The HOLT Medallion, as I understand it, is one of the most prestigious romance writing awards for published novels after the RITA . . . and shortlisting this year with LIBERTY is particularly rewarding for me, for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, according to the contest coordinator, it's the first year the committee decided to combine Long Historicals and Short Historicals into a single entry category, so the competition, including international entrants, was twice as stiff--and LIBERTY had to overcome the additional hurdle of my unwittingly having sent in printer-flawed copies (whew!).
And second, as I shared with the coordinator, when DAWNFLIGHT was published in late 1999, and I was busily entering it into as many contests as existed in those days, somehow I missed hearing about the HOLT Medallion contest until after the submission deadline -- and since I was residing in northern Virginia at the time (VRW is based in Richmond), I really had no excuse! She & I shared a good laugh over that rather sheepish admission of mine. :) The other nice thing is that Richmond is only about a 4-hour drive from my farm, and there is a high likelihood that I will be able to attend the award announcement, which will be held in conjunction with VRW's June meeting.
All of this, while literally in the midst of packing for a quick jaunt from my farm in southwestern Virginia to Knoxville for the Smoky Mountain Romance Writers' 10th annual Mountain Laurel conference, where I will be rooming tonight with our very own Deborah Brent!
And, omygosh, it's time to sign off & hit the road...Happy Easter to everyone and I'll catch up with y'all next week!