Contests and Competions

I really look forward to Monday and Tuesday nights, because I can reward my day’s achievements by kicking back in the recliner and watching The Voice. It’s the one show of its ilk that I enjoy from day one, and I eagerly anticipate each new season.           Nightclub Singer

The first round battle is exciting. The second round battle can be heartbreaking. At this level everyone is accomplished, and you want them all to make it into the finals. But like all contests and their contestants, some don’t make the cut. The judging is not based on the person’s appearance, or their dance technique, it is purely and simply, their voice, although those other factors don’t hurt. Some contestants forget that. They put their concentration on the wrong element. But this is a tough panel of judges, and they know all about smoke and mirrors.

When someone has to go home, it doesn’t mean they aren’t good, it just means they aren’t the best of the best. On Monday night, Usher, and Coldplay’s Chris Martin, mentored two of their contestants, and after listening to their performance, Usher advised them to “take ownership.” By doing that, the singer would own the story of the song and capture the emotion of the audience, and the panel of judges.

I thought about writing contests I’d entered over the years.Candy Hearts

In the early days, I often got carried away with descriptive passages, blowing things up, car chases, firing a gun, or hiding a body. I learned from judges that if the story doesn’t include a romance it can’t be romantic suspense. It’s most likely a thriller, or a mystery. We must take ownership of our stories, be honest, and label them what they are. Romance readers know what they’re looking for. We must never short change them on the love story. ; )

Speaking of contests, I’m so proud of these five Romance Writers of America® nominees for the coveted 2014 RITA® award. Three of these authors are from my local chapter, LARA, and two are past members. Check them out:

Jennifer Haymore:

Samanthe Beck:

Robin Bielman:

T.J. Bennett:

Zoe Archer:

Good Luck, ladies!


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12 Responses to Contests and Competions

  1. Gina B. says:

    I love the idea of taking ownership, whether it’s with your singing or your art or your writing. I guess for writers this could mean having confidence in the story you’re trying to tell…a good goal for this week. 🙂

    A big, huge congrats to LARA’s (past and present) RITA nominees! 😀

    • robena grant says:

      I know. Thanks for coming by, Gina. Fabulous to have five great super-stars in our chapter (or assosciated with.) I found the idea of ownership interesting. If we’re really passionate about a story, rather than churning out the next one : ) I think it turns out better.

  2. Samanthe says:

    Thanks for the shout-out, Robena! I love being on your list w/Jennifer, Robin, TJ & Zoe.

  3. I love the voice too Robena. But sometimes, it feels like a yelling contest. Bigger, louder isn’t always better. Range is important, but so is being subtle. Don’t know how that works for romance contests, but there might be some insight in there. I haven’t finished my coffee yet. LOL.
    YES! Congrats to the RITA finalists you’ve cited. I love knowing talented people (like you!)

    • robena grant says:

      Thanks for your comments, Lynne. I think you’re on to something. : ) The best films and stories have the simplest of story line but a depth of character. ; )
      Now, more coffee for me.

  4. Happy Monday, Roben! Thanks bunches for the shout-out! I’m so thrilled to be included with Jennifer, Sam, TJ and Zoe. (And still pinching myself.) *hugs*

  5. robena grant says:

    Robin, it is a well deserved nomination, so don’t pinch too hard…no bruises allowed. Just enjoy the accomplishment!

  6. Barb Han says:

    Congrats to all your friends who have made the finals! How exciting!! I’m rooting for them. Also, great advice about taking ownership. As we feel our way, we begin to truly understand what that means to our work.

  7. robena grant says:

    Thanks for dropping by, Barb. I thought Usher’s advice was sound and it made me stop and think. Always a good thing! ; )

  8. Zoe Archer says:

    Thanks so much for the shout out, Robena! I’m very excited, and in amazing company, too!

  9. robena grant says:

    Thanks for coming by, Zoe. I remember we met at the airport on your return home after Nationals where you’d been a finalist in the GH. I don’t recall now if you won. But I was such a newbie I was in awe. : )