Tag Archives: romance

Why Authors of Color Should Enter the RITA Awards

2 Aug


As you may have heard, Romance Writers of America (RWA) just announced winners of the RITA contest a few weeks ago. YOU could have been one of those winners. Have you considered entering the RITA Awards?

What are the RITAs?
The RITA Award is the most prominent award given throughout the genre of romance fiction. The purpose of the RITA Award is to promote excellence in the romance genre by recognizing outstanding published novels and novellas.

Why is this significant to me?
Historically, RITA entries submitted by authors of color have been underrepresented. There are many talented authors of color who either may not know they are eligible to participate in the RITA Awards, or they may not be aware that the awards exist.

Do I have to be a member of RWA to enter?
No, however members are given first consideration. Also, non-members pay a higher entry fee. The entry fee for RWA members is $50 per entry; the entry fee for non-members is $170 per entry.

Can self-published authors enter?
Absolutely. As long as your novel or novella has an original publication date of 2016, you can enter it into the RITA Awards. For a detailed list of contest rules, click here.

How do I enter?
The RITA Award opens for entries each fall. A novel may be entered either by the author or by the book’s publisher in one of the contest categories. Entrants must supply five printed books by the posted deadline (5 p.m. CT, November 21, 2016).

How are the entries judged?
Each title is judged by five separate judges during the preliminary round. After the first round of judging by published romance authors, entries that meet the qualifications to become a finalist advance to the final round. Finalists are announced in mid-March. Winners are announced at the annual award ceremony, held on the last day of RWA’s National Conference, which is normally held in July.

NOTE: If you don’t have an entry to submit, consider volunteering as a judge for the RITAs. Not only are authors of color underrepresented in the RITA Awards, so are judges of color.

What categories are covered?

Current award categories are:
• Contemporary Romance: Long
• Contemporary Romance: Mid-Length
• Contemporary Romance: Short
• Erotic Romance
• Historical Romance: Long
• Historical Romance: Short
• Paranormal Romance
• Romance Novella
• Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements
• Romantic Suspense
• Young Adult Romance
• Best First Book
• Provisional Category (Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance)

What’s in it for me?
Bragging rights. This is a wonderful accolade to add to your author resume, and it gives you immense credibility with romance agents, editors, and publishers. In addition, winners receive a gold statuette. Book editors receive a plaque.

Now, it’s your turn to submit to the RITAs! For more information, visit RWA.org. You can also email your questions to contests@rwa.org.

Wait! What if I’m not a published author?
No problem. RWA also hosts the Golden Heart Awards, which promotes excellence in the romance genre by recognizing outstanding manuscripts written by members who have not published a novel or novella.

Golden Heart winners receive a gold, heart-shaped necklace in recognition of their achievements at the RWA National conference.

For more info, visit.

Good luck!


Love Under Construction – Book 2

11 Oct
Blueprint for Love Final

Available October 20, 2014

What does a sassy owner of a construction company have in common with a down-on-his-luck ex-con? On the surface, it would seem nothing. But oh, baby, brewing beneath their apparent dislike of each other is a raging tempest of sexual desire.

If you or anyone you know is looking for an erotic interracial read, you’ll love reading about single mother, Ronnie Jones and her smooth-talking foreman, Vic Romano.

BLUEPRINT FOR LOVE is now available for pre-order. It’s Book 2 in my Love Under Construction Series. You can read an excerpt on my website at www.ChantaRand.com. If you like what you see, you can click the link on my site or the link below, and the book will automatically be delivered to your Kindle on October 20th. If you don’t have a Kindle, don’t worry. You can download the Amazon app to any cell phone or computer.


If you’re a member of my newsletter, you’ll be receiving a separate email with a link to read the first three chapters for free before it’s released to the public. If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, shame on you! You should sign up so you can get all of my updates, as well as some fabulous swag. In the meantime, happy reading!


13 Jul

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We’ve all seen it—women shoving everything from folded currency to cell phones into the deep and seemingly endless folds of flesh inside their bras. Maybe it’s because I’m not well-endowed on top (If I put something as small as a paperclip in my bra, it would no doubt, slither down into my pants). Maybe it’s because I feel sorry for the dollar bills getting sweat-soaked and suffocated behind those massive mammary glands. For whatever reason, it bothers the hell out of me when women use their bras as purses.


Seriously, breasts should be revered, encased in delicate lace or smooth silk—not serving as a fleshy wallet. Well, for all the Boobie Billfolds out there, I have great news.  The GirlyGo Garter has arrived.


Have you ever looked at the SkyMall magazine? The one you find on planes? Normally, I won’t touch the thing. I’m a germaphobe. The idea of making any contact with the sticky paper that everyone else’s mitts have been on is enough to make me keep my distance. But a few weeks ago, I was traveling and I forgot my Kindle at home. Yes, I was inconsolable. Desperate for any reading material to fill the time on the 45-minute flight, I reluctantly gave in and I reached for the SkyMall mag.


And guess what? There were some pretty ingenious items for sale in there. One that caught my eye was the GirlyGo Garter. This handy piece of lacy elastic can be used for holding a woman’s money, credit cards, and yes, even a cell phone. Now, isn’t that much better than digging down the front of your shirt groping for loose change? I guess if you wanted to include bulkier items in the garter, such as a pack of cigarettes, lighter, etc., you could. Hey, it’s not my business what you have between your legs.  Just do me a favor…don’t go reaching up your skirts in public. Then, I’ll have whole new complaint to write about.


Stay tuned for more “I just can’t live without it” products from SkyMall in my next post.


The GirlyGo Garter – Available for the low, low price of $36.99.   http://www.skymall.com/girlygogarter/28228GRP.html


Chanta Rand is the multi-published author of several romances, and the newly-released, EXECUTION WORLD, a dystopian thriller of survival on an asteroid designed for murder.