Thursday, April 05, 2007

The RNA Romance Prize

This month at The Pink Heart Society we will be following the lead up to the Romance Novelist Association's Romance Prize Award, the winner of which will be announced on Friday 27th April in the Savoy Hotel, London. We're particularly excited to follow it this year as we have some of The Pink Heart Society's members shortlisted!!!

The Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) - (think of it as a British version of the RWA...) was set up in 1960 with the aim to enhance and promote the various types of romantic and historical fiction, to encourage good writing in all its many varieties, and to learn more about the craft and help readers enjoy it. Initially with 115 members it has grown over the years to be 700 strong and it's New Writers Scheme has launched many a Romance Writing career!

Each year it makes several awards to members, three of which are well known in Romance circles. The main award is, of course, the Romantic Novel of the Year Award. Then there's the Joan Hessayon NWS Award - the winner of which must be a debut novel that has passed through the RNA New Writers' Scheme. - and last year it was won by PHS Member Fiona Harper (whose book has since gone on to final in two categories of this years RITA's!)
But the one we're going to focus on this month is the RNA Romance Prize for 'short', category romances. In simplistic terms you could think of it as the British version of a RITA or an Aussie RUBY... make sense??? The Romance Prize, worth £1,000 to the winner, was inaugurated in 2003 to recognise excellence in category romantic fiction and thereby enhance the standing of the genre. It was endowed by RNA President, editor and author Diane Pearson, who chairs the panel of final judges. Novels first published in the UK in 2006 are eligible for the 2007 Award, which will be presented at the RNA’s annual Awards lunch at the Savoy on April 27th. The winner also receives a rose bowl presented by Harlequin Mills & Boon in memory of much-loved British author Betty Neels. First round judges are members of the public who love reading. They mark the books on a range of qualities, including characters, plot, style, background and romantic content...

So, if you haven't already heard who this years finalists we at The Pink Heart Society are about to let you know! (PHS Members in the pink naturally!) The official press release from the RNA had this to say:

Accepting the Boss’s Proposal Natasha Oakley, HMB. Woman with responsibilities and no confidence tangles with man who is Confidence Incarnate – witty and moving.

An Improper Companion by Anne Herries, HMB Historical. Cool-headed companion and Peninsula War hero in a classic Regency mystery

Her Ready Made Family by Jessica Hart, HMB Romance. Hot shot executive bolts for the country and finds love and a whole lot more – and this time the hot shot is a woman. By last year’s winner.

Lord Greville’s Captive by Nicola Cornick, HMB Historical. A battle of loyalty, principles and sizzling attraction, in a high romantic tale of the English Civil War.

Marrying Max by Nell Dixon, The People’s Friend Story Collection. Charming contemporary about office life, matchmaking and how it doesn’t work - by a first time author.

The Gladiator’s Honour by Michelle Styles, HMB Historical The gladiator and the aristocrat; this exciting swashbuckler set in Rome just before Caesar becomes consul, is another debut.

The Millionaire’s Runaway Bride by Catherine George, HMB Modern/Presents. Coming home is not so safe for a woman with secrets and an unresolved attraction to the man she once fled.
As part of the lead up to the awards ceremony we are handing over the Thursday Talk Time's of this month to some of the finalists who will be chatting on varying topics!!! And then our very own Natasha Oakley will be back on the last Sunday of the month to tell us all about The Savoy, the award ceremony and the winner of the Romance Prize!!!
We at The Pink Heart Society wish all the finalists the VERY BEST OF LUCK!!!


  1. And so many PHS members in that list as well!

    Good luck gals, and I can't wait to here what y'all have to say this month on Thursdays as we have a countdown to the big night!!!


  2. I think the description that the RNA Romance Prize is like the Rita or the Ruby is very apt.

    Which reminds me:
    When does the announcement for the finalists for the Ruby go out? I know the winner is announced at the Aussie conference, but when can I cheer the Aussie finalists on?

  3. Clever ploy of mine to be holding the camera, isn't it! I think it solves the 'what to wear' issue beautifully. :)

  4. LOL Natasha :) Good luck to you and to all the other Pink Hearters too!

  5. Yes but Natasha there'll still have to *be* an outfit! I'm fairly sure The Savoy would frown upon a naked photographer... and digital cameras are TEENY these days...