Industry Award winners Matt Bates and The Romaniacs

Jamie Patterson, runner up for best adaptation of a romantic novel.

The Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) in its inaugural Industry Awards has recognised those people who have contributed to the success and sales of romantic fiction. The three awards were presented in front of an audience of romance writers, publishers and agents at a ceremony in London.

Bookseller of the Year Award went to WHSmith Travel Book Buyer, Matthew Bates. As one nomination put it, “His enthusiasm and passion for books is undeniable and as a self-confessed romance fan, he has championed many of our members’ books, turning them into bestsellers”.

Runner up Michael Korel, Waterstones Camden, was nominated in recognition of his committed support for the romance genre, for promoting indie Romance writers and for supporting the creation of a romance section in his local store.

The second award, Best Adaptation of a Novel, went to Debbie Horsfield for her adaptation of the hugely successful Poldark series. “The books by Winston Graham have always held a special place in many people’s hearts and it was wonderful to see such a faithful adaptation.” This award is particularly fitting as author Winston Graham was linked with the RNA for many years and was a judge in the early days of the Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Runner up was Jamie Patterson, independent film director from Jumpstart Productions, who adapted RNA member Cally Taylor’s novel, Home for Christmas.

The final award of the evening for Media Star went to the hugely popular blogging and social media phenomenon, a group of eight ladies known as The Romaniacs. They first met online three years ago as members of the RNA’s New Writers Scheme, describing themselves as ‘kindred spirits with a love for writing’, and have since become a source of constant inspiration in their quest to become published and in their unbounded generosity supporting and promoting other authors. Five of the original eight have now secured publishing deals, they’ve published their own anthology and between them notched up several short story awards wins.

Runner up for the Media Star award was Radio Gorgeous, launched in 2012, which broadcasts podcasts for bold, intelligent and vibrant women and aims to entertain, communicate, amuse, provoke and enthuse. The Gorgeous team has been particularly supportive of women authors in their interviews and broadcasts.

Commenting on the inaugural awards, Eileen Ramsay, Chairman of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, said, “Within the romance publishing industry, there is a real will to collaborate with and support each other. These awards are an opportunity for us as an organisation to say thank you to those in the industry who make a difference to romance book sales.”


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