Friday, December 21, 2007

Romance Contest -- Windy City

**permission to forward**

The Windy City Romance Writers Present the 2008 Four Seasons Awards

What to Enter: Up to the first 25 pages of your manuscript. No synopsis required.

Built-in discrepancy judging—all entries will be judged by three judges, and the lowest score will be dropped to determine final rankings

Save on paper, ink, and postage—only send three copies of your entry (only those guaranteed to be judged) and an electronic version of your entry on CD (in the event you final, we will print a copy of your entry to go to the final judges)

First-round judges: Experienced critiquers and published authors of the Windy City Romance Writers. (Only Windy City members judge this contest, and Windy City members are not eligible to enter.) Final-round judges: One editor and one agent for each category. Scores from both judges are averaged to determine the winners:

Single Title Contemporary: Lindsay Nouis, NAL
Danielle Egan-Miller, Brown & Miller Agency

Short/Long Contemporary: Diana Ventimiglia, Harlequin
Jennifer Schober, Spencerhill Associates

Historical: TBD
Kristen Nelson, Nelson Agency LLC

Fantasy/Futuristic/Paranormal: Leah Hultenschmidt, Dorchester Publishing Co.
Kelly Harms, Jane Rotrosen Agency

Winners in each category will receive an engraved plaque. All finalists will receive certificates and will be mentioned in the RWR. All contestants will receive a score sheet from each judge. In addition, judges are encouraged (but not required) to write comments on the manuscript.

Entry Deadline: March 1, 2008 (postmark date)

Questions? Visit our Website: or Contact Wendy Byrne, Four Seasons Contest Chairperson,

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Erotica News

Even though this may not have a lot of cross-over appeal, I thought I should announce that Other Me got this piece of good news regarding the orphaned anthology: Periphery: Erotic Lesbian Futures. Her editor, Lynne Jamneck wrote:

"Steve Berman has just emailed me to say that Lethe Press would very much like to publish Periphery. He wants to have the anthology ready end of February, in time for WisCon 2008."

So, if you're a fan of other me's AngeLINK novels, the story she will have published there, "ishtartu," takes place in that universe, though not with any of the main characters.

Speaking of WisCON, other me just registered yesterday, so she'll be there with bells on! I, Tate, may or may not make an appearance. Depends on if I can find a good dress for the ocassion (and how this whole turning myself into Captian America thing is going.)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Astrology Alert Saturn Retrograde

It has been rightly pointed out that the below needs an atribution. It comes to me via My deepest apologies. I almost always put this in quotes:

Saturn turns retrograde in Virgo on December 19. This is also the beginning of the end of 2007, and an ideal time for reviewing the past year’s accomplishments. Hopefully you’ve made strides toward success, or achieved your goals and have a clear sense of what’s next on your agenda for 2008!

This phase will last through May 2. Saturn's sway is even stronger in retrograde, and with the planetary ruler of discipline and responsibility peddling backward in fastidious in Virgo, you'll want to obsess over whether the plans you've laid can succeed. Don't sweat the small stuff! Do, however, take action to improve your chances for happiness and success in all your endeavors.

Saturn’s position in Virgo has been urging you to be more efficient. Can you sense the possibilities that will open up once you are more organized? Use the influence of this Saturn retrograde transit to inspire a list of prioritized goals. Then don’t be afraid to charge forward, full speed ahead!

Winter Rose Contest Published/Unpublished


Winter Rose Award for Excellence 2008: Published
Sponsor: Yellow Rose Romance Writers.
Fee: $20
Postmark Deadline: January 25, 2008
Eligibility: PAN or PAN Eligible.
Enter: romance novels published in 2007.

Categories: RS, paranormal, ST contemporary, historical, series contemporary, inspirational. Final judges: booksellers, readers groups, & librarians. Top Prize: silver rose pendant. FMI, entry form, and rules {}

Winter Rose Award for Excellence 2008: Unpublished
Sponsor: Yellow Rose Romance Writers.
Fee: $30
Postmark Deadline: January 25, 2008
Eligibility: not published in book-length fiction.
Enter: prologue/first chapter (25 pages max).

