Archive for the ‘Contests’ Category

Judging and Social Networks

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Just a bit of ‘net etiquette when it comes to judging unpublished manuscripts or published books in contests…

If you agree to judge a writing contest, please hold off on announcing which manuscript or book you’ve judged via a review or rating or comment at any of the tons of sites and social networks out there until AFTER the finalists have been announced. Judging packets usually include an indication of when the finalists will be notified and many judging packets (indeed most of the packets for contests I’ve judged) explicitly state not to discuss scores in the preliminary rounds. This is certainly a huge stipulation in the RITAs, RWA’s annual contest for published novels. And it’s the case in pretty much every RWA chapter contest in which I’ve participated as a judge.

Please note that I don’t have an issue with reviews, and I don’t have an issue with ratings. When it comes to published books, I don’t even have an issue with reviews or ratings that are posted before contest finalists are announced. After all, in order for the author to enter a contest for published novels, the novel has to have been published already, and whoever has read it certainly has the right to make their opinions about the book known.

However, when a judge points out that they judged the book in a particular contest and that contest is still on-going…it kind of takes the fun and anticipation out of the contest for the author.

Okay, so we don’t really enter writing contests for fun. We enter them to get judged—and hopefully make the finals. Judging occurs during the contest, and it can certainly occur on a public forum in the form of a review or rating. Just please make sure not to say where and why you read the book if contest finalists have not been announced.

And that’s my PSA for today!

Lovely RITA

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

I finally received my RITA packet of books to judge today. For those not in the know, the RITA is RWA’s annual contest for published books, and it’s judged by your peers. That’s what I am, I guess. A peer. Because I’m judging.

I’m looking forward to digging in to the books. In fact, I think I’ll start reading the first one as soon as I post this minuscule update.

This Friday will mark 6 weeks since I had my eye surgery. Will do an Eye Report then.

In the meantime, if anyone wants to share what they’ve been up to, I’m all ears. Just not eyes. The eyes, they still need TLC.

Oh! I registered for the RWA conference in Anaheim this July. It’s in my time zone, so I couldn’t pass it up. If you’re a member, are you going?


Saturday, December 24th, 2011

Thank you to everyone who participated in my contest for a trade paperback ARC of WHERE SHE BELONGS plus one of either BORROWING ALEX or HEAD OVER HEELS.

Julie Barrett won the draw!

Congratulations, Julie. Please look for an email from me in your in-box.

Release Day SNAFU Give-Away

Monday, December 19th, 2011

My release day glitch for WHERE SHE BELONGS is turning out to be a bigger SNAFU than I realized. I’ve learned from other Five Star authors with the same release date that some readers who have pre-ordered December 16th “release date” books from Amazon and Barnes and Noble have received notices that the books aren’t available and do they wish to cancel their pre-order?

Well, the books ARE available, but not until the “On Sale” date of January 6, 2012. Now, I always knew that the books were considered to be shipping on December 16th and would not be available in libraries or for sale in bookstores (that have ordered them) until the January “On Sale” date. But I did not realize that Amazon and Barnes and Noble would show them releasing on December 16th (ie. available for shipping on that date) and then turn around and switch to the “On Sale” date of January 6th. Mea Scratchy Laser-Surgery-Recovery-Mode Eyeballs! What a SNAFU.

Somehow, my brain thought that “On Sale” date applied to brick and mortar establishments. Turns out—heh heh—it applies to on-line venues, as well. No matter what those on-line venues were saying a week ago.

So…if you’ve pre-ordered my book and received one of these emails asking if you want to cancel your order, please know that supposedly the books will magically appear available again on January 6th. Do what works for you. Cancel your pre-order, or keep it going, cancel and re-order when the books appear on-line, or cancel and don’t re-order because Cindy is an airhead and who wants to read an airhead’s books?

How about if you win a free book?

My hardcover author copies of WHERE SHE BELONGS are all already spoken for, however, I still have trade paperback ARCs (Advanced Reading Copies) that Five Star/Tekno supplied me with for garnering reviews, etc. These trades paperbacks feature the same cover and the insides are the same except for a handful of typos that I found at the proofing stage (the ARCs were also used for proofing).

To make up for my release day SNAFU, I’m giving away one of my remaining WHERE SHE BELONGS ARCs. Autographed! And, while I’m at it, you can choose one of either HEAD OVER HEELS or BORROWING ALEX (trade paperback) to go along with the ARC of WHERE SHE BELONGS.

If you’ve read both HEAD OVER HEELS and BORROWING ALEX, I will mail you two copies of WHERE SHE BELONGS in ARC form and you can give one to a friend. They aren’t perfect—some minor edge wear. But they’re totally readable and enjoyable!

To enter to win an ARC of WHERE SHE BELONGS along with your choice of either HEAD OVER HEELS or BORROWING ALEX, please leave a comment at the end of this post. I will choose the winner’s name December 24th and email you at the email address provided for your snail-mailing info. The books will go in the mail around December 27th (post offices aren’t open on December 26th in Canada).

