Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Announcing the RNA’s Joan Hessayon Award

The Romantic Novelists' Association is proud to announce the contenders for its prestigious Joan Hessayon Award for new writers.

The 2017 list is made up of authors whose debut novels have been accepted for publication after passing through the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers Scheme. Each year 250 places are offered to unpublished writers writing in the romantic fiction genre. As part of the scheme, they can submit a complete manuscript for critique by one of the Association’s published authors as well as attend RNA events which offer opportunities to meet and network with publishers, agents and other published authors.

This year’s contending novels include historical romance, paranormal romance, contemporary romance and romantic comedy, and explore a variety of themes, which include family, secrets and loss.

Commenting on the list for 2017, Eileen Ramsay, current RNA Chairman, said, "This year's list of contenders demonstrates an amazing depth and breadth of work from our debut RNA authors, and includes everything from historical regency romance through to funny, witty rom-coms. I am absolutely thrilled that we have another superb group of graduates from our New Writers’ Scheme, which is unique to our association. It’s fantastic to see this new talent being nurtured through to publication. Congratulations to everyone on the list!”

Immi Howson, who runs the New Writers Scheme, commented, “It is wonderful to see debut authors graduating from the New Writers Scheme. The scheme is a real testament to the support given to new authors by the RNA and the Joan Hessayon Awards is a great illustration of its value and success.”

The Award will be presented at the RNA Summer Party on Thursday 18th May at the Royal Over-Seas League, Park Place, London SW1A 1LR at 19.15.

The Joan Hessayon Award is generously sponsored by gardening expert Dr. David Hessayon OBE, in honour of his late wife Joan, who was a longstanding member of the RNA and a great supporter of its New Writers' Scheme.

The full list for 2017 is:

Victoria Cornwall     

The Thief’s Daughter - Choc Lit

Kate Field 



The Magic of Ramblings - Accent Press

Terri Fleming


Perception - Orion

Jen Gilroy                 

The Cottage at Firefly Lake - Forever, Grand Central, Hachette

Morton Gray  

The Girl on the Beach -  Choc Lit

Vivien Hampshire      

How to Win Back Your Husband -  HQ Digital

April Hardy 


Sitting Pretty - Accent Press

Emily Kerr

Who Does He Think He Is? - Crooked Cat

Abbey Macmunn       

Touched  - Tirgearr Publishing   

Arabella Sheen


                                                 Castell’s Passion - Beachwalk Press Inc

Lynda Stacey            

House of Secrets  - Choc Lit

The New Writers' Scheme has been run by the RNA since 1962 and is unique among professional writing associations. It aims to encourage fresh talent in the writing of romantic novels that reflect all aspects of love and life, contemporary or historical.

Manuscripts submitted under the scheme are from unpublished authors and are read by an experienced writer or editor who provides invaluable feedback. Any manuscript that is subsequently published as a debut novel is eligible for the Joan Hessayon Award. All eligible books are judged by a panel of experienced RNA members who are already published authors.

Each of the authors will be interviewed on the RNA blog in coming days.
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Francesca Capaldi said...

Whoever wins, you're all winners! Looking forward to the evening.

Rae Cowie said...

Congratulations to everyone on the list. Fantastic achievement. Enjoy a wonderful evening! xx

Jan Baynham said...

Congratulations to all! A briiliant achievement.

Unknown said...

Congratulations to you all! Looking forward to seeing you all at the party.

Phillipa said...

Congrats to everyone. A wonderful celebration of achievement and springboard to success.

Victoria Cornwall said...

Everyone else's books look so fab. Can't wait to meet everyone and a big thank you to the RNA for such a great scheme.

Jen Gilroy said...

Congratulations to all the contenders! I'm very happy and honoured to be on the list this year. I'm also most grateful to the RNA. The NWS is a fabulous scheme and was integral to my journey to publication.

Deborah Carr said...

Congratulations everyone!

Jan Jones said...

What a strong list! As DH himself has said on many occasions, you are ALL winners x

Anita Chapman said...

Congratulations to all! Looking forward to the Summer Party.

Natalie Kleinman said...

What a fabulous line-up. Good luck to you all. Win or not you have a very special day/evening ahead of you

Chrissie Bradshaw said...

What a wonderful selection and I'm inspired just knowing you were all NWS members. Best of luck!

Victoria Murphy said...

I'm on this year's NWS and it's so encouraging to see what you have all achieved. You must be very proud.

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