I am so beyond happy to announce that, this past Saturday, “The Song of the Sea” won TWO Goldies! It won in the category of contemporary romance (mid-length) and debut novel.
I remember the first lesbian fiction novel that I read. It was “Behind the Pine Curtain” by Gerri Hill. I don’t remember how I came across that book, but I devoured it, and then read everything else Gerri Hill had written. I found Radclyffe’s books, and started working my way through all of those. Then, Georgia Beers’ novels… Soon, I had a bookshelf filled with lesbian fiction by many different authors. I was dabbling in writing lesbian romance novels, and dreaming of the day when I could be an author on such a bookshelf.
I wrote my first novel in 2006. It’s a disaster of a novel that I have no intention of ever editing for publication, but it was the first step on my journey to becoming a writer.
By the time I started writing “The Song of the Sea,” I already had a handful of finished first drafts of other practice stories. With each book, I learned a little more, but none were worth seeing through to publication. The first draft of “The Song of the Sea” was also a mess, but there was something about the characters that resonated with me, bringing me back to revisit them for a second draft, a third draft, a fourth draft…
Meanwhile, I kept reading lesbian fiction, and I studied the craft. I knew about the Golden Crown Literary Society, but I hadn’t joined yet. I wrongly thought that I needed to be an established writer in order to join GCLS. (As an aside, even if you read lesbian fiction without ever wanting to write a single word, you should join GCLS – they do an amazing job of connecting readers and writers) I hadn’t joined yet, but I knew that my favourite authors were winning Goldie awards for their novels, and I set that as my absolute dream goal.
I wrote and rewrote “The Song of the Sea.” I tried to figure out what exactly the book was about, and when I eventually figured that out, I got lost in a sea of doubts. Am I really going to write a book that deals with a character losing a child? Who am I to try to tell that story? Who is going to read that story? So many doubts that it seemed easier to set the novel aside. Start a new project. A less messy project.
And then I decided to join the Golden Crown Literary Society. I applied for the writing academy, and was thrilled to be accepted. I was encouraged to apply for the Sandra Moran Scholarship, submitted what I’d finished of “The Song of the Sea” and was surprised and elated to find out that I had won the scholarship. I attended that summer’s GCLS conference in Chicago, and I heard feedback from those who’d read those opening pages, telling me that they wanted to read more. I still had all of my doubts, but I pushed through them, and I finished the manuscript.
2 years later that book was published.
And now that book, that little project that I dabbled with when I had spare time throughout university, has won that award that I always dreamed of being able to win one day.
I consider it such an honor to have my book recognized with the Goldie awards.
So, in celebration, I wanted to offer a signed copy of “The Song of the Sea.” All you have to do is reply to this post with a comment about what joining GCLS has meant for you or if you haven’t joined yet something you think you could gain by joining GCLS.
I will enter all the names into a draw and pick a winner on Friday, July 24th.
5 thoughts on ““The Song of the Sea” Wins 2 Goldies!”
I find myself in a similar situation. I feel as if I’m getting my bearings. I’ve started wading into the water of writing my own manuscript. These stories have been in my head for years and I’ve never had the courage to let them out. I’ve been encouraged but, never brave enough to try. Fairly recently I’ve discovered the world of lesbian fiction and that such a thing as GCLS exists. Like you, I’ve filled my shelves with these books and my ultimate goal is to go for that Goldie. I do plan on joining soon and when I find my nerve, I do want to do the Academy. I hope to gain the confidence to go for that dream. I really and truly enjoyed The Song of the Sea. It was a very moving story. You deserve that Goldie.
Fear of sharing those stories and getting them onto the page is so real! I had so much fear before both of my book releases.
My advice, if you’re considering the Writing Academy, would be to just go for it. There’s nothing to lose by applying, and so much to gain. The writing academy is truly for people at all levels and stages of the writing process. We had some people in my class who had been writing for years, and others who were just starting to think about diving in.
I’m so glad that you enjoyed “The Song of the Sea.” 🙂
If you ever have any questions about writing or want a little extra push, don’t hesitate to reach out. I hope you’re able to get your manuscript onto the page!
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Thanks for that. I appreciate it. It helps to hear the path that others have walked.
I am a reader and I admire every writer there is. This craft isn’t easy and reading books makes everything better. I heard of GCLS several years ago and find this organization amazing. I participated in few things, never being able to join the conference in person. I already decided on becoming a member. That will happen before end of the summer. I will definitively get your book one way or the other 😂
Hopefully next year there will be an in-person conference to attend, but it has been nice getting to check out all of the virtual sessions online when I have time. Hopefully you enjoy being a member of GCLS!
Also, you won the free signed copy of “The Song of the Sea.” Congratulations! Shoot me an email at email@example.com and we can organize the details for me to send that off to you 🙂