This week, RWA announced the Rita and Golden Heart finalists for 2017. My Twitter and Facebook feeds were buzzing as the judges called the finalists to let them know and the lucky excitedly shared the news.
Last year, I was waiting to discover whether or not I was one of those finalists. Unfortunately, I didn't quite make the cut, although I came close. The average score for a finalist in my category was an 8.1 and Revelations scored a 7.7. A respectable placement, but not enough to join the circle of finalists and award winners.
This year, I find myself feeling a little blue even as I add a heart or like to each Twitter and Facebook post. I wonder about all of the other hopefuls who will not receive a phone call, who will not be celebrated. As much as I am truly pleased for the success of others, I'm also only human, and so I also feel sad and disappointed not to be among them.
But I'm proud of them as well and proud of how so many authors are celebrating the victories of others rather than tearing them down out of jealousy. It makes me believe in a better side of humanity as they congratulate as well as compete.
So I want to offer my congratulations to every author who submitted a manuscript or book to either the Golden Heart or the Rita. It takes courage to put your work out there and allow others to pass an opinion on it. And you should all be proud, too.