Saturday, May 22, 2010


Remember how I finalled in the RWA First Kiss Competition? Well, I'm absolutely thrilled to say that I won! Cristien Hickey came second, and Alli Withers, third.

I received the phone call yesterday from the lovely organiser, Cath Evans. I was at work at the time, so had to run out of my open plan office to be quietly excited in the hallway :)

And, in even more exciting news, the HMB Editor who judged the fnalists has requested my partial and synopsis (and Cristien's, too). I'm really excited about this, and am madly writing and polishing this weekend.

I also hadn't realised that while there were six finalists, there were only three place getters. So my assumption from my earlier post - that I'd get to collect my certificate at the RWA Conference Dinner - was seriously premature! Oh dear.

I also received some feedback from the judging editor. There was some lovely comments about my writing, but it started off with "Despite a contrived set up" - ouch! So definitely something I need to work on. I trap my hero/heroine together on an island during a cyclone, which I suspect is the contrived bit. They are both on the island for a very good reason (driven by their separate individual internal conflicts), is that enough? Or is the cyclone too convenient?

I keep thinking of my rejection letter - where coincidences and contrived situations were a big problem. Any thoughts?


  1. What about instead of a cyclone, its something slightly more likely like a ferry strike? Of course then you have to work out how to keep them in the same chalet/hotel room?
    Congrats btw!! Not surprised!

  2. Yay leah! Congrats, what fab news! Love Rach's suggestion of a ferry strike too.

  3. Thanks Rach and Janette! One of the things from my rejection was that my h/h spent too much time apart, hence why I was determined to trap them together in this book. The cyclone itself is not essential, but they definitely need to be alone for 24 hours or so. I'm not sure a ferry strike (or even the ferries not running due to normal bad weather, not cyclone bad weather, which happens regularly) would force them to be alone. But thank you for the suggestion. This is so hard!

  4. Congrats, Leah! As a recent recipient of a revision letter that touched on plot device, I can feel your "ouch", but least you get a chance to fix it before you send it off to the editor! Well done.

  5. Thanks Joanne and Maya - the buzz still hasn't quite worn off :)

  6. Congrats again, Leah on the win and good luck with the request. Just found your blog on the Nano site. I think we'll all need luck with June...
    Tam :)

  7. Leah - congrats and well done!!!!!!!!!!!! What fabulous news :) I'm absolutely thrilled for you :)

    All the best with the polishing.

    BTW - could you have them stranded on the island due to tsunami warnings? There was one yesterday (I heard it in the news, so you can do a search if you want) for some Pacific islands due to a nearby earthquake, richter reading 7.

  8. Fabulous news Leah - congrats and good luck!!