Pub Rants

From RITA Nomination To Hollywood

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STATUS: You know you are having a busy day when your stomach starts telling you that you need to eat lunch. You swear you’ll get to it after just one more thing and the next time you look up, it’s 3 in the afternoon.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? BEVERLY HILLS by Weezer

I don’t often cross reference to another blog post of mine but this story I shared on Romancing the Blog last Friday is too good not to repeat here.

The post obviously hits the target reading audience for that Blog but it’s a good lesson to put here as well. If an award is prestigious or important enough, it’s worth the time and money to enter. You might just win or it might open another door you hadn’t even thought of. Just ask my author Kelly Parra.

From my Oct. 17, 2008 post—and here’s the link.

Have you been thinking about entering your novel into the RITA awards? Have you been waffling because you’re crunched for time? Let me remind you that the deadline is fast approaching (Dec. 1!) and regardless of how little spare time you have, this is a contest you don’t want to miss.

Why? Because I can tell you first-hand the power of a RITA nomination. It can land you in Hollywood.

I just closed a major motion picture option deal for my author Kelly Parra because of the double RITA-nomination for her young adult novel GRAFFITI GIRL. Yep, you heard that right. My author didn’t even win this year’s 2008 RITA but she’s winning in a whole different way (although she was very sad not to take home that beautiful statue).

This past July, several movie producers decided to check out Romance Writers Of America’s National Conference. Obviously, they gave special attention to any work nominated for the prestigious RITA award. Several weeks later, this producer got in touch with us. One call to my film co-agent and a week later, we had spanking new film option. This in turn is generating new excitement by foreign publishers in Frankfurt (as I write this).

All a year-plus after initial publication of the novel. And to top off the good news, Kelly’s new novel INVISIBLE TOUCH is releasing this month and this film interest is igniting excitement for her second novel. In fact, you should check out her cyber launch on The Secret Fates Blog.

So let me ask this question again. Have you been thinking about entering your novel into the RITAs?

Why are you waiting? Hop to it.


10 Responses

  1. Anonymous said:

    Good show, both of you.

    You might, however, include the fact that most small-press published books, no matter how good, can’t enter this Rita contest. It’s for the biggies only.

    What I wonder is: what are they afraid of? Quality should out, and therefore they should open the contest to all non-vanity pubbed books that meet the other criteria.

    But that’s just my opinion.

  2. Kelly Parra said:

    Thanks for the congrats!! I’m very excited about the option and for the wonderful work of Kristin and Michael Cendejas for negotiating the deal. 🙂 🙂

  3. Cindy Procter-King said:

    Anonymous, I’m published with a micro-press (tinier than a small press) and last year I entered my book in the RITA. If you qualify for RWA’s PAN, you can enter the RITA.

    I also publish erotic romance under a pen name, and I entered my novella from last year in the RITA and this year I’m entering my new novella. I wouldn’t call my publisher one of the biggies. It’s been around for a long time, but it’s definitely a small publisher.

  4. Terri Brisbin said:

    Robin —

    Since no one else answered you yet, the RITA is the award given by the Romance Writers of America to the best published romance novels and novellas in several different categories. The RITA is presented yearly at the RWA Conference and you can see the current year’s finalists on the RWA website.

    Cindy –
    You do not have to belong to RWA’s PAN (Published authors network) to enter in the RITA — it’s open to any romance novel that meets the requirements whether authored by an RWA member or a non-member.