no RITA for ME-ta

Word of the Week: celebrahateTo pretend to share joy with another, while secretly experiencing strong feelings of jealousy, and doing a poor job of concealing said jealousy.  Giving disingenuous compliments while sipping a large cup of Haterade. This action is almost always painfully obvious to others. Derived from a combination of the words “celebrate” and “hate.”  (For example — Angel Heidi: “Did you hear that Rachel Romance Writer is a RITA finalist this year?” Devil Heidi: “Oh, yeah…good for her.”
Angel Heidi: “Girl, you are so celebrahating on her!”


Welcome to the First (possibly Annual) No RITA for ME-ta Party here in The Dungeon!


But don’t let the title fool you—Golden Heart non-finalists are welcome, too.

That’s right, this is a party for those of us who did not get “The Call” last week informing us that we’re finalists in Romance Writers of America’s esteemed RITA & Golden Heart Competition.

This is the day we gather together & shout, “We don’t need no stinkin’ RITAs!”

Oh, yeah, they’re wonderful & fabulous, & if we had gotten a call, we’d still be bouncing off the walls with excitement.  But we also know that not getting a call means absolutely nothing.  Admit it—we’ve all read RITA finalist & even winning titles that were so-so at best.  And we’ve all read books that never made it close to finaling that were so awesome, they should have forgone the entire ceremony & simply handed the author an award right then & there.  (I fall into the latter category, of course. :Pretty )

In fact, I would actually love to see everyone share their stories of why not finaling in or winning the Golden Heart or RITAs means absolutely nothing when it comes to the success or longevity of your publishing career.  Who’s game?

So if you’ve finaled this year in the “No RITA (or Golden Heart) for Me-ta” Category, come on in!

The fruity, frilly girly drinks are flowing like a waterfall…Cosmos, Apple-tinis, Sex on the Beaches…  (But no margaRitas or Manhattans.  Those are strictly forbidden in The Dungeon today, for obvious reasons. :devil )

The music is loud & a-rockin’, starting with your favorite & mine—Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.”

And the full bevy of our very hot Dungeon Hotties are on hand, awaiting your every pleasure.

Want one of them to bring you a drink?  Done.

Want one of them to oil up and do a little striptease to distract you from your woes?  Done.

Want one of them lift you into his arms & carry you off to one of the back cells, where he’ll do things to you that will make you forget your own name, let alone that of the little gold statue up there? Done, done, & done!

So come on in…grab a glass & a hottie, & let’s get this party started!

s_ec78fb7c829852de7280ac33181265ce.gif Pictures, Images and Photos


38 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Laura J. says:

    I’m here to party but won’t be doing it hard. I have been up since 3am and ended up going to the er. Gall bladder is coming out. I have drugs and my doctor is cute so right now I’m doing.g pretty good.

    However if a certain husband doesn’t quit annoying me he will be needing drugs too.

    • Heidi says:

      Yuck. :crazy But you’ll feel much better once that dang thing is gone, so let’s keep a good thought.

      And the best thing for a rotten gall bladder is a gigantic blow-out bash in The Dungeon. Well, that’s what I’ve heard, anyway. :dracuulla

  2. Jessica Lemmon says:

    WHAT?! No nom for you? Want me to be angry on your behalf? :devil I could rant to the powers that be for you.

    Or would you prefer me to give you a hug and cry into my beer…? :blinkie (I don’t do girlie drinks)

    Or how about I continue to sing your praises because I think you’re awesome, and since I’m Type A personality AND a first born, I’m always right. :Bigthumbs

    • Heidi says:

      LOL I appreciate the offer, but I’m actually fine with not finaling. To be honest, I can’t even remember whether or not I entered this year. :question

      And tho I think finaling/winning these sorts of things is great, I also think that “the rest of us” need to be reminded from time to time that *not* finaling/winning isn’t the end of the world. We are still fabulous writers who are still going to have fabulous careers. So take *that* little gold award statues. :tpspspspt

  3. Lisa Mondello says:

    Hey, I heard there were free drinks and cabana boys here today so I thought I’d stop over. Hello everyone!

  4. Andrea I says:

    I heard there was a party today. I’ll take a spicy Bloody Mary to go with a HOT cabana boy.


    • Heidi says:

      You’ve got it, Andrea. The bar is definitely open…manned by a very tall, dark, & handsome manly man, of course. :genie

  5. Loni Lynne says:


    Thanks for the site. Though I didn’t enter GH this year I had a year ago and didn’t final so does that count too?

    This is an awesome party! Where did you find the guys?!

    My thoughts go out to Laura J. Good luck, I’ve been there. Darn gallbladder! Truthfully have felt better without it!

    Everyone who didn’t final in GH or Rita’s. Many haven’t and they’ve gone on to lead rich full lives. (Keep writing–some day our “Print” will come.)

