That has such a good sound, doesn't it? : )
It's not first place, not even third, but very honorable. I'm proud to say my manuscript, Saving Sarah, received an HM from the SOLA chapter of RWA's 2009 Dixie Kane Contest. Yay!
This is a story I loved writing, but haven't done much with as far as submissions go. I never knew how to label the story, paranormal or romantic suspense. I had the distinct impression that paranormal was waning, possibly because there was so much paranormal in young adult fiction and everyone was jumping on the band wagon, so I think I had tried to make it romantic suspense. And it really wasn't. I had submitted it to a couple of editors who accept unagented manuscripts, and to one editor I'd met at a conference. It came close, went all the way to a full manuscript request, but then they passed.
Jenny Crusie took a look at the first chapter and gave me some excellent advice. I knew the entire manuscript needed another complete editing pass so set about slowly doing that while I wrote another story, a mystery. I began submitting that, but focusing on a handful of agents only, then started a second mystery. (One of these days I'll get smart and really focus on submitting to dozens of agents, but that's hard for me and another whole blog topic.) And for some reason I sort of forgot about SS. I entered the contest, can't quite recall why, and then forgot that I had. So this was a very pleasant surprise.
Now I'm wondering if maybe I should take SS out and give her another twirl. Let her dance in the daylight for a bit. Maybe even send out query letters to agents. It couldn't hurt. I'll wait and see what comments the judges have made, do a quick revise if necessary, and maybe, just maybe get it out there again. I do love the story, and the setting. I've spent some time in Manhattan, and back when I was married we used to go up to the Catskills with the kids and their grandma, so I focused on both of those settings. And I love my main characters. In fact I adore them.
So yeah, I think Sarah will get a second chance.