Posted On June 27, 2012 by Print This Post

The Wild Golden Heart® Ride by Terri Osburn

Please help me welcome my Twitter buddy Terri Osburn. Did I also mention she’s a new Golden Heart® nominee? You won’t believe the exciting ride she’s been on since March!

First off, thank you to Carrie Spencer for inviting me to share my Golden Heart experience with Romance University. This site is a phenomenal resource for writers and it is my honor to play a part even if only for a day.

In the days leading up to March 26, 2012, I kept telling myself not to expect a call. Forget about the calls. Try to be happy for the writers who get the calls. And then shortly after arriving at work that Monday morning, I received a call from an out-of-state number I didn’t recognize.

Could it be? Maybe. OMG! No way!!

These are the things that ran through my brain before I’d even answered the phone. The darling and highly talented Jeanne Adams asked for me and my intelligent response was “YOU ARE KIDDING ME!” No lie. That is how I answered this call. Thank goodness I’ve known Jeanne for years so she already knew I’m a bit of a basket case.

Jeanne laughed (with me, not at me I’m sure) and gave me the schpiel that I’d finaled but my brain was stuck in overdrive making it difficult to communicate. A lot of “OH MY GAWD!” and “I can’t believe this” peppered the conversation. Well, my half of the conversation. But Jeanne has assured me I did not curse in her ear. Thank goodness!

I proceeded to happy dance throughout the day, to the amusement and confusion of my coworkers, and couldn’t stop smiling for the rest of the week.

Just after nine on that fateful Monday morning is the moment the train left the station. And let me tell you, that train takes off in a hurry with no time to buckle your seat belt never mind get a good grip.

Blogs, Twitter, and Facebook lit up and I received many congratulatory emails, including a few from some of my favorite Contemporary Romance (my category) authors. Thankfully, my child is the only one who was privy to my reaction to those emails, but let’s say I did an excellent impersonation of someone loaded up on really good drugs.

And then there’s the Class of 2012. For those who don’t know, every year the Golden Heart® finalists create a Yahoo group and proceed to squee, share, and support each other in one giant wash of love. Talented, gorgeous, smart, and funny, I am proud to stand beside my fellow Firebirds knowing we are all rising from the ashes together, soaring into the next phase of our careers with grit, determination, and a pretty gold pin on our lapels.

Some in the group have finaled before, some have already sold, and others (like me) are first time finalists still trying to break through to the next level. Which is where the next loop-dee-loop (official term, I looked it up) of this ride comes in.

What do you do with all this GH® power and enthusiasm? Why, you send your baby out into the world with that “GH® Finalist” in the subject line and wait for everyone to gush and coo and beg to find the perfect home for your masterpiece.

Then the rejections roll in (read: harsh smack of reality upside the ego), you take the hits (with support from your GH® sisters) and send again, hanging your bruised ego on the firing range for another round. And if you’re lucky, as I have been, you talk to the right person at the right time who hands your manuscript to the perfect agent for you and she loves it.

This is when the train picks up speed, you swallow bugs but don’t mind because you’re screaming with joy, and the world is suddenly filled with new possibilities. I think of Nalini Akolekar of Spencerhill Associates as my fairy godmother not just my agent. Too early for her to have gotten me fully into the ball just yet, but she recognized that I deserve an invitation. And I will always be grateful for that.

In a month I’ll be floating around the Anaheim Marriott at the RWA National Conference struggling to stay sane while remembering all the new faces and names. And, of course, working hard not do or say anything truly embarrassing.

Lucky for me this is not my first Nationals, but in the past I’ve always been invisible. Another aspiring writer, hovering on the fringe, watching the action. This year I’m in the action, a circumstance I find both exhilarating and horrifying. The one thought getting me through is this. No matter what happens on awards night, I’m already a winner. To win that necklace would simply be the topper to what has already been a life changing experience.

So if you’re contemplating entering the Golden Heart®, but haven’t quite made up your mind, I say go for it. Believe in your work. Believe in yourself. You never know, you might be the one getting that life changing phone call. Just be ready, because this is one wild ride.


RU Writers – have you entered the Golden Heart® yet? Do you have plans to?

Join us on Friday when Larry Bjornson tells us how he conquers writer’s block.


Bio: Terri Osburn has been reading Romance for more than twenty-five years, and writing her own stories for the last five. She is a 2012 Golden Heart finalist in the Contemporary Single Title category, a PRO member of RWA, and is represented by Nalini Akolekar of Spencerhill Associates. She writes small town contemporary novels with a touch of humor, a healthy dose of angst, and a satisfying sigh at the end. For the last four years Terri has blogged with a group of aspiring writers and published authors as the Bo’sun aboard the Romance Writers Revenge. These writing pirates have been known to toss chocolate into their rum, and love chatting about their favorite books, authors, and writing tips.

Similar Posts:

Share Button

New Writer's Journey


48 Responses to “The Wild Golden Heart® Ride by Terri Osburn”

  1. Congratulations, Terri!

    You’ve worked for this and deserve all the good things that are cominng your way.

    Di R

    Posted by Di R | June 27, 2012, 5:26 am
  2. Morning Terri!!

    Woohoo!!! Major congrats to you! I can totally imagine the screaming and butt wiggling that had to go on behind the scenes after that phone call. Good for you!

    Tell us what happens next at the RWA conference – and best of luck in winning that necklace!!



    Posted by Carrie Spencer | June 27, 2012, 5:28 am
  3. Good morning, Terri! Welcome to RU and congratulations on your nomination.

    From what I’ve seen of the Golden Heart festivities at the RWA conferences, you are in for a great week!

    Enjoy. I’ll be cheering for you at the awards ceremony.

