Final Thoughts RWA 2013

My apologies for highjacking RoseAnn’s week… but I wanted to wrap up my RWA 2013 posts. As Jaye so kindly posted, I was fortunate enough to win the 2013 Golden Heart® for Best Historical manuscript.

I still can’t quite believe it.

But I guess it happened because I have the video of the speech to prove it:

Thanks to Michele Mannon for the recording.

I honestly didn’t think I had a shot at winning, which was fine. To be nominated was a thrill and a half. I never expected to ever get THAT, let alone a win. This manuscript was a challenge from the word “go” and a bit of a different tone than what I normally write. I questioned it every step of the way. So I feel very humbled by the recognition.

My amazing critique partners went one step further. Little did I know that they were all colluding to present me with the most amazing memento that any RWA conference attendee could ever hope for. Michele and Diana ran around the conference with the matte from a frame and gathered signatures on it. These range from Kristan Higgins, Jill Shalvis, Sabrina Jeffries, Courtney Milan, Susan Elizabeth Phillips (!), Nora (!!), Jude Deveraux (!!!), and so many other wonderful authors and friends.



It’s a treasure beyond words and possibly the nicest thing I’ve ever received, discounting my two little girls (and I had a hand or two in that).

So my final thoughts on RWA aren’t about the workshops or the food. Not about the expensive drinks or the lack of hotel towels. They’re about the relationships we form, the women and men we choose to share our lives with. Writers, in case you don’t know, aren’t exactly sane. You can’t not be a little off and decide to do what we do. Without the shoulder to cry on, the laughs, the wine, the brainstorming, and the pats on the back from people who KNOW how hard we’ve struggled, this career would be an uphill battle for sure.

When one of us succeeds, we ALL succeed. Thank you, ladies!

Missing: Diana Quincy

Missing: Diana Quincy

Leave a comment


  1. Awww. Heart you, Joanna!

  2. What a wonderful gift your writing partners have given you! I’m sure it will have a place of honor in your home! And congrats again for winning!

  3. Okay, you made me cry! To the best set of women and friends. Hugs!

  4. Jenna Blue

     /  August 2, 2013

    Joanna, not only have you earned the win, you’ve earned the friendships! Amazing writer, awesome friend! We value you LOADS right back!

  5. Aw, you made me cry, too! We’re so proud of you. And, like you, I’m so thankful to be part of such a talented, generous, and fun group of writers.

  6. What a great gift! So glad your speech was taped. Wish I could have seen it in person. Congratulations once again.

    • Thanks, Emma! I am very glad Michele taped the speech. I was so nervous! Although I didn’t get to say everything I probably should have, I got the important bits out.

  7. Nicole Doran

     /  August 2, 2013

    Your sentiments are so true. Thanks for sharing and congrats again!

  8. You have to give the biggest thanks to Michele for conceiving of the gift and for getting most of the signatures. Your win is so well deserved and it was a privilege to watch you receive it!

    • Thanks! I’m glad you were there. And Michele is a total rock star. I never would have thought of anything so clever and meaningful.

  9. RoseAnn DeFranco

     /  August 2, 2013

    Hey, Rock Star, you’ve got me all choked up. Amazing writer and friend, you hit the nail on the head, again. Congratulations, so well deserved.

  10. I’m pretty sure we joined NJRW at the same time…maybe even attended our first guest meeting on the same day. I hope some of your luck…and skill…rub off on me.
    Great news and good luck…

    • Thanks, Joe! Did we join at the same time? It seems such a long time ago but really wasn’t. Looking forward to seeing you in the Fall and catching up on what’s happening with you.


     /  August 3, 2013

    I can’t believe that is my little sis!! Your speech was amazing and the sentiments above are so true- I am glad you are surrounded by such great people! XOX

  12. Elaine Rotondo

     /  August 3, 2013

    My girl– you are the best and I love you ever so much. Congrats!!


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