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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Maguire

Contests and Updates and Future Plans OH MY!

If you follow me on Facebook and/or Twitter, than you already know there are exciting things happening in my writing world. My career has gotten a much needed shove in the right direction and I've gone from treading water to swimming a Michael Phelps 100 Meter Medley. I am excited and humbled and downright exhausted, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

So, here's the breakdown:


The proverbial starting gun. This year, I put the final touches on my Rock and Roll Contemporary Romance, WOUNDED MARTYR, and decided to throw myself on the emotional chopping block and enter into contests for unpublished writers and manuscripts. The first, and biggest long shot (or so I thought), was the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Contest. I was so sure I wouldn't win that I all but forgot I'd even entered until my phone rang.

I won! Well, technically I'm a finalist, but it's practically the same thing. I was chosen as one of six finalists in the category Contemporary Romance: Short. Winners will be announced at a fancy luncheon during RWA National Conference in New York City.

So, guess where I'm going...

It doesn't end there. I also entered Wounded Martyr into the Contemporary Romance Writers Stiletto Contest. This is a wonderful, peer-judged contest that offers extensive feedback from the judges. If you are a writer, you know that feedback is invaluable and that alone was worth the entry fee. Peer judging, though, can be brutal and I prepared for the worst. Needless to say, I was ecstatic to find I had been chosen as a finalist. Winners will be announced at a dinner on July 23 in New York City.


Contest wins are catnip to publishers and agents. Almost immediately after notifying those I'd queried of my wins, the requests started coming in and I was offered a publishing contract by Nine Star Press, a small publisher with an LGBTQ+ focus. I've read several of their titles and was thrilled at the offer. Wounded Martyr is scheduled for publication in December 2019.

Future Plans

Selling one book, of course, doesn't mean the race is over. As awesome as the present is, I am always keeping one eye on the future. I am currently working on polishing up a new manuscript which I hope to have pitch-ready by conference in July. My goal: score an agent that will hopefully help me advance my career even further.

Long story short, the future is bright. And, swimming is great cardio.

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