    Hugs to all!

    • Heidi says:

      It totally counts, Loni! And I totally agree with your comment that while finaling (&/or winning) is a huge whoo-hoo!, *not* finaling means nothing.

      I finaled in the GH 3yrs in a row, but never sold those books. The nominations also didn’t land me a wonderful agent or win me a fabulous publishing contract, & as you said, I went on to lead a rich, full life. :happyjoy

      Also as I tell my friends when they final in a contest (big or small)—milk it for all it’s worth, but don’t think that winning or not winning has *anything* to do with the quality of your writing or what kind of career you’re going to have.

      Which is why parties like these *must* be thrown as a reminder of that fact! :justsoool

      • Loni Lynne says:

        Amen! We still have to party just for the sake of partying!

        All the best to you and everyone out there who did and didn’t final in whatever contest. There is no crime in trying . . . only in not trying and always wondering, “what if . . .”

        Here’s to many more tries with contests, agents, editors . . . whatever your heart leads you to :biggestgrin

  6. Heidi says:

    Drinks are served:

    This is the first round only…more to come. And as they say, “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere.” :Bigthumbs

  7. Kimberly MacCarron says:

    I love this!!! After being way too optimistic and completely confident that my manuscript would final in the GH two years in a row, I waited with a giddy smile for my RWA phone call. Instead, at 11, when the phone rang, I reached for it with that same giddy smile only to hear the nurse at the school telling me to come pick up my child as he just vomited all over the clinic.
    That’s my call story. I wish I didn’t have to stick by it. LOL.
    So, I think I’ll grab a drink, drown my misery, play my favorite Gloria Gaynor song and stare at a hot guy.
    A friend wrote her top ten reasons why she’s glad she didn’t final. Several of us added to it. Here are a few of the favorites:
    We can schedule a message at the hotel during the RITA/GH reception.
    We don’t have to stress about a speech or picking out a dress.
    We don’t have to start the diet TODAY.
    We can now cheer legitimately for those in our genre now.
    We can forget the deals we made with ourselves for things we’d do if we got the call.
    And…we can make purchases to relieve the sting of not being a finalist. Purses, shoes…whatever…

    • Kimberly MacCarron says:

      That was clearly supposed to say schedule a massage. No wonder I didn’t final.

    • Heidi says:

      Love the list…& there are lots of pluses to put on it. Sorry, but being a finalist is nerve-wracking, & dressing up, doing the rehearsals, sitting thru the ceremony, then *not* winning it a total downer. Who needs it?! :Bigthumbs

      Plus, like you said—no need to start that diet just yet. :happyjoy

  8. Roni says:

    This is a cute idea Heidi! :heehee

    • Heidi says:

      Thanks, Roni. I just thought that we needed a post-RITA/GH nominations “Festivus—a holiday for the rest of us” sort of celebration for those of us who didn’t final, maybe didn’t even enter, & aren’t losing any sleep ove rit. :blowkiss

  9. kris says:

    Girly drinks and smokin’ hot cabana boys can cure just about all that ails ya. just sayin’. :socool

    i’m at work right now so will have to abstain from the frosty beverages, but i’ll just close my office door and lick some of the man candy on the screen, K? :icecream

    Rita or not, doesn’t matter….I’ll still read the book! So congrats to all those out there pursuing all their dreams! THAT is what makes you a winner!! :brava

    • Heidi says:

      Brava, Kris! How right you are.

      And lickin’ on the man candy till you can get home & party properly is just fine. Let us know what flavor you pick. :gotcha

  10. Hollie says:

    Please pass the hotties and I’ll grab a drink!
    I didnt get a call…or a nomination or anything…but thats alright….I ordered an older Heidi book from amazon…Blame it on the Blackout… Its the best award a person can give themselves!! :socool

    • Heidi says:

      Yay! Oh, I hope you like it. Have to admit, that’s one of my uber-faves. Just love the elevator scene…& still remember my editor’s reaction when I told her what I had planned. :socool

  11. Liz Lincoln says:

    I didn’t enter either contest, so did not win. But as has been pointed out, many very successful authors have never finaled and are still moving on with their lives.

    Plus, I’ve heard the RITA statue is really heavy. Who needs that? Not having to lug around a statue leaves me an extra hand free for another one of those tasty looking drinks……

    • kris says:

      …and don’t forget those poor nominees who will have to sacrifice important shoe space in the luggage in the hopes that they’ll need to pack a trophy for the trip home!

    • Heidi says:

      Yeah…& like any of us need one more thing to dust, right? :ubermad

  12. Heidi says:

    Just one of the many delicious treats being carried around by our cabana boy servers:

  13. Katrina Snow says:

    What a fantastic idea! Kim invited me over and I’m so glad she did!

