of very close to publication!!! That’s fabulous.

  4. March 26, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    So happy to hear about this, Maureen! Obviously the judges this year were able to recognize talent. This is definitely going to be the first step in a new wave of appreciation for your work.

  5. March 26, 2007 at 2:15 pm

    Maureen – this is SO GREAT!
    I’m beginning to rethink going to Nationals – I want to be the captain of your hometown cheering squad!

  6. March 26, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    I am sooooo happy for you, Maureen!

  7. March 26, 2007 at 2:41 pm

    Yippee!! Congrats Maureen. I have all my fingers crossed for you and Annie has all her toes crossed…well she’s kind of gnawing on them, but in a good way. I remember how good this book sounded when you told me about it!
    ( Rene)

  8. March 26, 2007 at 2:45 pm

    Way to go Maureen!!!! I guess you are going to Dallas now.

  9. March 26, 2007 at 2:53 pm

    Thanks everyone. I really, really appreciate all the support and good thoughts.

  10. March 26, 2007 at 4:27 pm

    Way to go Maureen!

    Ummm…by the sounds of your contest scores (either highs or lows and nothing in between), your novel appears to be cutting new ground. Might be why it is difficult to sell to nervous big name publishers.

  11. March 26, 2007 at 9:25 pm

    The GH??? That’s HUGE! Congrats!!! Does this mean I’ll see in Dallas soon?

  12. March 27, 2007 at 2:21 am

    Congratulations Maureen.

    I feel you.

    I can barely think creatively before I hit my pen (Keyboard) on the edge of ‘the box’ or deviate from the ‘formula’.

    Then when I’m reading, I’m thinking where are the screwed up people I know? Not, in romance books. They all seem to find partner even with all their luggage. And God Love them because they got real problems. They still manage find love and make for great story telling but not to most editors.

    The story sound fascinating and more like most of the people I know.

    Don’t let them fit you in ‘the box’ keep widening the horizon.

  13. March 27, 2007 at 4:59 am


    So exciting.

  14. March 27, 2007 at 11:55 am

    Congratulations!!! I’m so excited for you and I have my fingers crossed for you!

  15. March 27, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    Wa-hoo!!!! This is fantastic (and very well deserved) news.

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