Valley Authors Final in 2019 Golden Heart Awards
PHOENIX, AZ On Thursday, March 21st the Romance Writers of America® (RWA), the trade association for romance fiction authors, announced the finalists for the 2019 RITA® and Golden Heart® Awards.
Two Valley residents have finaled in the 2019 Golden Heart Awards which recognizes excellence in unpublished romance manuscripts. West Valley author Valen Cox’s manuscript Touch 3.3 was a finalist in the paranormal category, and east valley author Lisa Heartman’s manuscript High Heels and Handguns was a finalist in the romantic suspense category.
“The whole thing seems so surreal,” said Heartman of the finalist announcement. “It’s an honor and a blessing to be a finalist amongst these incredibly gifted romance writers. I’m still waiting for someone to wake me up from this dream.” Both authors are members of the Phoenix-based RWA chapter, Desert Rose.
Vice President of the Chapter, Willow Sanders, had this to say about their recognition, “We are so thrilled for both Lisa and Valen. There is a lot of talent in the Valley, and this is the second year authors from our chapter have been recognized. This recognition highlights both their hard work and dedication to their craft. I speak for our entire four-person board when I say we beam with pride and wish both luck at Nationals in July.”
The Golden Heart and Rita Award winners are announced at the RWA National Convention, being held in New York this coming July. The RWA board announced at last year’s annual conference that 2019 would be the final year for the Golden Heart Awards, due to declining interest.
“It’s quite bittersweet,” said Cox. “It’s an amazing experience to receive such peer validation. But, at the same time, we are heavy-hearted that this is the last year for a contest that has lifted, supported, and given hope to so many writers. May whatever comes next hold fast to the legacy of the Golden Heart.”
In addition to the finalists of the Golden Heart awards, finalists were announced in 13 categories of the RITA Awards, the highest award of distinction in romance fiction, recognizing excellence in published romance novels and novellas. The winners for both contests will be announced in July at the 2019 RWA conference in New York City. For a full list of finalists, visit the RWA website.