Rusty Haggard Blog

Tampa Taps “Roses” as a Finalist in Contest

I received word Sunday afternoon that “A Good Year for the Roses” has been selected as a finalist in the Tampa Writers Contest for 2010-2011. The email was certainly a bright spot for me, having just received word from a New York agent that the novel, my first, wasn’t “the right fit” for her agency.

The uplifting news from Florida provides some positive vibes, along with some credibility and validation. The bothersome part of the good news is that this has been one long-delayed contest by the writers group based in the Tampa, Florida, area.

I originally submitted my entry in late September with the expectation that winners would be announced in January. That’s what the rules said. January rolled by, as did February. Finally, in mid-March an announcement was made by the group that complications in the judging process had delayed everything. Now, in late April the finalists have been announced, with a tentative awards banquet scheduled for mid-May, when first, second and honorable mention winners will be revealed.

I’ve got my doubts if that event will actually occur in mid-May. Given the track record so far, let’s shoot for mid-September. Still, the recognition is nice. Thanks, Tampa!

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