On Friday March 25th, Romance Writers of America -- over 10,000 members strong -- will announce the finalists in their annual RITA and Golden Heart contests. Every year the national RWA organization hosts the contest for published (RITA) and unpublished (Golden Heart) authors.
This year the RITA award is for outstanding books published in 2010 in 12 different romance categories: Young Adult, Inspirational, Novel with Strong Romantic Elements, Novella, Contemporary Series, Contemporary Series Suspense/Adventure, Historical, Regency Historical, Paranormal, Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Single Title, and Best First Book.
The Golden Heart includes the same categories except for the Novella and Best First Book. Once the finalists have been contacted, RWA makes the announcement on their website.
Come the end of June, at the national RWA conference which this year will be held in New York City, there is a formal awards ceremony where the winners are announced.
It is a prestigious honor and recognition of the hardworking writer to be a finalist. At the conference awards ceremony the recipients of each award -- along with their book editors for the RITA's -- head to the stage to accept their award and give a speech. :)
Last summer I was thrilled to be able to attend the RWA conference held in Orlando, Florida. Not only were there dozens of amazing workshops to attend, and fellow writers to meet, publishers and booksellers in attendance, agent and editor appointments, best selling keynote speakers, a literacy signing featuring hundreds of authors -- the finale was the fabulous awards dinner and ceremony.
I'm not published yet and would have entered the Golden Heart but life interrupted and didn't make it this year. Good luck to all my writer friends who have entered the contests!!