The RNA welcomes new members. Membership benefits include:

  • Regular meetings and social events
  • The annual conference
  • Our quarterly magazine Romance Matters
  • Membership of our chapters and online discussion group
  • The opportunity to promote your work on the RNA blog
  • The chance to network with fellow writers, agents and publishers

If you are a traditionally published or self-published author of romantic novels, or an agent, editor or publisher, you can apply to join as a Full, Independent Author, or Associate Member.

Writers who have not yet had a full length novel or serial published can join under the New Writers’ Scheme.*

*The New Writers’ Scheme is now full for 2020. Details of how to join the 2021 scheme will be published later in the year.* 

PLEASE NOTE: We are now open to applications for bursaries and grants for 2021. Please go to the bursaries page for details of how to apply.

If you weren’t able to join in 2020 don’t forget that non-members are welcome to attend many RNA events.

You can sign up for membership online, here.

Full Membership

Full Membership of the Association is open to traditionally published writers of romantic novels and full length serials of at least 30,000 words.

Independent Author Membership

Independent Author Membership of the Association is open to self-published writers of romantic novels, novellas and full length serials of at least 30,000 words.

Associate Membership

Associate Membership is open to publishers, editors, literary agents, booksellers, librarians, reviewers, romantic writers in other forms or media, or any others having a close professional connection with novel writing, other media or publishing.

Membership Cost and Criteria

All members must be at least 18 years of age.

You can download full details of the membership criteria for Full and Independent Author members below. Please read the criteria carefully before making your application.

Membership Criteria: Independent Author Membership

Membership Criteria: Full Membership 

To sign up for Full or Associate membership of the Association please click here.

Fees from July 2019:

From £55 for Full and Independent Authors.

From £65 for Associate Members

To join the RNA as a Full, Independent Author or Associate Member click here.

For further information about RNA membership, or if you’re not sure if you meet our membership criteria, please contact our Membership Secretary.

The RNA is pleased to welcome unpublished writers of romantic fiction in all genres into its unique New Writers’ Scheme. Members of the New Writers’ Scheme are able to participate in all the RNA’s activities and events, and are able to submit one manuscript of an unpublished novel for critique each year. The Scheme opens in January each year and can accept only 300 members.

*The New Writers’ Scheme 2020 is now full and no further applications can be taken.*  

If you were not able to secure a place on the scheme don’t forget that non-members are welcome to attend many RNA events.

The membership fee of £148 (£158 for members outside the UK) allows unpublished authors to take part in all RNA activities and also submit a manuscript of a full-length novel for appraisal. There is a discount offered for members who choose to receive our Romance Matters Magazine in digital, rather than print format.  The New Writers’ Scheme Organiser sends each new writer a membership pack giving details on how and when to submit the manuscript.

Applicants on low income who are unable to pay the NWS fee directly should consider applying for a Bursary via the ‘Bursaries’ tab on this page. Applicants who are intending to fund their NWS place through a bursary do not need to apply separately for a place on the NWS if they have submitted a bursary application.

All manuscripts submitted to the 2020 scheme must be received by the NWS Organiser by the end of August 2020.

The Organiser has a team of readers who are authors with extensive publishing histories in various types of romantic novel. The manuscripts are sent to an appropriate reader who provides a report that may include, for example, comments on plotting, characterisation and structure. The reports are intended to be honest and constructive suggestions from a published novelist—they point out flaws but also offer advice based on experience.

Please note that this is a scheme for romantic novels, ones where romantic elements play a key role in the story. The readers cannot comment on non-romance genres. We are also unable to provide critiques of books aimed specifically at the US market, or books that are longer than 120,000 words.

The Organiser will advise and support authors whose report indicates that their novel is ready, or almost ready, to be submitted to a publisher or agent.

If a manuscript is entered into the NWS, then gains a publishing contract and is released as the NWS member’s debut novel, it may be eligible for the Joan Hessayon New Writers’ Scheme Award.

For further information on the running of the Scheme please download the Notes for Applicants.

If you have any further questions please contact the New Writers’ Scheme Organiser 

Bursaries and Grants 2021

The RNA offers a range of bursaries and grants for both new and existing members, whether for Full/Independent membership or for membership of the New Writers’ Scheme.

  • RNA bursaries exist to help writers in financial difficulties with the cost of RNA membership.
  • RNA grants also cover the cost of RNA membership, and are aimed at writers from groups that are currently under-represented in publishing.

We are also offering some bursaries and grants to help writers with the costs of attending conference.

Both bursaries and grants are open to applications from anyone with an interest in writing romantic fiction. We don’t ask for proof of eligibility, but we do ask for a statement indicating your commitment to professionally developing as a writer.

If you would like to apply for one of our bursaries or grants for 2021, please download and complete the application form then email it to

Applications will be considered by the bursaries and grants administration team. Details of applicants will not be shared beyond this team unless the applicant gives permission for us to do so.


The Elizabeth Harrison Fund

As always, the Elizabeth Harrison Fund provides full or partial funding towards membership, conference or event attendance for members whose financial circumstances might prevent them from rejoining the association or attending a particular event.

If you would like to apply to this fund, please email RNA Chair Alison May (

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