Wow! I arrived home from Los Angeles, after a very busy chapter meeting and critique session and then a doctor's appointment on the Monday and felt totally brain dead, and dreading fronting up to the computer. The first email I opened changed all of that.
It said, Congratulations, in red, in all caps.
My heart took wings and flew around in my chest and then I settled down and read some more. It said, "You're romantic suspense, Gone Tropical, is a finalist in the Where The Heart Begins contest." I was so excited I sent off an email to my critique partners and some friends and family. I never noticed the attachment.
My critique partner Janet Maarschalk had given a talk the day before on entering contests. She's a whiz at these things, I'm quite a novice when it comes to contests. Anyway, Janet has had some great experiences and many wins and placements over the years and noticed the attachment. I then went back, read the entire email and saw my first round critiques were attached. :0
Shauna Summers from Random House will judge the finalist entries. I could kick myself, because this isn't the real beginning of my story. I'd entered the contest because I was unsure if the story would hold up as a suspense. I was looking for feedback from a rough draft. Don't ever do that. Always send your best work. Sigh. Now I've missed a golden opportunity. Since that time, I've written a new higher energy beginning with more suspense and showing insight into the villian. Dang. Oh well, hopefully the agent who is reviewing the full manuscript will appreciate the new changes and can convince Shauna to take another look. ; )
I'm still happy, still doing the Snoopy dance. I now have a contest placement for both of my current manuscripts. Yay me!