Katrina Williams Wins Publishing Contract from So You Think You Can Write!

Today, Harlequin, one of the world’s leading publishers of books for women, added a compelling epilogue to its tremendously popular So You Think You Can Write event by announcing Katrina Williams of Allen, Texas, as the winner of its unpublished author competition and awarding the Dallas-area resident with her very first publishing contract.

Ms. Williams, an avid Harlequin reader, impressed a judging panel comprised of Harlequin editors with her manuscript entitled The Divorce Deal.  “I loved Katrina’s hero,” said Stacy Boyd, senior editor for Harlequin Desire.  “But what really made her book stand out was her unique, fresh voice. I’m very excited to be working with her on her winning manuscript.” Ms. Williams has since sold a second book to Harlequin and begun to establish a permanent career as a professional author.

So You Think You Can Write is Harlequin’s annual digital conference offering aspiring novelists the opportunity to spend an entire working week with more than 50 Harlequin editors via social media tools such as podcasts, videos, webinars, blog posts, community discussions and Twitter.

Participants have the opportunity to learn valuable insider tips and have their writing samples critiqued by professional editors.  The event, which ran from November 7 – 11, 2011, drew more than 17,000 unique visitors to the site.  Ms. Williams’ manuscript was selected from 175 submissions.

“This is the culmination of a dream I’ve had since third grade,” said Ms. Williams.  Asked to describe her reaction when she received “The Call” informing her she had won the contest, she replied, “I believe I hyperventilated. I know I cried. Just because I wanted to write for Harlequin didn’t mean I was good enough. Winning provided that validation. I honestly would have been happy being one of the finalists, but winning is just…wow.”

In fact, the judging panel was so impressed with the quality of submissions that they have expressed interest in manuscripts by a further five contestants.  “We knew we would award one deserving participant with a contract but were delighted to read publishable manuscripts by so many other contestants,” said Kathleen Scheibling, Senior Editor of Harlequin American Romance and the organizer of this year’s contest.  “We are thrilled that participants in the inaugural So You Think You Can Write conference, in 2010, took advantage of the expert advice and tips from Harlequin editors. The quality of this year’s entries tells us that So You Think You Can Write is achieving its goal of helping young romance novelists get started on the path to publication.”

Ms. Williams’ winning manuscript, The Divorce Deal, will be published as a Harlequin Desire novel in February 2013.  Its release will be accompanied by promotions and a front cover design declaring it as a So You Think You Can Write winner.

So You Think You Can Write will return for its third conference and contest in the latter half of 2012.

Edit: You can follow Katrina under her pen name at Kat Cantrell on Twitter, Facebook and through her website!

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Comments ( 20 )
  1. Liz Fielding
    March 1, 2012 at 8:32 am

    Many congratulations to Katrina!

  2. Abbi Cantrell
    March 1, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Congratulations, Kat! To a lady who knows how to keep a secret. 😉

  3. Julia Broadbooks
    March 1, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Huge congrats, Katrina!!

  4. Nancy Holroyd
    March 1, 2012 at 8:46 am


  5. Stacy Boyd
    March 1, 2012 at 8:59 am

    It was hard enough for me to keep this a secret, I know it must have been sooo hard for Katrina. 🙂 I can’t wait until readers can get their hands on these books, which will be out under Katrina’s pen name Kat Cantrell. Look for Kat on Twitter and Facebook!

  6. Evangeline Holland
    March 1, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Yay Kat! You deserve this! I can’t wait to see your book in print.

  7. Olga
    March 1, 2012 at 10:09 am

    @Stacy: Thanks for the tip! I’ve added that info to the blog post. 🙂

  8. Carrie Spencer
    March 1, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Yay for you Kat!!! How exciting! I’m so happy for you! =)

  9. Kristina Knight
    March 1, 2012 at 10:27 am

    snoopy dancing for you, Katrina! Super-huge congrats!!!

  10. Heidi Rice
    March 1, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Woohoo!! Kat, this is fantastic news… Had a feeling we’d be seeing your name on a published book before too long.

    The best of luck in your publishing journey!

  11. Rita Oberlies
    March 1, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Congratulations! I can’t stop smiling (and I don’t even know you). May this be the beginning of an incredible writing career!

  12. Chris
    March 1, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Huge congratulations, Kat!! So very happy for you.

  13. Sue Child
    March 1, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Congratulations Kat! Can’t wait to read it!


  14. Toni
    March 1, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Well done, Kat. What a way to start your career !!


  15. C.J. Miller
    March 1, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Congratulations, Kat! Can’t wait to read it!

  16. Connie Cox
    March 1, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Huge congratulations, Kat!

  17. Kat Cantrell
    March 1, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Oh, my gosh, thank you everyone for all the awesome and warm congrats! It’s been an amazing time and I can’t thank Harlequin and Stacy Boyd enough. I’m excited to be a Desire author and wish all aspiring writer could experience this. 🙂

  18. Rebecca
    March 1, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    So happy for you. Congratulations! Looking forward to seeing the book.

  19. Gina
    March 1, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    This is just awesome! Congratulations! I didn’t participate in this contest, but it inspires me to be ready for the SYTYCW contest this coming fall! Love the Desire line – can’t wait to see your book!

  20. Marion AKA Hope
    March 7, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    Congratulations, Kat! I wish you all the best, and many more books to come! 🙂

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