    Little waves of disappointment have been hitting me since Friday and I’ve been countering them by reminding myself of the upside to not being a finalist. Kim summarized many above, so I won’t repeat, but I love what peole have said here today as well.

    Just as being a finalist doesn’t mean your story is better than everyone else’s, NOT being a finalist doesn’t mean you’re not a great writer.

    So, here’s a toast to everyone who didn’t make it in the contest this year and who WILL make it to publication very soon. What a minute, I need a drink. Hey, can I get a Bahama Mama served by one of those dreamy cabana boys?!

    Cheers to all you fabulous writers!

    • Heidi says:

      Thank you, thank you. I do occasionally have an interesting idea or two. :Bigthumbs There are so many blogs & posts & articles dedicated to the finalists & winners every year that I just thought something needed to be done for THE REST OF US. I mean, bridesmaids need love, too, right?

      And can I just share the fact that since my own days in the GH, I’ve sold more books than some of the folks who *won* the coveted award? I’ve never finaled in the RITAs, either, but same goes. You simply cannot rate your career or progress or success by something like this. If it happens, it’s good, it’s great, it’s wonderful :biggestgrin …but it’s not the be-all end-all by any stretch of the imagination. :paranoid

  14. JT Bock says:

    Thank you so much for doing this! I, too, had hopes that my manuscript would final this time around. My story had been getting positive feedback in other contests and I was a finalist recently in another contest, so I thought that I had a shot.

    But I’m trekking away at the final revisions on the last few chapters and not letting this discourage me. I will root for my friends who are finalist and happy that so many who worked as hard as me (and in many cases harder) are getting the recognition they deserve.

    However, this industry is subjective and as another person commented, it doesn’t mean that our manuscripts aren’t good enough or are writing is bad. We can go on to publication with or without a GH.

    • Heidi says:

      Glad you’re enjoying yourself, JT! I hope we get the chance to do this every year…even if it means I never final myself. :tpspspspt

      And when you think about how many gazillions of entries the GH & RITAs get…yeah, the 7 or 8 finalists in each category are such a drop in the bucket.

  15. Virginia Kantra says:

    Heidi, remember our mantra before we sold? “Contests are a crap shoot. Crapshoot. Crapshoot. Crap. Crap. Crap. Shoot. Shoot. Shoot.”
    Every year in every category there are stunning omissions and wonderful surprises. This time around, I’m wonderfully surprised (and determined to lose ten pounds and wondering how I’m going to afford an unplanned trip to New York and, oh yeah, whether I’ll win the Susan Lucci award again this year).
    Sure it will be nice to walk around for a few days with a chest full of hardware and ribbons like the dictator of a small Third World country. But I’m betting it’s the quiet moments I take home: the reader who drove in for the booksigning, the chance to help a chapter buddy polish her pitch, the drink with a friend.
    Speaking of which, who’s buying this year? :biggrin

    • Heidi says:

      Oh, no—our party has been crashed! I don’t know, gals…this one is a *double* RITA finalist this year. Should we let her stay or boot her out? :question

      She does make a very good point about the crap shootiness of contests, tho. And she is awfully talented (I say that w/o a speck of celebrahatefulness, btw.) as well as being an awfully good friend (i.e. no Haterade needed)…

      Virginia~ I will be cheering you on from a distance this year, but if I were going to Nationals, I’d happily buy you a drink. Two, even—one to celebrate your aforementioned *double* RITA final & another just cuz you’re you. :uhoh

  16. Jane says:

    Thanks for inviting us to your party, Heidi. A lot of my favorite books from last year didn’t get nominated(yours included.) :icecream

    • Heidi says:

      Ditto, Jane. And thanks for the reminder—there are *a lot* of great books out there, worthy of an award. But as Virginia so eloquently put it, it’s a crap shoot. Very subjective, with a lot of “roll of the dice” thrown in, if you ask me. :cantputdown

  17. Heidi says:

    We are now dancing to the Black-Eyed Peas “I Gotta Feeling” :dancing

    (To remind us that—contest or no contest—tonight’s gonna be a good night…)

    • Katrina Snow says:

      Freaky weird here, as I started reading this particular post, this song came up on my ipod! No lie. I have heard it in ages and it cued up now. Of course, I have absolutely no idea if there’s any cosmic meaning in that.

      Hmm, maybe we should change it to “This year’s gonna be a good year…”

  18. Heidi says:

    Second round of party drinks now being served:×234.jpg

    Locate the nearest circulating hot-bodied cabana boy & help yourself!

  19. Heidi says:

    Now spinning on the turntable: “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell

    Cuz sometimes you just have to wallow for a minute. :blinkie

Sign Up for Heidi's Newsletter

Join my mailing list for the latest book news, photos of hunky heroes, contests, and tons of fun features!