Joan Hessayon Award Winner Kate Field
Lancashire-based author Kate Field has triumphed with her contemporary novel The Magic of Ramblings published by Accent Press, for which she has been awarded The Romantic Novelists’ Association’s (RNA) prestigious Joan Hessayon Award for new writers. Kate was presented with her award and a cheque for £1,000 at the RNA’s Summer Party, held today at the Royal Overseas League in London.

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 judges for the award, which included new RNA Chair Nicola Cornick and outgoing Chair, Eileen Ramsay, were unanimous in their decision to crown The Magic of Ramblings the winner. The book was selected from a list of eleven contenders, all 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 Each year 250 places are offered to unpublished writers writing in the romance genre.

“The judges agreed that the winning novel was outstanding, and selected it for its warmth and insight. The Magic of Ramblings is a very appropriate title for this book,” said new RNA Chair Nicola Cornick. “It has a beautiful quality of being both poignant and uplifting at the same time. It is totally charming and we loved it.”

Author Kate Field’s decision for her heroine, Cassie, to start a community library in the remote Lancashire village of Ramblings was inspired by her own volunteer work with the community library held in her local village hall. She enjoys writing contemporary romance with “a touch of Northern grit”, and said, “I’m thrilled to be included on a shortlist that features such talented writers, many of them good friends I have made through the RNA.”

Outgoing RNA Chair Eileen Ramsay said of the shortlist, “This year’s list of contenders delighted and engaged us with their writing, and are all to be congratulated.”

She continued, “We offer our special congratulations to Kate Field for her winning novel, a heart-warming story, and worthy winner. ”

The full shortlist 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


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