The winner must live in North America.

Meanwhile, the excerpts I had planned to share this week will wait until I know for sure this time that the books are available to order.

Happy Holidays, and good luck!

Note: If you are reading this post at a feed at Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon, etc., please note that you must leave a comment at Muse Interrupted to enter.

Beth Kery Silken Rapture Contest

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Author Beth Kery is hosting a 2-week multi-author book give-away to celebrate the release of SILKEN RAPTURE, her November 22nd release from Samhain Publishing. The contest actually started November 4th, but it’s not too late to start entering. Each day a guest blogger visits Beth’s blog and will give away a download of one of her books. Samhain author Kate St. James, who appeared on my blog two days ago, is today giving away a free download of A LITTLE WILD over at Beth Kery’s blog. You have to post THERE to enter, not here. Once there, make sure to scroll down to Kate’s blog entry to enter to win the download of A LITTLE WILD.

All the information about Beth’s contest can be found at this link. Authors scheduled to blog and give away books from now until November 22nd are:

Kate St. James – November 10th

Kelly Jamieson – November 11th

Natasha Moore – November 14th

Vivian Arend – November 15th

Vanessa Jaye – November 16th

Missy Jane – November 17th

Jodi Redford – November 18th

Lilli Feisty – November 21st

Beth Kery – November 22nd

If you’ve read this far, the super cool news is that Beth is giving away a Kindle Touch 3-G on November 23rd. To win the Kindle Touch 3-G, Beth says,

A winner will be randomly chosen from a pool of entrants on November 23. The winner must claim their prize, so it is important to come back and check the announcement!

So don’t forget that part.

Happy entering!

Ring, Ring!

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Guess what I’m not doing today? Sitting by the phone (or doing my best to pretend I’m not sitting by the phone) waiting to hear if I finaled in this year’s Romance Writers of America RITA contest for published books.

Neither I nor Penny had a new release in 2010, which meant I couldn’t enter the RITA. And it’s kind of a relief. Because today I get to write instead!

By now, I should have been brainstorming a short story series to write as Cindy, but Penny is still glomming all my time. She received a critique back on her short story (an erotica, not an erotic romance, gulp) and is keeping me busy implementing revisions. Well, and dealing with the business fire is also occupying my time and thoughts.

For all the RWA members who are sitting by the phone waiting to hear if you finaled in Golden Heart or RITA, good luck!! To my 2007 Golden Heart sisters who have entered either contest, crossing fingers double-time for you.

I’ll see you all in New York. I’ll be the one not sweating to hear if I won.

Cover Cafe Annual Cover Contest

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Cover Cafe is hosting the 2009 Cover Contest (formerly hosted by All About Romance). If you want to weigh in on which covers should win their categories, hop on over and take a gander. Categories “covered” include Alternate Reality, the Two-Image Cover, Historical, Contemporary, Series, and Worst Cover.

As an author, I didn’t vote for Worst Cover. Authors have little to zero control over their cover art, and I don’t feel it’s good sportsmanship for writers to bash each others’ covers. Readers, however, that’s another story. A reader voting on a Worst Cover might give a heads-up to that particular publisher’s art department to, um, try another tact. Or is that tack? Hmm…

You need to provide your name and email address when you vote, and you need to vote in a minimum of three categories for your votes to be eligible. So if you don’t want to do any of those things…you can look and wonder at and mock to your heart’s contest, but you can’t vote.

Oh, if you wish, you can also provide the reason you love or hate the cover you choose to win a particular category. A little box pops up for this purpose. Plus, here’s a link to the Dear Publisher blog, where you can leave more general comments about the covers.

Brava Contest – Writing with the Stars

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

As opposed to dancing.

The Kensington Brava line is holding a new writing contest in conjunction with RT BookReviews. Not sure when the contest opens. Details are in the June issue of RT. Alas, I don’t have an RT subscription. For now, you can find a bit of information on the Brava authors blog. Editor Alicia Condon, formerly of Dorchester Publishing (she replaced Kate Duffy at Kensington – R.I.P., Kate), introduces the contest. The comment thread poses some interesting questions about contest eligibility that, as of this typing, haven’t been answered. Keep checking the thread to see if they are. Or…rush out and buy the June RT as soon as you can.

Brava writing contests have launched several careers, including HelenKay Dimon’s. I entered Brava contests when I was eligible, but never fared well in them. As in I never made it to the finals. I could never get past the first round of judges. That didn’t stop Kate Duffy from calling me to discuss ideas, so I must have been doing something right for Brava. Just not right for the preliminary contest rounds.

You know…I still have a requested partial on Kate’s desk. Or whatever became of Kate’s desk. I wonder what will become of it? It was an electronic submission, so might have gone the way of the do-do bird with Kate’s passing. I really should look into that. I’ll put it on my For After I Finish Revising SPIAPT List.

