My book, This Time Forever, was a finalist in the inspirational category of the Golden Heart contest in 2008. Contest coordinators notified the finalists by phone, but I had to work that day so I kept checking the voice mail on my home phone to see if RWA had called and left a message. I left work at 4:30 pm without hearing from them. Okay...maybe next year.
In July, I went to the conference in San Francisco, California, and had the time of my life. I went to so many parties and receptions that I barely had time to attend the workshops (although, I purchased the CD and listened to them later on). I didn't win, but as a finalist, I received first priority to book appointments with editors and agents, all of whom requested my manuscript. I also met all of the other contest finalists and made many lasting friendships, especially the finalists in my category, Kit, Susan and Keli.
Oh, and by the way, the head shot of me in this post was the one I sent in to RWA for my official photo. It's a glamour shot. I wanted a nice, professional-looking picture that I could use for a long time, but I knew it was going to cost me, so I did what any smart blonde would do--I brought Steve with me to the appointment and told him to choose his favorite. He took the entire $1,500.00 package. Nice going, Steve!
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Denise Devine is a USA TODAY bestselling author who writes sweet romantic comedy and inspirational romance. She is currently writing two series, Forever Yours (Inspirational) and Counting Your Blessings (Christmas romantic comedy). You can visit her at www.deniseannettedevine.com.