Love is . . . Contest Finalists

On 2/7, I announced my first-ever writing contest here at Romance Writers on the Journey.


Contestants read the following and entered via a comment on the original post.

2/14 is Valentine’s Day . . . and the number of words in a contest entry.

I supply the first two. You provide the rest, up to a maximum of 14 (for a total of 16).

Mine are easy: Love is . . .

Yours follow and define mine.


Congratulations to all 25 contestants! I enjoyed reading your entries.

Hard as it was to make my decisions, I have chosen the 14 finalists.

Each of them will receive some delish ice cream ($2 Baskin Robbins gift certificate).


The Final Round Entries

There is no identifying information, and my judges agreed not to view the original post.

I copied and pasted the entries exactly as they were written.

I performed a Google search of each entry to ensure its originality.

In order not to show any preference, I alphabetized the entries starting with the third word.

To make things as easy as possible for my judges, I assigned numbers.


  1. Love is…a voice, a touch, a heartbeat, a breath, a smile.
  2. Love is as infuriating and facinating as being married to Lucy Ricardo.
  3. Love is being willing to sacrifice everything for your beloved’s happiness.
  4. Love is…everywhere but sometimes we have to look a little harder.
  5. Love is…giving our heart, soul, mind, and strength to God and to mankind.
  6. Love is just a small word, but within it lies the endless macrocosms of the heart.
  7. Love is, looking beyond human frailties, and into the soul of who loves you.
  8. Love is looking past the frailties of outward appearance to the depths of the heart beneath.
  9. Love is me holding you now and then you holding me sometime later.
  10. Love is surrendering to the realization that the heart held within your hands isn’t your own.
  11. Love is the ability to see that sometimes the frog is the prince and he’s yours.
  12. Love is what makes life desirable, delectable and delightful.
  13. Love is when I’d rather be with you than anywhere else in the world.
  14. Love is when the beat of your hearts become one.


My judges will rank each of the 14 entries between one and nine, with decimals allowed as in the Golden Heart®. (Examples: 1.1, 8.9.)

I will add the three individual scores for each finalist’s entry to determine the top three scores and will post the first, second, and third place winners’ names on Valentine’s Day.


Fun for you . . .

Which of the entries is your favorite? Leave a comment if you’d like to say why an entry moved you, which made you smile, or just to see if you can predict the winners. The judges have agreed not to view the comments until after the results are posted.


My Esteemed Judges:

Anne Barton ~ writer of delightful Regency romances and the best critique partner ever. (I’m blessed. She’s mine!) Anne was a 2008 and 2009 Golden Heart® finalist. Her stories, filled with dreamy heroes, spunky heroines, and entertaining secondary characters bring to life a period enjoyed by many. Readers will love her great Voice.

Candace Calvert ~ author of gripping inspirational medical romances, including Critical Care (set in my hometown of Placerville, California) and Disaster Status, scheduled for release in April. Critical Care was so good I stayed up all night in order to finish it, something I hadn’t done in ages. When I finished, I said, “This is how to write a book!”

Walt Mussell ~ writer of action-packed inspirational historical romances set in Japan during the 16th Century. Walt proved to me that men can write riveting romance just as well as women, and he does it with way cool sword fights. He introduced me to a people and culture I knew very little about and made me care deeply for his characters.


To ensure that the entries would be judged from different perspectives, I chose individuals who, although they all write romance, reflect different backgrounds, interests, and experiences. Both genders are represented as well.

Anne writes for the mainstream market, and Candace has as well. Walt writes for the inspirational market, which Candace now does.

Anne and Walt write historicals. Candace writes contemporaries, and Walt will be soon.

Anne and Walt are anticipating their first sales; Candace has several published novels.

Anne is an elementary school teacher, Candace a former nurse, and Walt a high level banker.


The Prizes:

1st Place..= $25 Barnes and Noble Gift Card ~ because most writers I know (and many others) love to read.
2nd Place = $20 See’s Candy Gift Card ~ because many writers love chocolate and believe it fuels creativity.
3rd Place .= $15 in Taco Bell Gift Certificates ~ just because I love to eat there.

(Note: I will address the issue of ties or non-U.S. winners if either situation arises.)


About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
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3 Responses to Love is . . . Contest Finalists

  1. Linda says:

    I pick #2, as Lucy Maggilicutty Recardo is such an absolute riot!

  2. sherrinda says:

    Oh wow! There are so many good ones! Number 11 about the frog made me smile! I don’t envy the judges!!

    Such a fun contest, Keli!

  3. Congratulations to the winners! 🙂

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