Last night the first stage of the Mills and Boon New Voices competition closed with a total of 824 entries.
The judges now have to produce a shortlist of 10- a hard task when the entries ranged from historical and paranormal to the very popular contemporary category.
A number of writer friends have entered and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for them all- you know who you are (Good luck).
Romance writing often gets derided by those who have never read it, not understanding or realising how much skill it takes to write good romance.
Just like any other genre, there has to be a good story. Characters have to be believable, the conflicts and the problems recognisable to the reader, while still being an entertaining read.
After all writers are in the entertainment business, our stage is our stories, the reader our audience.
So good luck to all 824 writers. If you don't make the shortlist I hope you'll persevere as there is clearly talent out there.