Friday, February 15, 2013

All You Need to Know about the Linda Howard Award of Excellence

Want to know more about the 2013 Linda Howard Award of Excellence?  Contest coordinator Christine Glover is answering your questions about this fabulous contest.  

Christine Glover is an award winning contemporary romance writer of sensual, sizzling novels with dark emotional edge. Her tough, no-nonsense heroines aren’t so easily swayed by great looks and killer abs, but they surrender their hearts to her heroes when they discover they are men who won’t take advantage of their inner vulnerabilities. Her characters interrupt her showers and her workouts to tell her what happens next in the story. She has yet to figure out how to apply makeup or style her hair without someone popping into her head and giving her another scene to write. Ultimately, she sits down to write about two lost souls finding each other, discovering home, and giving her romance characters the happily-ever-after endings they deserve.

Born in the Netherlands, Christine’s parents immigrated to Canada where she spent her formative years. After meeting her own real life hero, she married her Texan Alpha man and moved to the United States where she’s lived both south and north of the Mason Dixon line. Now Christine lives in Alabama with her husband the Physicist, two insanely adorable cats and one amazing daughter. She believes we are all on a journey toward attaining our dreams, but we can’t be serious all the time. She enjoys finding the silly in the serious, making wine out of sour grapes, and giving people giggle fits along with heartfelt hugs. When she’s not writing, you can find her traveling the world, cooking gourmet food, and desperately seeking a corkscrew.

Christine is in charge of this year's Linda Howard Award of Excellence ("LHAOE" for those in the know) for unpublished romantic fiction.  She has made some exciting changes to the contest, and was gracious enough to share some time to answer some questions about the contest

You are the contest queen, having been a multiple finalist in numerous prestigious contests.  Based on your experience, what are the benefits an unpublished writer can gain from entering the LHAOE?
Heather, I have entered contests since 2005 when I was desperately seeking any kind of feedback for my writing. I got it. Most of the judges were very instrumental in leading me to craft books and improving my writing skills. The Linda Howard Award of Excellence provides that and so much more. My first experience with the LHAOE was in 2008. I entered and didn't final. However, the feedback was amazing. Kind and well thought out critique that I was able to incorporate into my manuscript and enter another prestigious contest which garnered me a major final. Unpublished writers benefit from entering the LHAOE by gaining valuable feedback from trained, RWA PRO and Published judges who really do want to see every writer attain their dream. That elusive goal of publication.

What sets the LHAOE apart from other contests?

NO SYNOPSIS!!! Oh, that has been my greatest nemesis and has made entering other contests a lot harder because I've had to distill my manuscript down to a couple of pages. I'm better at writing the synopsis, but in the first round of judging, it's nice to only have to focus on the first 25 pages and making them shine.You have plenty of time to work on the synopsis which will be included when the finaling entries are forwarded to the judges, but it's not judged. That's awesome. Another thing that I feel sets this contest apart is that I am personally invested in  making sure that all the entries are treated with dignity and respect. I will vet any comments that I feel will not be conducive to building the writer's confidence. So I hope that gives new writers the courage to send in their entries. One day that entry, even if if doesn't final, could become a winner somewhere else. That's what happened to  my first LHAOE entry. It went on to WIN the LHAOE in 2012 and I got an editor at a major publishing house interested in working with me because of that win. So never give up and always work on improving your writing. You will get there!

Who are the final round judges?

I am so excited about the final judges this year. Here is the breakdown:

Historical: Chelsey Emmelhainze, Harpers Collins
Paranormal/Urban Fantasy: Latoya Smith, Grand Central Publishing
Contemporary Series Romance: Alethea Spiridon Hopson, Entangled
Single Title: Eleni Caminis, Montlake
The Write Magic (for SM members only): Beth Miller

What is the Write Magic category (and is it too late to join Southern Magic)?

The Write Magic category takes all Southern Magic members who final and/or achieve an average score of 90 or better and sends those finalists to that judge, Beth Miller. So there's a bonus round for the Southern Magic members who enter the LHAOE. It's not too late to join. And I'd love to see more members in our great writing chapter.

What is the deadline to enter?

The contest deadline is February 22, 2013. Finalists are announced in May. The winners will be announced at this year's 2013 RWA National Conference at a restaurant to be determined. I know it will be a lot of fun!!

So enter. It's a great experience. And it's my privilege and honor to be the coordinator of a contest that has given me so much as a writer. 

For more information on the contest, go to:

And if you want to become a pantser-crapper-fixer-uper (like all the cool kids), you can follow the cult of Christine on Twitter (@cjglover63), on her website and/or on her super-awesome blog


Christine said...

Thanks for having me. And one more thing, this year it will be even more exciting because we're announcing the winners just before the RWA National Conference in Atlanta.


Lexi said...

Great interview! Christine, you are the best. You've done a great job this year with the Linda Howard. And you make me smile!

Carla Swafford said...

You're doing wonderful, Christine!

Jillian said...

Here's hoping for tons of entries!

Barbara said...

Great interview! I had wonderful feedback from the contest when I entered. You'll do a fantastic job!!

Christine said...

Thank you everyone for your kind words. I really hope that the contest is a success. Most of all, I hope that writers who enter will have such a good experience that they will want to enter again next year!!