Ruthie’s Reality: Bring Your A-Game for Romancelandia’s Version of March Madness
March Madness can suck it.
Wait, did that sound harsh? Okay, maybe a little. But while NCAA basketball is all well and good, romance readers have something better–DABWAHA!
The name stands for “Dear Author Bitchery Writing Award for Hellagood Authors,” which, yeah. Don’t even bother trying to remember that. What you need to remember is that this is the romance world’s sixty-four-title competitive smackdown, complete with brackets, seeds, and a lively interoffice pool.**If your office happens to be the Internet. Which mine does.
How does it work? First, seven titles are nominated in each bracket by Jane Litte of Dear Author and Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. They selected seven finalists in each of the categories of contemporary romance, historical romance, paranormal/UF/SFR, GLBT, category (meaning series-length books, like those in Harlequin’s lines), novella (shorter stories than category romance), YA/NA, and novel with romantic elements / crossover. Then participants were allowed to select the eighth entrant in each category via a nomination form, and those selections were added to the bracket. (That bit already happened, but it’s not too late to join the party! All the good stuff is still to come.)
You can see the full list of selections on the DABWAHA website.
Next up, it’s bracket picking time! With the lineup of 64 titles revealed, it’s time to head over to the DABWAHA website and choose your champions. This isn’t the same as voting, mind you — it’s more like filling out your predictions for the office pool, and as in the office pool, there are prizes for guessing the winners correctly.
The actual “tournament” begins March 19, with several rounds of voting as the romance titles “play” each other and compete to advance to the next round. This is when you’ll see a lot of authors trash talking and making shameless bids for your vote — which is totally encouraged.
(Here is where I slyly reveal that I’ve been selected to compete in two categories: About Last Night is an entry in the category romance bracket, and Room at the Inn was selected to play as a novella. Feel free to vote for me. More than once, if you can manage it. I will try to bring my A game when the time is ripe.)
The rest of the DABWAHA schedule is here — more rounds of voting, a second-chance bracket for if you did such a bad job choosing winners you need a reboot, and an April 8 championship game, when we find out which romance is the book of the year!
It’s all good fun until somebody gets an elbow in the diaphragm and ends up sprawled on the floor in an inelegant pile of limbs, her basketball shorts showing an unfortunate expanse of thigh, her sports goggles askew. But lucky for you, only the authors are likely to get fouled so terribly in this process — for the readers, it’s totally win-win. So join the fun! Pick your brackets and cheer for your favorites.
Are you in? Have you read any/many of these awesome romance novels? How are you at trash-talking? Talk to me, Goose!
Answer one or more of my questions for a shot at winning the two championship-round DABWAHA books in the format of your choice.
Contest closes at midnight CST on Thursday, March 21. I’ll pick one random winner on Friday, March 22. Please include your email address in the body of your comment. I’ll contact the winner by email (if email address is available) as well as post the winner’s name in the comments here on Friday. Obviously, the books will be gifted to the winner after the championship round is over on April 8.