For some time now, twitter and Facebook have been buzzing with talk about the RNA party that’s taking place tomorrow at The Royal Overseas League, in London – who’s going, what to wear, shoes, and so on. Clearly, therefore, tomorrow is a big day – but why?

Well, it’s one of the two annual parties thrown by the Romantic Novelists’ Association and they are always FUN, FUN, FUN!

But more than that, tomorrow’s party is special for TWO reasons:

The Royal Overseas League, Piccadilly

1) The winner of the Joan Hessayon award will be announced.

2) The winner of the Romantic Novel of the Year 2012 will be announced.

 Each year, the RNA celebrates the best in romantic fiction with awards for both published and unpublished work. The Joan Hessayon New Writers’ Scheme Award and The Romantic Novel of the Year award are two of their three awards.

1)  The Joan Hessayon Award

The award is generously sponsored by Dr David Hessayon, in honour of his late wife Joan, who was a longstanding member of the RNA and a great supporter of the New Writers’ Scheme (the NWS).

Under the NWS, manuscripts submitted by unpublished writers are read by an experienced writer or editor who provides valuable feedback. Any manuscript that’s subsequently published as a debut novel is eligible for the award, which is judged by a panel of experienced RNA members.

The shortlisted authors for 2012 are:

Rhoda Baxter: Patently In Love, Uncial

Tanith Davenport:   The Hand He Dealt, Total-e-Bound

Lynda Dunwell:  Marrying The Admiral’s Daughter, Musa Publishing

Liz Fenwick:  The Cornish House, Orion

Linda Mitchelmore:  To Turn Full Circle, Choc Lit

Gina Rossi:  The Wild Heart, Wild Rose Press

Evonne Wareham:  Never Coming Home, published by Choc Lit

Scarlet Wilson: It Started With A Pregnancy, HMB


2)  The Romantic Novel of the Year 2012 Award

In March, RoNAs (Romantic Novel Awards) were awarded to the winners of five specific categories of romantic novel. The winning titles then went forward to a panel of judges, and the overall winner will be announced tomorrow.

The shortlisted authors are:

Christina Courtenay:  Highland Storms (The Historical Romantic Novel award), Choc Lit

Katie Fforde:  Summer of Love  (The Contemporary Romantic Novel award),  Random House

Caroline GreenDark Ride (The Young Adult Romantic Novel Award), Piccadilly Press

Jane LoveringPlease Don’t Stop the Music (The Romantic Comedy Award),  Choc Lit

Rosie ThomasThe Kashmir Shawl  (The Epic Romantic Novel award), HarperCollins











Whilst the overall winner will be announced on Thursday, just to be on the list is, in itself, winning, and all the shortlistees are to be congratulated.

This time next year, my novel, The Road Back, will have been entered for both awards. Now that’s a scary thought!

Next week, my blog will be full of pics of tomorrow’s celebration. See you then, I hope.