The Ex Lottery is a finalist in the New England Readers’ Choice Award Contest for long contemporary romance. I was a little nervous sending my Southern girl protagonist to the North for a competition, but apparently, Tory won the readers’ hearts. Actually, it may have been Tory’s adventures in Ireland that won their hearts. Whatever the reason, I was thrilled to receive an email from the contest coordinator congratulating me with the news that The Ex Lottery that was a finalist in this competition sponsored by the Romance Writers of America—New England Chapter.
Entering book contests can be stressful. I approach the stress by simply assuming that I will not win, but that I will learn something new from the judges that will make me a better writer. Like every author, I insert a little of my soul into every one of my books so having the stories judged is difficult. The strategy seems to have worked for me. The Ex Lottery won the first contest I ever entered—long before I finished editing the final draft—and was reviewed by a literary agent. I remember doing a little happy dance as I walked along the riverfront of Augusta—where I happened to be when I received the news. The Ex Lottery was also honored with a featured review in Kirkus Reviews magazine and given top ranks by judges in The Writer’s Digest contest. But this year’s New England contest is very special to me because readers are judging the initial round of the contest. If readers love my book, I know I am doing something right.
The winners of this New England contest will be announced on April 25th at a breakfast awards banquet during the 2015 NEC Conference entitled Let Your Imagination Take Flight in Burlington, MA. I wish I could attend, but I’ll be at another meeting in North Carolina. But I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I would love to win first place, but even if I don’t take first place, I feel I’ve already won by making it into the finals. Thanks New Englanders for loving a Southern girl protagonist who was unlucky in love, but lucky in numbers.
See a list of all the finalists at http://0092d63.netsolhost.com/blog1/.