Categories: RS, paranormal, ST contemporary, historical, series contemporary. Final judges: editors. Top prize: partial read by agent, cash prize and silver rose pendant. FMI, entry form, and rules {}


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Get Outta That Slump! An On-Line Course

***Permission to Forward***

Celtic Hearts Romance Writers Academy announces an upcoming online workshop for January.

Workshop Title: Guerilla Tactics for Writers in a Slump
Presenter: Lori Wilde
Date: Jan. 2 - Jan. 16, 2008

Description: Have you been writing a long time and while you've received some recognition for your work you're just not getting the attention you deserve? Or, were you published once, then found yourself without a publisher and now you can't get break back in? Or are you currently published but your career seems to be barely bumping along?

This workshop is designed provide answers to those questions and catapult you onto the publishing fast track. Guerilla Tactics for Writers in a Slump will illustrate exactly what's holding you back and keeping you from being the writer you're truly meant to be.

Topics covered include
1. Identifying What's Holding You Back
3. Shifting Your Writing into High Gear
4. Toughing the Mind of the Writer Warrior
5. Toughing the Body of the Writer Warrior
6. Honing Your Battle Plan

About the presenter: Lori Wilde has written forty-one novels for three major New York Publishing houses. She holds a bachelors degree in nursing from Texas Christian University and a certificate in forensics. She volunteers as a sexual assault first responder for Freedom House, a shelter for battered women.

Recently, she received a two book contract from Warner books based solely on a 25 word 'high concept' pitch. When the sale-along with the pitch-was announced on Publisher's Marketplace, she was approached by eight film production companies-including Paramount and Warner Brothers-interested in optioning her completed novel for a movie. She is an instructor for a company who provides online community education to over 1500 colleges and universities.

Lori is a past RITA finalist and has four times been nominated for Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award. She's won the Colorado Award of Excellence, the Wisconsin Write Touch Award, The Golden Quill, the Lories, and The More than Magic. Her books have been translated into 22 languages and excerpted in Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Complete Woman, and Quick and Simple magazines. She lives in Texas with her husband, Bill.

Her website:

Deadline to sign up: Dec. 29, 2007
Fee: $10 CHRW members; $15 non-members.
RWA Membership isn't required; anyone can take our courses. Celtic Hearts members receive 2 free workshops a year.
Where to sign up:
Please fill out the online form.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Still Learning

Perhaps obviously from all the posts here, I send stuff in to any romance contest that accepts published writers. It's always a very strange experience when I get the score sheets back when my novel didn't make the cut (which is, btw, ninety percent of the time.)

A couple of days ago, I got one that fascinated me. One of the judges heaped on praise, including making a point of noting that she felt that I'd handled, of all things, dialogue tags effectively -- specifically not over doing the adverbs describing how people are talking, i.e, "he said angrily." She said that she was impressed that I allowed the dialogue to imply how things were said.

The other judge also made an issue of my dialogue. She, however, had problems with it. She thought that I had a tendency to over do my dialogue tags. I'd have people using the other conversant's name in dialogue and then also use the speaker's name, i.e, "You're being stupid, Garnet," Sebastian said -- even when there's only two speakers in the room.

Yeah, I do that. I'm going to be willful and say that even though I think I'm going to start paying attention to how MUCH I do it, I'll probably continue to do it at times. The reason I do it is simple: people talk like that. Or, at least, *I* do. I use a person's name in coversation, even when there's just two of us, for emphasis. Particularly when we're talking about something sensitive, I'll use the other person's name: "You know I'm right, Shawn." (To which, in real life, she'd reply, "Like hell, Tate.")

I use it also because I'm writing in first person. It's a very quick way to introduce the main character's name -- full name, when it's otherwise quite awkward to try to work in, as most people don't think to themselves, "I, Garnet Lacey, considered kissing my vampire lover, Sebastian Von Traum, on the lips!"

But if you're mad at someone, you might do a parent thing -- using someone's full name to show the level of trouble they're in -- and say, "Stop singing that annoying song, Garnet Lynn Lacey."

Even though I'm a bit defensive about my use of names in dialogue between two people, I'm now paying attention. I think that the worst thing that can happen to an author is when they think they've learned everything there is to know about writing and stop paying attention.

So I'm awake now. And that's a good thing.