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Friday, August 08, 2008

STAR Contest Announcement...enter soon

***Permission to Forward Given and Encouraged***

Donna Dove glided onto a vacant spot on the wire where birds gathered for their nightly entertainment. Dusk was falling. Soon, the owners of the house across the street would flip on the lights and the movie would start. She could hardly wait to see that guy run into the sliding glass door. It always cackled her up.

“Hey, Mable.” Donna nudged her friend with a wingtip. “Birds of a feather stick together. You’re looking the wrong way.”

Mable didn’t so much as flutter. “Don’t bother me,” she tweeted. “I’m picking out my star.”

“Your star?” This she had to see. Donna swooped up, spun, and resettled herself beside Mable. As the sky darkened, a million lights popped onto the black backdrop. Donna bobbed her head – left, then right – watching. “Which one?” she chirped.

Mable lifted her beak and pointed. “That one. The bright white one next to the little yellow one. Star Mable,” she cooed. “Has a nice caw to it.”

“Ooooh, I like it,” Donna twittered. “I want one, too. The greenish one can be Donna Star.”

Mable snapped at a passing mosquito. “First, you have to win the Launching A Star contest,” she trilled after downing the tasty treat.

“Contest? Is that anything like fighting for grub worms?” Donna puffed and fluffed her chest feathers. She was a world class grub worm fighter.

“This is much easier.” Knowing it made her look as wise as an owl, Mable folded her wings. “Scratch out 25 pages of a romance and send it in with $30 by September 8th. The author of the best of the best gets a star named in their honor. Rules are on:

Donna whistled. She had the perfect love story about an albatross and a penguin.

“Thanks for telling me about Launching A Star,” Donna cawed when the movie ended and all the other birds fell off their perches laughing at the silly human.

“Tell all your friends,” Mable warbled as the two girls headed home to roost and type.

September was on its way and they both wanted to beat the deadline.

Be sure to enter the 2008 Launching A Star where acquiring editors and agents requested an amazing 15 manuscripts from the finalists of last year’s contest. As a direct result, two of our finalists signed with their dream agents. And one SOLD in a 3-book deal to a major NY publisher.

To enter, submit the first chapter (25 page max) of your unpublished romance in any of our seven categories. All first round judges (2 per entry, one trained, one published in romance) will provide constructive comments on every entry. Two industry professionals (one agent and one editor) will judge each category in the final round. Complete details and entry forms are available on the STAR Chapter website:

But hurry! You must send your entry in no later than September 8th.

Launching a Star 2008

Sponsor: SpacecoasT Authors of Romance Chapter (STAR)

Fee: $25-$30, SASE

Deadline: Post-marked by September 8th, Received by September 15th

E-deadline (for non-US residents only): Emailed by September 8th, received by September 10th.

Eligibility: Unpublished or not published by RWA-recognized publisher in book length fiction within 5 years

Enter: Prologue (if desired) & First Chapter (up to 25 pages) of an unpublished romance. No synopsis.

First round judges: One trained; one published.

Categories/Final round judges:

Historical: editor Keyren Gerlach, HQN, and agent Elizabeth Pomada

General Paranormal: editor Heather Osborne, TOR, and agent Laurie McLean

Fantasy/Futuristic Paranormal: editor Angela James, Samhain, and agent Lucienne Diver

Single Title Contemporary: editor Erin Galloway, Dorchester, and agent Michelle Grajkowski

Series Contemporary: editor Susan Litman, HQN, and agent Becca Stumpf

Young Adult: editor Kristen Daly, Harper/Collins, and agent Elaine Spencer

Erotic Romance: editor Allison Brandau, Berkley/Jove, and agent Roberta Brown

Top Prize: A star named in your honor! FMI, entry form, rules, and a list of Frequently Asked Questions, go to or contact Lee Duncan, contest coordinator at

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