Sara-Jade Virtue, Brand Development Director, Fiction, at Simon & Schuster UK, is a finalist in the Publisher and / or Editor of the Year category for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s (RNA) annual Industry Awards for 2022. The awards celebrate the hard work and talent of any person, group or organisation who has championed the broad genre of romantic fiction in a positive way.

Sara-Jade joined the business in 2007 and spent twelve years as Special Sales Director in the Sales team before moving to Editorial in November 2019. She is the Brand Director for the Simon & Schuster (S&S) women’s fiction community Books and the City, which launched on Valentine’s Day 2011, and works across the commercial women’s fiction list, identifying new talent and developing growth strategies for authors. She also manages the #DigitalOriginals publishing programme and #OneDay open submission project, leads the Jackie Collins reissue programme, runs the #LibraryLink project, and leads a #RespectRomFic movement, aiming to increase the profile of romantic novelists in the UK.

She commented, ‘2022 marks my 20th year working in the book industry, but just three in an editorial role focusing on romance. Working with the incredible team here at S&S – my editorial colleagues, our phenomenal sales, marketing, publicity, design and production teams, and of course, all our brilliant authors, agents, librarians, booksellers, media reviewers and bloggers who love love stories as much as I do is both an honour and a privilege. Championing the varied and diverse work of romantic fiction authors is at the heart and soul of everything we do here in the S&S Books and the City community, and the RNA is an organisation I admire and respect greatly – so being shortlisted for the RNA Publisher and / or Editor award feels utterly overwhelming to be honest.’

Laura James, the RNA Industry Awards organiser, added, ‘I congratulate each and every finalist and thank them and the industry for the unwavering love they show writers and readers of romantic fiction.’

The awards have been held for the past eight years and are highly respected in the UK publishing industry. The finalists are nominated by the full and probationary membership of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, with a panel of independent judges selecting the shortlists.

The award categories are: The Romantic Bookseller of the Year, Inclusion Award, Indie Champion of the Year, Library or Librarian of the Year, Indie Editor of the Year, Cover Designer of the Year, Narrator of the Year, Media Star of the Year, Agent of the Year, and Publisher and / or Editor of the Year.

The winners of the ten awards will be announced during the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Winter Party and Industry Awards ceremony, which is being held at the Leonardo Royal Hotel London City, 8-14 Cooper’s Row, London EC3N 2BQ, on Friday 11th November 2022 at 6.30pm.

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This year’s awards are sponsored by ProWritingAid, a manuscript editing software programme with in-app video learning for writers.

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