The two BIG contests in the world of romance writing are The Golden Heart (for unpublished fiction) and The Rita (for published). The finalists for 2008 were just announced on March 25th, and I'm happy to say that several writer-buddies of mine are on both lists.
I'm even happier to say that this year I was not eligible to enter either contest. I sold my novel before the deadline to enter the Golden Heart, but the book was not out in time to enter the Rita. Several other Romance Bandits and I are in this same position and we've dubbed it "being in the Gap."
So how does it feel to be in The Gap?
Honestly, I feel greatly relieved! I've never been much of a fan of contests, and with the lone exception of my Golden Heart final (the one and only time I ever entered), I haven't had much luck with them. However, the annual awards ceremony for the Golden Heart and Rita is truly a glamorous affair and lots of fun to attend, if you are NOT one of the nerve wracked nominees. Being in The Gap this year means I will thoroughly enjoy myself before, during, and after the ceremony.
And you can be certain that NEXT YEAR and every year that I'm eligible, I'll be entering the Rita!