    Posted by Adrienne Giordano | June 27, 2012, 6:02 am
    • Thank you, Adrienne. I’m so excited for Nationals, but feeling more overwhelmed every day. And now I’m getting to the point of fearing it will fly by too fast. Must enjoy every minute as this might be the highlight of my decade. LOL!

      Posted by Terri Osburn | June 27, 2012, 6:58 am
  4. Congrats again, Terri. This has been a great year for you. 🙂

    When I was a GH finalist, many years ago, I was on vacation in New Orleans, and it took a little while for them to track me down. (I don’t know if the internet had been invented then. LOL) It was a great place to celebrate though. 🙂

    Posted by Donna Cummings | June 27, 2012, 6:14 am
  5. I’ve never entered the Golden Heart, but I HAVE entered the Golden Pen. I’ve thought about entering the GH, don’t get me wrong. I just haven’t worked up the nerve yet.

    It’s quite an honor to win – huge congratulations! I’m sure your story will find the right publisher soon!

    Posted by Becke Davis (Becke Martin) | June 27, 2012, 6:15 am
    • Becke, you must enter! When I sent off that entry, I believed I had a chance, but a slim one at best. And then that call came and my life went ZOOM! LOL! Forget about working up the nerve and just say today, “I will enter!”

      Go on now, say it with me.

      Posted by Terri Osburn | June 27, 2012, 7:38 am
  6. I’ve squeed my brains out for Ter, but I can always work up a bit more squealing. I’m annoying like that.

    So soo sooooo super excited for Terri. I’ve read her fabulous MS and I’m looking forward to the day it hits the shelves so you all can be in on the greatness too.


    Posted by Marnee Bailey | June 27, 2012, 6:57 am
  7. I have some day job stuff to do this morning but I’ll be back to chat as soon as I can.

    Posted by Terri Osburn | June 27, 2012, 7:00 am
  8. Great post, Terri! I look forward to seeing that shining smile in Anaheim. Go Firebirds!!


    Posted by Jean Willett | June 27, 2012, 7:09 am
  9. Congratulations and thank you for sharing your wild ride!

    Posted by Kelly Wolf | June 27, 2012, 7:31 am
  10. Enjoyed your blog post. What? No dancing on the train? : )
    Congrats! again on your final. And I agree the days of National are packed so tight it will go by like a fast train. We’ll have to take moments to just sit and observe the craziness.

    Posted by robena grant | June 27, 2012, 7:57 am
  11. Great story Terri! I wish I could be there to see you accept your award!!!

    Posted by Leslie Langtry | June 27, 2012, 7:58 am
  12. You’re handling this wild ride with good grace, Terri! I’m so excited for you; and agree that you more than deserve all the accolades you’re receiving! You’ll have to sign your first book to me!

    Posted by Hellion | June 27, 2012, 8:01 am
  13. Hi Terri,

    Congratulations on your Golden Heart final. It shows true bravery to enter the arena.

    Mary Jo

    Posted by Mary Jo Burke | June 27, 2012, 8:34 am
  14. Thank you, Mary Jo. I think entering is easier with the “I probably won’t final” thought running through your head. But as they say, you can’t win if you don’t get in the game. 🙂

    Posted by Terri Osburn | June 27, 2012, 9:25 am
  15. Hi Terri,

    Yes, being a Golden Heart finalist is a fast moving train and one I’m thrilled to be on this trip – especially with people like you on board.

    Posted by kathleen | June 27, 2012, 9:38 am
  16. Congrats, Terri, on the Golden Heart final!!

    Can’t wait to meet you in Anaheim!

    The Firebirds are amazing!

    Posted by Elisa Beatty | June 27, 2012, 10:36 am
  17. Congratulations Terri!

    Enjoy every minute of it!


    Posted by Robin Covington | June 27, 2012, 10:44 am
  18. Terri, congratulations on finaling and enjoy the conference in Anaheim. We’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for you!

    Posted by Jennifer Tanner | June 27, 2012, 11:31 am
    • Thank you, Jennifer. I have this terrible knee jerk reaction whenever someone brings up me winning. I want to assure them I won’t. LOL! But as with finaling, never say never! I appreciate all the cheers and support.

      Posted by Terri Osburn | June 27, 2012, 1:45 pm
  19. Huge congrats again, Terri! You truly deserve it. My fingers and toes are crossed for you! 🙂

    Posted by Stephanie StClair | June 27, 2012, 11:56 am
  20. SUPER CONGRATS, Terri!

    I’m so thrilled for you! Yes, the GH Finalist train is quite a ride. Sometimes when I look back, I still can’t quite believe it happened to me. 😉

    I know many MANY wonderful things are still in store for you and will be happening very soon. Congrats of finding your perfect agent. Now on to a sale!


    Posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy | June 27, 2012, 12:24 pm
  21. You summed it up perfectly Terri.

    Super congrats.


    Posted by Karen | June 27, 2012, 1:17 pm
  22. I cannot wait to waterski your wake in Anaheim. I’ll be poised to email the message of your win at the banquet… 😉

    Posted by Maureen O. Betita | June 27, 2012, 2:07 pm
  23. It certainly is a ride, isn’t it? So glad to be on this train with you, Terri!

    Posted by Meg Kassel | June 27, 2012, 7:46 pm
  24. Thanks everyone for the great posts – and Terri – best of luck to you!

    Posted by Carrie Spencer | June 27, 2012, 9:01 pm
  25. Thanks again for the invite, Carrie. This was fun.

    Posted by Terri Osburn | June 28, 2012, 7:00 am
  26. That was an awesome story!

    Posted by bonzoi | July 16, 2012, 2:07 am
  27. Thanks, Bonzoi.

    Posted by Terri Osburn | July 16, 2012, 7:33 am

Post a comment

Upcoming Posts





Follow Us