RITA and Golden Heart Shout-Outs

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

My phone didn’t ring once this morning when RWA board members were making RITA and Golden Heart calls (Penny entered the RITA). Usually, I get at least one phone call so I can pretend I’m a finalist in those briefs moments before I pick up the phone. The year it actually happened, I was doing laundry. I’ll never forget the excitement.

Congratulations to all my fellow RWA members who finaled! I’m not going to list everyone here, but I do want to give shout-outs to a select few. Click the headings to read the full lists of finalists.


Best First Book The Gladiator by Carla Capshaw – fellow GH 2007 finalist sister!

Best First BookStolen Fury by Elisabeth Naughton – another GH 2007 finalist sister!

Contemporary SeriesA Not-So-Perfect Past by Beth Andrews, who won the Golden Heart in the Long Contemporary category the year I finaled. So…another GH 2007 sister!

Contemporary Series: Suspense/AdventureThe Christmas Stranger by Beth Cornelison– my Facebook Wordscraper buddy! (Who better let me win now).

Contemporary Series: Suspense/AdventureCold Case Affair by Loreth Anne White – fellow member of the Greater Vancouver Chapter of RWA.

InspirationalCarla Capshaw again for The Gladiator – 2007 GH sister!

Romance Novella – “Annelise and the Scandalous Rake” in The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor by Deb Marlowe – 2007 GH finalist sister!

Romantic SuspenseElisabeth Naughton again for Stolen Fury! 2007 GH sister.

Romantic SuspenseDark Country by Bronwyn Parry – 2007 GH finalist sister!

Young AdultThe ABC’s of Kissing Boys by Tina Ferraro – fellow Brainstormer, Scrabble aficionado, and my friend. I’m especially super excited for Tina. Congrats, girl!!

Golden Heart

Contemporary Series: Suspense/AdventureBreathless by Kimberley Howe – GH 2007 sister!

Contemporary Single TitleSharing Spaces by Laura Graham Booth – GH 2007 sister! And a driving force behind our former group blog.

HistoricalBetween Heaven and Hell by Jacqui Nelson – fellow chapter member of RWA-Greater Vancovuer.

Novel with Strong Romantic ElementsSwitching Sides by Maureen McGowan – GH 2007 sister!

Regency HistoricalMy Dearest Rogue by Elizabeth Stock – GH 2007 sister!

Romantic SuspenseDeadly Recall by Donnell Ann Bell – GH 2007 sister!

Young AdultBloom by Shelley Coriell – GH 2007 sister!

Young AdultWelcome Caller, This is Chloe also by Shelley Coriell – GH 2007 sister!

I’ll be cheering all of you on in Nashville. Congrats!

RITA Report

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

The deadline for getting in RITA® scores is March 9th. I’m happy to report that I’m done. Read all the books in my panel, submitted the scores on-line. Good for me.

RITA judges are instructed to “hold all judging and/or scoring data confidential” (from the Judging Guidelines), so I can’t talk about my panel of books in any way that might identify them. What I will say is that judging the RITA this year was a pleasure compared to last year. Last year was my first time judging, and I don’t know how or why it happened, but I wound up with 9 books to judge, 8 from the same category and one from a second category (judges select a minimum three categories that they’re willing to judge, and it can’t be a category in which you’re currently entered). This year I had 6 books, from three categories. I liked that much better! Judging 9 books within a short time frame last year was tough. Especially because most of the 8 books that were from the same category last year were also published under the same line/imprint, and, oddly enough, several were even set in the same city. It was an odd judging experience, to say the least. As a judge, I want some variety. I didn’t get that last year, and I had to keep reminding myself that the authors of the books in my panel had no idea that I’d wind up with several books all set in the same city and with fairly similar story lines. In other words, I had to work extra hard last year to ensure I was being fair to all the entrants.

I can’t remember which three categories I selected to judge last year, because I only received entries from two. This year, though, I dropped at least one of the categories from last year in favor of a different category. I might have done this with two categories, actually. And it paid off. I had a great time this year with my entries. I was introduced to authors I might not otherwise have bought, and I discovered a couple of authors I want to buy again (that’s what I love about the RITAs). I don’t know if I lucked out, but the vast majority of books in my panel were above par.

I don’t have a 2010 release as Penny, so next year I can ask to judge the category Penny usually enters (Romance Novella). I’m looking forward to that.

It’s odd, when I used to judge the Golden Heart, it didn’t bother me if I received entries from just one category. But you only have to judge three chapters and a synopsis in the Golden Heart. For the RITA, you have to read the entirety of each and every book in your panel. That’s a lot of words.

How is your RITA or Golden Heart reading going? Have you finished? Are you lagging behind? Are you judging another contest this year? I’m not. Maybe next year I’ll take on another contest or two. For now, though, I need to step back.