Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Finally A Bride ~ OKRWA Contest

~ Seventh Annual 'Finally A Bride' Contest ~

***Over Half of the Finalists in last year's contest received Editor Requests***

Sponsor: Oklahoma Romance Writers of America


Fee: $25 (RWA Members) - $30 (All non RWA Members)

Deadline: September 1, 2008
Eligibility: not contracted/published
***NEW - Separate Mainstream category***
Entry: First pages of MS (30 pages max) that has finaled, but not won, in a previous RWA or RWA chapter-sponsored contest. Manuscripts finishing in the top quarter of GH also qualify.
First round: experienced, pubbed, and/or RWA trained judges.
Final Judges: Two Editors and/or agents judge each category.
Inspirational/Traditional: Melissa Endlich with Steeple Hill and Rebecca Germany with Barbour. Series Contemporary: Patience Smith with Silhouette and Wanda Ottewell with Harlequin.
Paranormal/Time Travel/Futuristic: Margo Lipschultz with HQN and Leah Hultenschmidt with Dorchester.
Romantic Suspense: Natashya Wilson with Silhouette and Alex Logan with Grand Central Publishing.
Historical/Regency: Tess Woodward with Avon and Megan McKeever with Pocket.
Mainstream with Romantic Elements: Keyren Gerlach with HQN and Deb Werksman with Sourcebooks Casablanca

FMI, entry form and rules, send SASE to:
OKRWA FAB contest
9805 Red Oak Lane
Parkville, MO 64152

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Oh, yeah! Nice and sweaty, lean and hard...chiseled...

No, no, no! Not the hunky mechanic that works on your vehicle. You dirty bird you. LOL! I guess you can tell where my mind is at today. It's almost time for Mr. Chelle to take another R&R. Okay, back to work.

Have I told you guys how much I LOVE Bronwyn Jameson and her incredibly helpful articles?! I wanted to share another one with you that has worked wonders with my tired brain. I had to write a few papers in college and did well with my grades, but I've struggled when it comes to the mechanics in writing romance. I love this article about the basics of good dialogue.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Recently a friend turned me on to reading Silhouette Desires. I'd never bothered to pick them up because I thought they were all based on exotic locations. I love the Cinderella stories but never really bought. Big surprise - I like them more than I thought. Never assume anything. eHarlequin has begun a new section where they offer podcasts...interviews with editors and authors. So...I decided to research a little about writing for Desires and I'm getting really excited about the line.

The podcast with the editors was very informative as to what they want from new authors. They are looking for westerns...and I live where??? Oklahoma. I grew up on the Texas border. I'm married to my own personal cowboy hero. I used to LOVE watching Dallas. I think I can do this. I thought my mom would be upset because she doesn't really read the racier novels, but she borrowed some of my books and has said I should go for it.

We've been talking about conflict lately and I happened to come across a great article on one of the Desire author's website, Bronwyn Jameson. See what ya think...I found it to be really helpful.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


I know that some of my crit partners target Harlequin or Mills & Boon. One of the things I love about their chat threads...the editors pop in and offer words of advice or encouragement. When I received my first rejection, of course I was confused as to what I should do next. We were told by the same editor I was rejected by, to read and dissect the suggestions if any were given. Which she WAS kind enough to give in her letter. One of her revision suggestions had something to do with my heroine's internal conflict. Not that I thought she was wrong...I thought my character couldn't have any more internal conflict or she'd be put away in a home.

So...I've had plenty of time to think about the revisions and I am trying. Still confused, but trying. I have nobody to blame but myself. I have never thought to blame my teachers, crit partners or the editors. This is my story. I hate when I hear people pass the buck. Either I can do this or not. It's a VERY competitive market and a crapload of talented writers pushing through the same bottlenecked door. I can do this. I WILL do this. It may take me awhile and hopefully my eyes are open enough to know that. What really helps is when a lovely editor pops in and will give us suggestions and/or tips.

I had another one of those a-ha moments yesterday when an editor popped in the SuperRomance thread. Several of the girls were being hugged for receiving rejections. The common denominator? Conflict. Lack of. My problem basically. Something she said just hit home and I had a brilliant idea. Now if I can just get it down on paper.

Here's the link...hope it helps!

Here is the section that really stood out to me...

Why don't we forget about conflict for a minute and talk about stakes. Robert McKee, in his book Story, writes: "Pressure is essential. Choices made when nothing is at risk mean little. If a character chooses to tell the truth in a situation where telling a lie would gain him nothing, the choice is trivial, the moment expresses nothing. But if the same character insists on telling the truth when a lie would save his life, then we sense that honesty is at the core of his nature....The more powerful and complex the forces of antagonism opposing the character, the more completely realized character and story must become."

Without referring to any particular submission or writer, it's common for us to see stories with characters making low-stake choices--like telling the truth when telling a lie gains nothing. This low stakes leads to low tension and a lack of compelling obstacle between characters.

Thank you, Ms. Curran! I am forever grateful!!