Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Top Ten New Voices Announced

So if you've been following the Mills & Boon New Voices competition over at http://www.romanceisnotdead.com/ with avid interest, you will know that they announced their first round top ten yesterday. They had an incredible 824 entries. Awesome! Hats off to the Mills & Boon team who put speedy Gonzalez to shame with their turnaround. Talk about dedication.

For those of you who are fixated on stats - one paranormal, one historical, one suspense and seven contemporary romances made up the mix of winners.

The top ten first chapters are up for reads at http://www.romanceisnotdead.com/Entries/The-Top-Ten. Pop over and see what they're all about. Feel free to let us know what you think over here.

For those of you who didn't place - don't despair. Remember the old adage - it's the journey not the destination. Ne'er a truer word were spoken when it comes to the writing arena. Every bit of writing we do brings us that much closer to our desired outcome of having that baby published.

So, allow yourself to wallow for a few minutes, eat that chocolate or drink that glass of red, and then ... get right back into that chair and try something new. Your day will come.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

New Voices Entries

This contest is now closed to new entries. While we wait for the judges' Top 10 selection (to be announced on Monday 27th September) I thought I'd do a shout out for all the South Africans who've entered.

Congratulations to the following brave South African writers (in no particular order):
Chloe Hamilton - The Way to His Heart
Melinda Bechus - The Billionaire's Elusive Mistress
Sandra Carter - Once Loved, Twice Shy
Anne Hansen - Amanda's Story 
Jo Thompson - The Lion's Den
Ella Stevens - Billionaire's Jewel in Africa
Alexandra Economides - A Circle of Love
Aimee Gray - The Master Plan
Gina Rossi - The Wild Heart (Historical)
Romy Sommer (that's me!) - Valentino's Angel

The following stories are set in Africa:
Sally Jacobs - Her African Moon
Angela Cozens - The Smoke That Thunders
Barbara Bailey - Honey in the Desert
Belinda Compton-Doyle - African Passion
Ruthanne Hall - A Bouquet of Lies
Sheritha Sing - Seduced by the Billionaire

And South African heroines ...
Angela Travers - The Greek Billionaire's Perfect Woman
Marie Dry - The Greek Tycoon's Revenge
Dodie Dane - The Secret Daughter
Sharon Fitzgerald - Monsieur Le Roux's Undoing

Ladies - If any of you are South African or live in SA please let me know so I can move you to the top list. Pop on over to Lacey Devlin's blog to claim your medal of bravery. Also, if any of you would like to get involved with SA Romance Writers, please get in touch.

And for all the readers out there: please visit the New Voices website and rate these stories to show your support for our home-grown talent.

[Post updated 24th September]

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Harlequin's New Voices Contest

It hardly feels like a year since Harlequin / Mills & Boon ran one of these contests, but here we are again. This year's contest, New Voices, is bigger and better than any that have gone before. Check it out at www.romanceisnotdead.com.

Past contests they've run:
  • Instant Seduction in 2007 - winner Lynn Raye Harris has just sold book #7. Tine Duncan, who didn't place in the contest did get a request - and later sold to Harlequin.
  • Feel the Heat in 2008 - winner Lucy King already has 2 books published with Harlequin and she's just had a baby as well as delivering her next book.
  • Presents 2009 Contest - two winners and two runners-up all working with editors now. Let's hope one of them gets The Call soon.

Just in case you're wondering whether or not to enter, maybe this story from the Instant Seduction winner will help decide you ... http://www.romanceisnotdead.com/Top-Tips/5-Why-should-I-enter-A-winners-story...

We're saying it again: you have to be in it to win it. (And wouldn't it be awesome to see a South African at least making the Top 10? So let's get writing and submitting!)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Cappuccinos and Goodbyes

That was the title of Anthony Ehlers' entry in the Voice of Africa romance writing competition run by Essentials magazine and Mills & Boon earlier this year. He was a top 5 finalist and his story is in the September issue of Essentials.

Ant is also one of our Romance Writers contributors and he's been gracious enough to give us a behind the scenes look at how he wrote his entry. You may recognise him as Megan Andrews. As usual he has lots of advice for us so head on over to the On Writing page for some more inspiration.

I'm sure we could all do with the inspiration as the deadline for the Mills & Boon New Voices Romance is Not Dead competition looms ever closer! Remember to get your entries in before 22nd September 2010.

Good luck to all who are entering!