Insomnia? Well, this is the kind of email to open when I can’t sleep: “Congratulations, Woman in the Painting has made the final round in the 19th Romance Through the Ages Contest for the Time Travel/Paranormal category.” Yep. I cried.
The top three entries in each category will move on to the final round with industry judges. The winners will be announced December 21. Contest organizers state that in previous years "requests for full and partial manuscripts were not uncommon." Thank you, RTTA, for this opportunity, and good luck to all!
A highlight from one of the “RWA® Historical Chapter Online: Hearts Through History” judges’ scoresheet/critiques of the first 15 pages I submitted:
Anticipation: I definitely would read on because the story is unique and intrigues me. Also, the writing is spectacular. I feel like I’m in good hands with this writer. I trust all things will unfold, eventually a love story will emerge, and Jude or maybe Calvert will have a HEA with someone, maybe the woman in the painting. 9.5
Technical: Solid craft. When writing is this good, I think prospective agents and editors will read the whole thing. The right amount of detail, plenty of internals, POV is unwavering. 9.5
Yup. I cried again.
I can't tell you what a boost this is to my confidence in my debut novel, this book of my heart. Here in the query trenches, making the shortlist has certainly validated my work and solidified my resolve to find the right agent to champion Woman in the Painting.