Today was an exciting day! It was the Laurie banquet where my RWA Chapter, Smoky Mountain Romance Writers, announced the winners of the 2014 Laurie contest. We had Harlequin Love Inspired author and former Laurie Winner Missy Tippens as our Keynote speaker.
It was a lovely day, small and intimate, which I personally enjoyed because I was able to sit at my table and chat with those I was seated with. And as it turned out I was sitting with the only two finalists in the Paranormal category that came to the banquet. So it was extra special to be able to meet Janet Walden-West who it turns out works with me at the University of Tennessee. She’s in the Anthropology Department and our graduate students share office space together under Neyland Stadium. Little did I know I had another writer so close to me at work. I’m so glad she entered our contest and came to the banquet and now will be joining our chapter. The other finalist was the only member of SMRW who placed in the contest Rachel Rivers. She’s been with the chapter about a year and we are thrilled to have her among us.
I was thrilled with the announcement of the YA Category winners and that first place received a request for the full manuscript. Woo hoo to Miguella T. Twosias for her entry The Geek’s Best Kept Secret. And since I’d read all three entries and thought they were awesome I’d like to give a shout out to Nisha Sharma for her entry My So-Called Bollywood Life which came in 2nd place and to Katie Grant for her entry Intaglio which came in 3rd place. I wish all three of these authors the best in their careers because I believe they will soon be published.