Starcatchers Raffle Basket and Critique Go Bigger

Posted at Oct 21, 2013 7:37 pm

Starcatchers Raffle Basket

Starcatchers Raffle Basket

The morning after the annual Emerald City Writers’ Conference is always filled with an amazing to-do list, great ideas, even better intentions, new friends and vows of yes, more writing, more social media and more effective time management. You know the feeling. It’s just like the one you have after a good workout where you swear up and down you’ll really go to the pool/gym/running path three days a week. Or you’ve cleaned your pantry and absolutely will never hoard half-bags of stale brown rice ever again. Or the always popular vow that from now on all laundry will be folded and put away on the same day. This time I’ll change. This time I’ll do better.

But this year I really will. I’m part of a great group of writers whose careers push me to keep up. The 2011 Golden Heart Award finalists called themselves the Starcatchers, and many published since we met in 2011. They generously provided me with these awesome books for a raffle giveaway last weekend, and to pass on the Starcatchers’ luck, I included a critique for someone entering this year’s Golden Heart contest.

Anna Richland Jeannie Lin critique

Anna Richland and Jeannie Lin, historical romance author.


Imagine my surprise when the winner wasn’t an aspiring writer, but the massively talented Jeannie Lin! And the surprise doubled when she told me she wanted to re-gift my critique at the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood blog, a group of romance writers who were Golden Heart finalists in 2009. I’m looking forward to Jeannie giving away my fast turn-around critique on the Sisterhood blog on Wednesday, October 23.

For several years I’ve judged for contests around the country and my own chapter’s Emerald City Opener. A few years ago I was happy to see one of the Golden Heart entries I judged make the finals … and win! … and be released! There’s no greater thrill for a judge than to see an entry that you enjoyed keep going for the win.

Some writers are very focused on contests, others think they’re worthless. I fall in the middle. I think contests can be good tools for a beginning writer who is seeking feedback. An advanced writer who reaches the final round will be read by editors and agents, and a serendipitous win can be that pat on the back at a low point. Over the last eight years I’ve used contests for all those purposes. I was a Golden Heart finalist in 2011, and winner of several other contests, including the Golden Network’s Golden Pen for paranormal romance and the 2012 Suzannah from the NOLA Stars.

Every entry I’ve judged taught me something about judging and a lot about writing, and the feedback I’ve received from other judges has refined my own judging skills. Now I look forward to passing on the insights to Jeannie’s winner at the Ruby blog.

Starcatchers Golden Heart Raffle and Anna Richland Critique

Starcatchers Golden Heart Raffle and Anna Richland Critique



3 responses to “Starcatchers Raffle Basket and Critique Go Bigger”

  1. I so enjoyed meeting you at the amazing ECWC. What fabulous raffle baskets from so many talented people! (I won Julie Rowe’s Timeless Keepsakes!) Your Starcatchers Golden Heart basket was lovely….and so great that your critique is being re-gifted. I agree with your contest judging thoughts. I’ve judged one contest and learned so much from that experience. Hope to see you again sometime!

  2. Anna, there was one in the basket….but I picked up another one from her at the book fair for my CP. Beautiful!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *