One of my lovely, talented and fun-to-be-around NHRWA member chapter-mates just found out she is a finalist in the RWA GoldenHeart Contest. For those of you who don’t know what this means, listen up. The Golden Hearts awards are given to extremely talented and deserving romance writers who have not had a book-length romance published as of yet. It’s like the Golden Globes awards are to the Oscars. In romance, the Oscars are the annual RITA awards. So when my chapter-mate’s name was announced the other day, everyone who knows her was instantly thrilled for her, including all of us who belong to the New Hampshire chapter. Prestige, honor and open doors in the publishing world all accompany this nomination and, subsequent win. She – and we – will find out the winners at the annual RWA conference in July in NYC. It proves to be a truly memorable event.
Her nomination/finalist state and our happiness for her got me to thinking. Writers of romance are truly the most convivial and supportive group of humans I have ever met. We applaud each other’s successes, understand the emotional toils the non-successes ( I don’t like the word failure) take on our souls, and we cheer each other on through the often grueling process of creating love on the page.
Romance writers are a rare breed. And I am so thankful they/we are.
Competition many times fosters a sense of isolation and removal from the group of people you are competing against. The goal is to win it all, many times at whatever cost. Friendships are lost and destroyed all just to grab that proverbial golden ring.
Not so with romance writers. Yes, we compete against one another in the basic sense because we all want to get our book published and into the hands of readers. But for every NYT bestseller and USA list out there where a romance writer makes it to the top, the rest of us know we can make it there, too. The trail blazers like Nora Roberts, Beatrice Small, and Kathleen Woodiwiss have made what we write relevant to the masses and a force to be reckoned with in the sales division. We literally stand on their writing shoulders and are lifted up by their triumphs to gain success for ourselves. The better they do, the better we do.
So. I congratulate my writing friend with all sincerity and love. She is truly deserving of the nomination AND the win. When we are all in NYC in July I will be among the other 2,000 or so attendees who will be standing and applauding her victory, for her victory is also ours and we are better for knowing her.