Romantic Novelists' Association Annual Awards


In Regency times, the success of a social occasion was judged on how great a crush it was. Using that yardstick, the Romantic Novelists’ Association awards event on Tuesday was a triumph. Nearly two hundred and fifty novelists, agents and publishers, together with members of the press, stood shoulder to shoulder, drinking champagne and nibbling canapes, all to hear who had won in each of the categories for Romantic Novel of the year (the RoNAs). There were well-established best-selling novelists, those less well-known and others yet to be published, all mingling and enjoying the occasion. Writing is a solitary occupation, so when writers get together they have plenty to talk about and the decibels were sky high.

Eventually silence was attained and the business of the evening went forward with a short speech by our Chairman, Anne Ashurst and then the announcement of the winners, whose trophies were presented by Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan.

First up was the RoNa Rose, a separate award specifically for shorter novels and serials which concentrate on the developing relationship between the hero and heroine. This was won for the second year running by Sarah Mallory, with Beneath the Major’s Scars published by Harlequin Mills & Boon Historical.

The winners in each category of the main award were:
The Contemporary Romantic Novel was won for the second year running by Katie Fforde with Recipe for Love published by Arrow.
The Epic Romantic Novel was won by Rowan Coleman with Dearest Rose published by Arrow.
The Historical Romantic Novel was won by Charlotte Betts with The Apothecary’s Daughter published by Piatkus.
The Romantic Comedy category was won by Jenny Colgan with Welcome to Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop of Dreams published by Sphere
And the winner of Young Adult Romantic Novel was Witchstruck by Victoria Lamb published by Corgi.

These winners will go forward to the final judging for the Romantic Novel of the Year to be announced in May.

A lifetime achievement award was also presented to Sophie Kinsella whose acceptance speech was warmly applauded.

Congratulations to all the winners and commiserations to those who reached the short lists. It must have been a difficult decision for the judges because there were so many good books in the short lists. I came away clutching a handful which I shall enjoy reading.

To learn more about the RNA and see more pictures go to: 

The Authors of the Historical Romantic Novelist short list: Pamela Hartshorne, Christina Courtney, Charlotte Betts, Kate Furnivall, Mary Nichols, Susanna Kearsley