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.*

*Applications for the 2019 New Writers’ Scheme are now closed. The Scheme is fully subscribed for the current year.

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.

Applications for the 2019 New Writers’ Scheme are now closed. The Scheme is fully subscribed for 2019. If you were unable to secure a place this year, don’t forget that you can attend many  RNA events as a non-member.

The RNA is pleased to welcome unpublished writers of romantic fiction in all genres into its unique New Writers’ Scheme.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.

When the Scheme is full, a notice will be added to this page.

Applications for the 2019 New Writers’ Scheme are now closed. If you have applied to join the scheme and have any queries please email the New Writers’ Scheme Organiser:


The membership fee of £135 (£145 for members outside the EU) allows unpublished authors to take part in all RNA activities and also submit a manuscript of a full-length novel for appraisal. The New Writers’ Scheme Organiser sends each new writer a membership pack giving details on how and when to submit the manuscript.

All manuscripts must be received by the NWS Organiser by the end of August 2019.

The Organiser has a team of more than sixty 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 is 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 

Members and applicants from groups currently under-represented within the RNA and the wider publishing industry, may be entitled to a bursary towards the cost of their New Writers’ Scheme place. Full details of bursaries available can be found in the ‘Bursaries’ tab.

Bursaries 2019

The RNA offers a range of bursaries for new and existing members to engage in RNA activities. Many of these bursaries are specifically intended for authors from groups currently under-represented in publishing.

New Writers’ Scheme Bursaries

The Katie Fforde Bursary is awarded at the discretion of RNA President, Katie Fforde, to an existing New Writers’ Scheme member. The Katie Fforde Bursary for 2019 has already been awarded.

The MBA Literary Agency Bursary, the Kate Nash Bursary, the Jean Fullerton Bursary, and two anonymously funded Sunshine Bursaries are provided to fund a place on the RNA New Writers’ Scheme for an author from an under-represented group. Under-represented groups include, but may not be limited to, BAME authors, LGBTQIA+ authors, authors with low incomes, authors from working class backgrounds, and authors with disabilities. Applicants can be applying to join the New Writers’ Scheme for the first time or have previously been a member. Applicants must meet the criteria for membership of the New Writers’ Scheme. These bursaries have now been allocated for 2019.

The Rachel Dove Bursary provides a funded New Writers’ Scheme place for an author from a working class background. This bursary has now been allocated for 2019.

The Milly Johnson Bursary provides a funded New Writers’ Scheme place and a funded conference place for an individual author from a low income background. This bursary has been allocated for 2019.

Published Author Bursaries

The Rowan Coleman Bursary provides a funded membership of the RNA for one year, and a funded conference place for an already published author who is experiencing difficulties part way through their writing career. The Rowan Coleman Bursary for 2019 has now been allocated.

Conference Bursaries

The Sue Moorcroft Bursary provides a funded conference place for an author from a working class background. The Sue Moorcroft bursary for 2019 has now been allocated.

The Carol Townend Bursary offers £250 towards a conference place for an author from an under-represented group. The Carol Townend bursary for 2019 has now been allocated.


The Elizabeth Harrison Fund

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 for any of the above bursaries please email Your email should detail which bursary or bursaries you wish to be considered for and what benefit you believe you would gain from being awarded the bursary. If the bursary is targeted at specific groups please also explain how you fit into the specified group. Applications will be considered by the RNA Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, New Writers’ Scheme Co-ordinator and the bursary sponsors. If you wish to apply for a bursary anonymously (without your details being made public beyond the bursary admin team) please also let us know in your email.

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