Reading: Shakespeare’s Champion by Charlaine Harris
Listening To: the new magpie chicks in our backyard
Watching: How to Train Your Dragon
For those of you not in the know, The UK office of Harlequin has been running a “New Voices” writing contest via their RomanceIsNotDead blog. Basically, entrants post their opening chapter, readers vote on it, and from there, they are shortlisted to a top 10 based on public votes and a panel of four judges.
There were over 800 entries. Yeah, EIGHT HUNDRED!!! It was an amazing feat to get down to a Top 10, submit chapter two, THEN a Top Four (where they had to submit their pivotal scene)… then all the way down to the very last winning entry, where the author wins an iPad, an M&B editor for a year and publication. And you know what’s even more cool? It’s my lovely, talented friend Leah – writing as Leah Ashton – who won this awesome prize!
I met Leah a few years ago, when she was working in Sydney and was looking to join a crit group. Me and my CP Linley were it (even though she had to drive over an hour to get to me!) And you know, as soon as I read her stuff, I said to her, “I don’t say this to many writers but I do think you will get published. Your writing is fun, expressive and very readable.” I’m positive she thought I was just humouring her – she thanked me, smiled and nodded – but I tell you, I was right!
Even though Leah moved from Sydney, I get to see her at our RWA conference every year, sometimes with a new contest placing under her belt, but always so optimistic about writing. And now, in 2011, I will get to scream and cheer when she collects her First Sale ribbon 😀 What an awesome, awesome achievement, Leah! Now do you believe me?!