Wednesday, October 03, 2007


I wasn't planning to enter the Golden Heart this year. I simply don't have any manuscripts that are in contest-ready format all the way through to the end. But I did think I might want to enter next year if I hadn't sold anything significant enough to achieve PAN status by that time.

It turns out, however, that I shall be forever heartless. Cobblestone Press has received recognition from RWA as a non-Vanity/non-Subsidy publisher (yay!) and, although I haven't earned the $1,000 minimum required for PAN eligibility, for purposes of the Golden Heart, I am now considered a published author.

I have to admit to feeling a bit dumbstruck by this. Because Cobblestone wasn't a recognized publisher at the time I submitted Carnally Ever After and because the story was well under novel length (and even shorter than a standard novella), it simply didn't occur to me that I would be giving up my eligibility to ever enter the Golden Heart by selling it. I'm not sure I wouldn't have sold it even if I'd known, but I certainly factored maintaining my "unpublished" status into the equation when I made that decision.

And for most chapter contests, I'm still clearly eligible as an unpublished author. The rules for most of these contests either clearly specify that you must not be published in "novel-length" (which means 40,000 words and up) or that you must not be PAN eligible. On both counts, I still qualify.

But the Golden Heart eligibility rules for published/unpublished are much less generous:
The Golden Heart contest is open to writers who have not accepted a publishing offer from a non-Subsidy, non-Vanity Publisher for a novel or novella by the contest entry deadline. Entrant must retain all rights to the entry and not have granted any of them to a publisher or any other party by the contest entry deadline.

Now, it's still not 100% clear to me that I'm ineligible because I'm not sure what word count constitutes the line between a novella and a short story. A publisher author of short stories is apparently considered unpublished. So if Carnally Ever After is considered a short story by virtue of being under 20,000 words (which is often the word-count I see associated with novellas), then even if I were to earn $1,000 from it, I believe I'd still be eligible for the Golden Heart. (I did email RWA for clarification. I haven't heard back yet.)

1 comment:

Ericka Scott said...

Let us know what they say...None of my works so far with a non-vanity, blah, blah, has been over 20K...although if I resell Werewolf to an RWA recognized publisher, that'll put me out of the running too.

But I didn't have anything this year for GH either...too busy writing all those under 20K novellas!