Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Readers Wanted!

Today we welcome RoNA organiser, Nicola Cornick who is asking for our help.

We’re looking for readers for the Romantic Novel of the Year Award!
I’m in the thick of organising this year’s Romantic Novel of the Year Awards and for the

 most part it’s been great fun. Stressful and time-consuming occasionally, I will admit, but also a really interesting process to be involved with. We all know, of course, that the romantic novel of the year award is a prestigious prize that recognises the very highest standards of romantic fiction. We’re proud of our awards and rightly so. Over the years, as the profile of the RNA and of our awards has grown, an increasing number of books have been submitted for the contest. This year we have had over 200 entries across the five categories. Next year, with the inclusion of e-books in the awards for the first time, we are anticipating even more.
Delighted winner 2014, Veronica Henry

One thing that makes the Romantic Novel of the Year Awards different from some other contests is that the readers in the first round are book lovers and keen readers drawn from the general public. Our readers are not members of the RNA. We are always looking to attract more people to join the panel, never more so than now in order to meet the greater demand for readers for both e-entries and paper entries. We’re talking to libraries, writing groups and other organisations in order to drum up some support, which is also great for getting the RNA more widely known. So if you know of anyone who might be interested in reading for our awards, please rope them in! I’m always happy to send out details and application forms to anyone who is interested.

Here, to give potential readers a taster of what it is like, is one reader’s view:

“Last year I saw a call for readers to assess and review those books nominated for the 2014 Romantic Novel of the Year Awards. Having some time available I thought that that would both provide me with some good holiday reading and be a fun thing to do.
I duly contacted the Awards coordinator who sent me a form. With this filled in and sent off, I awaited the arrival of the postman on a daily basis. Time and holiday passed, and I hadn't heard a thing, when, at the beginning of November, I got a phone call. “Good morning. You volunteered to read for us. If I send you five books, do you think you can read and review them in a month?”

Category winners with Darcey Bussell CBE and Helen Fielding
The next day five books and review notes arrived, and I settled down for some extended homework. The review notes were MOST helpful. I managed all five books inside the allotted time and e-mailed my scores as I completed each one. Of the five, two were good, one was less so, one was very good, and one was also good but didn't meet the RNA's criteria.

I found the process very enjoyable, and volunteered to read again this year. It’s a process I would recommend to anyone. You don't have to “just like romantic fiction” and the RNA really do make it easy for you. Oh, and you get to keep the books!"

Thank you, Nicola.
 Our glittering awards ceremony could not go ahead without the help of our wonderful team of readers. 
If you would like to join the team please contact Nicola on: RONAawards@romanticnovelistsassociation.org

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