Loch Awe in spring - Photo courtesy of Neil Donald Photography






Monday, 17 February 2014

A CELEBRATION OF AWARDS (AND READERS) by Gill Stewart

A selection of recently short-listed titles


A while ago I made a comment on this blog about some awards being  ‘…presented by literary…  writers to other literary… writers’, not necessarily for books that readers want to read.  So today I want to celebrate the shortlists for the Romantic Novelists Association Romantic Novel of the Year awards.  These are awards selected by readers for readers!

There are 5 categories for the awards:
Contemporary Romantic Novel
Epic Romantic Novel
Historical Romantic Novel
Romantic Comedy Novel
Young Adult Romantic Novel.
The winner of each category then goes forward to compete for the overall title of Romantic Novel of the Year, for which there is a very generous £5,000 prize.

It’s great to see this celebration of romance, of the readers and the writers, and already the awards have had quite a bit of coverage in the press.  I have to admit, being a long-time member of the RNA and now on the committee, it could be said that I am slightly biased here.  But hey, we’re all biased in some way.  And I just want to celebrate a list of books that are so diverse and so enjoyable.

The shortlists include a first novel by an eighteen-year-old Welsh A Level student (‘The Kissing Booth’, Young Adult), a 22nd novel by a man writing under the pseudonym Jessica Blair (‘The Road Beneath Me’, Epic Romantic Novel).  They take in well-known, multi-published names such as Jenny Colgan (last year’s winner) and Veronica Henry, up against much less well known ‘newbies’ like Carol McGrath and Liz Harris.  They also include books from relatively new publishing houses ChocLit and Accent Press alongside long-established ones such as Penguin.  It’s great to be able to celebrate this range of writers, publishers and unashamedly romantic novels.

Winners of each category and the overall winner of the Romantic Novel of the Year will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on 17th March 2014, with the awards presented by Darcey Bussell CBE.  More details can be found on the RNA website http://www.romanticnovelistsassociation.org

11 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry I won't be there - I'm sure it will be a great event. The list looks good! I was a reader a couple of years ago, but only third-round, and only for a couple of books. It fairly focuses the mind.

    I'm hoping to go to the Summer Party, when the Novelist of the Year is announced. The RNA do these things extremely well, and it's a great opportunity to mingle and network.

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    1. Thanks Jenny. I think this year all the awards are going to be at the same time at the Awards Event in March. I'm hoping to go to the Summer Party too!

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  2. It's going to be a great night. Unfortunately I won't be there to cheer my fellow Choc Lit authors on. I've FB'd and Tweeted this post so the world can now know.

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    1. ChocLit have done brilliantly, haven't they? So pleased for them.

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  3. It looks and sounds like a wonderful collection - good luck to all contenders!

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  4. I absolutely agree, Gill - these achievements are well worth celebrating. I'm hoping to go to the summer party too. Wit ha bit of luck some of the magic will rub off...

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    1. Yes, we can all hope for some of that magic. Hope to see you at the Summer Party.

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  5. Great post, Gill, I totally agree we need to celebrate awards of this kind too! (But I might be just as biased as you :-)

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    1. Thanks Christina! Enjoy the party, not long now.

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