Thursday, April 24

Golden Claddagh Contest is OPEN

2014 Contest
CONTEST IS OPEN!
Enter Celtic Hearts Romance Writers Chapter contest The Golden Claddagh!
We have four categories for unpublished authors and published authors with unpublished  manuscripts.
* Historical
* Fantasy-Futuristic-Paranormal
* Contemporary
* Young Adult/New Adult
Our contest due date is May 10th. Finalists will be notified by June 15th and winners notified by August 1st–Winners will be announced at the CHRW Annual General Meeting at RWA National Convention in San Antonio, TX in July 2014.
Eligibility
The competition is open to RWA members ONLY.
Manuscripts must be unpublished and un-contracted in any form, including self-publishing. The manuscript rights must belong to the author and be available to contract, should a final judge wish to offer publication.
The GC entry must be a full-length novel (more than 40K). Novellas or Short stories will not be accepted.
Manuscripts must be completed by the time results are returned. Entrant must retain all rights to the entry and not have granted any of them to a publisher or any other party by the contest entry deadline.
If your manuscript is accepted for publication during the time of our contest (dates will be specified) you must notify the contest coordinator; your submission(s) will be withdrawn from consideration and your entry fee(s) returned.
Please Note:
  • Previously entered manuscripts may be entered again, but no previous winning manuscript shall be re-entered, even if revised.
  • You may submit multiple entries so long as you pay an entry fee and submit a completed entry form for each submission.
  • You may not enter the same manuscript in more than one category. *Entry fee per entry: $10.00 CHRW members and $15.00 non-member CHRWA members.
CHRW reserves the right to discard all electronic entries and return fees if a minimum number of three (3) entries are not received in any category. Entrants will be contacted before the entries are returned and given the option to place their entry in another category if it is eligible. We may also refuse an entry that does not follow the rules stated here in the guidelines.
All Payments are Electronic through PayPal. The easy link is here:
If you wish to go directly to PayPal, please use Paypal address: treasurer@celtichearts.org
Entry fee: $10.00 CHRW members and $15.00 non-member CHRWA members.
All entries will be read and scored for the first round by two trained judges and one published author, and the lowest score dropped. The three entries with the highest total scores in each category will move to the final round. An editor/agent will judge the final round and select a winner from the finalists in each category.
Categories:
Future, Fantasy & Paranormal: Romance novel where the mains focus is on the romantic relationship, but the future, fantasy or paranormal elements are integral to the story (includes time-travel).
Contemporary: Includes, single title, long and short romantic fiction with a contemporary setting set after 1945. Main focus is the romantic relationship between the hero and heroine.
Historical: Romance novel set primarily before 1945 — any location. Please specify your time period and setting in your entry.
Young Adult/New Adult:  Romance novels in which young adult or new adult themes constitute an integral part of the plot. *Romance subplot not required*

Entries
Entry Composition: No Synopsis required! Your entry must have the following:
1.     An email “cover page” which includes the author’s real name, address, telephone number(s), e-mail address, submission title, category, manuscript word count and PayPal confirmation # should be submitted in text of the e-mail. Do not include the cover page in the same attachment as your manuscript.
2.     The beginning of your manuscript, including prologue, cannot exceed thirty (30) pages. Standard manuscript format must be followed:
  • 1 inch margins
  • Double spaced in a standard font and size 12-point.
  • The TITLE of the manuscript, the category, and any subcategory should be placed on the top left hand side of the entry. The PAGE NUMBER should be on the top right side of the entry.
  • We will not accept entries that have colored, or designer fonts. DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR NAME ON THE MANUSCRIPT.
3. Manuscript must be in a .doc or .rtf file format.
NOTE: Your entry must not exceed thirty (30) pages total.

SUBMIT ENTRIES TO:
Contemporary Category - contempcat@celtichearts.org
FFP Category - ffpcat@celtichearts.org
Historical Category - historicalcat@celtichearts.org
Young Adult/New Adult Category - yacat@celtichearts.org

Final Round Judges
FF&P
Angela James – Carina Press
Kerry Buckley – Carina Press
TBA
Historical
Laurie McLean – Forward Literary, Inc
Beth Miller – Writers House
Leis Pederson – Berkley Publishing
Contemporary
Julie Mianecki – Penguin Books
Alissa Davis – Carina Press
Elizabeth Bistrow – Penguin Books
Young Adult/New Adult
Nicole Fischer – Avon Press
TBA

Awards
The FIRST PLACE winners in each category will receive a $50 dollar cash prize and a commemorative pin.
The SECOND and THIRD PLACE winners in each category will receive free workshops through Celtic Hearts Romance Writers.
For questions please contact the contest chair, Alisa Walker at: contests@celtichearts.org

Sunday, April 20

The Real Origins of Easter


Easter: The word is derived from a Saxon goddess of Dawn and Spring known as Oestre or Eastre (Ostara in Germany). She was a fertility goddess and her sacred animal was the hare.

Also Known As: Alban Eiler, Eostre, Lady Day, Easter, and Festival of Trees.

Symbols: Rabbits, chicks, eggs, and equilateral cross.

Traditional Incenses: Violet, jasmine, rose, sage, and strawberry.

Sacred Foods: Fish, sweets, sweet breads, hot cross buns, and eggs.

History: First introduced to the Celtic world by the Saxons around 600 A.D., Easter was celebrated during the Vernal Equinox on March 21. Since then it has been overshadowed by the more popular Christian holiday, which celebrates the resurrection of Christ.

Customs: Collecting and decorating eggs, bird watching, egg hunts, and burying eggs in fields.

Easter Eggs: Eggs were a symbol of fertility in most ancient cultures, and the Celts were no different. During the spring festival to celebrate Ostara, they painted eggs to give as gifts. The chocolate eggs we now associate with Easter were introduced at a much later date.

The Legend of the Goddess Ostara and the Easter Bunny

“Feeling guilty about arriving late one spring, the goddess Ostara saved the life of a poor bird whose wings had been frozen by the snow. Filled with compassion for him since he could no longer fly, Ostara turned him into a snow hare and gave him the gift of being able to run with incredible speed so he could protect himself from hunters. In remembrance of his earlier form as a bird, she also gave him the ability to lay eggs (in all the colors of the rainbow). 

However, the hare later angered the goddess Ostara, and she cast him into the skies where he would remain as the constellation Lepus (the Hare), forever positioned under the feet of the constellation Orion (the Hunter). He was allowed to return to earth once a year, but only to give away his eggs to the children attending the Ostara festivals that were held each spring. Thus, the tradition of the Easter Bunny had begun" (Easter: History and Traditions).

Sources:
--Celtic Folklore Cooking by Joanne Asala
--Easter: History and Traditions:  
http://www.goddessgift.com/Pandora's_Box/Easter-history.htm

--The Pagan Origins of the Easter Bunny:  http://altreligion.net/?page_id=1789
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