Today’s a big day in the romance writing community – it’s the announcements of the finalists in the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Awards for unpublished manuscripts, and RITA awards for published manuscripts.
Members of the RWA Board have the very pleasant task of contacting the finalists by phone to notify them, although its such a thundering honour to final, that they probably get ear damage from all the squeeing! The calls are supposed to start at about 8am on Thursday morning, US time – but since that’s the wee small hours Australian time, some of the board members phone Australian finalists early, while we’re still awake on our side of the world – although the finalists are supposed to keep it to themselves until the ‘official’ calling time begins.
Before I went to bed last night, there were already a few unofficial announcements on Australian loops, and I was thrilled to see two friends are RITA finalists, and to hear of at least three Golden Heart finalists. Australians are usually well-represented in the finalist lists, and this year is looking good, too!
Of course, I’d been hoping for the phone to ring all afternoon, as Dark Country was entered in the RITAs. But alas, it stayed silent. It was a slim chance, I knew, and I hadn’t been holding my breath. So I went to bed about 11pm, but lay awake for a while, finally drifting off at about midnight.
The phone woke me at 12.22am. And it wasn’t someone from Gordon’s work with a network breakdown. It was a lovely lady from RWAmerica, to tell me that Dark Country is a finalist in the romantic suspense category of the RITAs!
It’s now 1.30am, and I’m still grinning from ear to ear, and unlikely to go back to sleep for a while!
I’ll put up a full list of Australian RITA and GH finalists later today, when they’re all announced.
Super congrats to all the finalists in both awards! And special congratulations to the Australian finalists: in the RITAs, Elizabeth Rolls, and Kelly Hunter; and in the Golden Heart, Kylie Griffin, Vanessa Barneveld, Gabrielly Luthy, and Robyn Enlund.
That’s three Australians (including me) in the RITAs and four in the Golden Heart – what a great showing, Australia!