Romantic Novelists' Association

Announcement Of The Romantic Novelists’ Association New Board Of Directors

23 August 2022

July 2022

Following a successful general meeting at their annual conference held on 16th July 2022, the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) is pleased to announce details of the nine directors who will lead the Association in taking forward its strategy and the recommendations from its recent review, voted for in 2021 by members.

New Governance Officer Seana Talbot said, “I’m delighted to be joining the RNA Board at such an exciting time. The review was timely, robust, and thorough, and will help us strengthen the RNA so it is fit for the future. I’m looking forward to leading on governance matters to ensure the RNA has appropriate structures and systems in place.”

Jean Fullerton added, “Myself and the board have worked hard this past year to steer our wonderful organisation through choppy seas. I’d like to thank the membership for putting their trust in the board and I’m now confident to say that we have futureproofed the Romantic Novelists’ Association.”

The nine directors are:

Jean Fullerton


Jean joined the NWS in 2003, became a full member in 2006 and has published twenty books. She has served on the RNA committee for six years and oversaw last year’s review of the RNA. She hopes to finish her current book by September and have a quieter 2022/23.

Andrea Davies

Education Officer

Andrea is a member of the New Writers’ Scheme. She writes romantic fiction under the name of Lily Watson. Her career is in the Diversity and Inclusion sector. She has worked in education, NHS and social care.

Lisa Firth

Website Coordinator

Lisa is an author of fourteen books under numerous pen names, as well as a professional graphic designer. She has been a member of the RNA since her debut was published in 2016. As well as being a member of the board, she is also responsible for the organisation’s website.

Clare Flynn

Member Services Officer

Clare is the author of fourteen historical novels. She has been a member of the RNA since 2015, has served on the committee since late 2019 and as a director since 2021. As well as being responsible for Member Services, Clare initiated the recent external review.

Annette Hannah

Press Officer

Annette’s background is in marketing and she’s served on the RNA Committee for three years as Press Officer. She graduated from the New Writers’ Scheme in 2020 after four years and she’s about to have her fourth romcom published with Orion Dash. Her hobbies include reading, book blogging and travelling.

Sharon Ibbotson

Romantic Novel of the Year Awards Organiser

Sharon is the Romantic Novel of the Year Awards Coordinator for the RNA, which means she gets to talk about books with people who love them. She is an author and lives in London with her family. In her spare time, she likes to read, drink wine, and write short autobiographies like this for magazines.

Laura E. James

Industry Awards Organiser

Laura is married with two adult children and lives in the inspirational county of Dorset. She is a graduate of the RNA New Writers’ Scheme, and is the RNA’s Industry Awards Organiser. Her short story Bitter Sweet appears in the RNA anthology, Truly, Madly, Deeply. Laura is a writer with disabilities.

Sue Merritt

Events Coordinator

Sue has so far written 26 Regency Romcoms as Virginia Heath. She never knew about the NWS, so joined the RNA in 2015 when she got her first publishing contract. She’s been on the RNA Board since 2017, organises all their London parties and set up the new online chapters back in 2019.

Seána Talbot

Governance Officer

Seána has significant Board experience, having served on a number of statutory, charity, and private sector boards. In her day job she manages maternity services in the Belfast HSC Trust. She has written eight historical romance novels as Catherine Tinley and has won two RoNA Awards, a Rita® Award and the HOLT medallion.

Other members of the leadership team include:

Melanie Griffiths

PA to the Board / RNA Event PR

Melanie is the Board’s PA, and also does Event PR for the RNA awards. Before she started working for the RNA, she was a communications consultant for FTSE-250 companies; she’s also worked as a copywriter, freelance journalist and English teacher. She’s a member of the NWS and loves reading novels.

Ali Henderson


Ali joined the NWS in 2020, writing rom-coms and contemporaries. She’s volunteered as the Committee’s Secretary for almost two years and, as her background is in conferences and events, she’s also a part of the Awards organising team. In the non-RNA world, she works part time and is a mum to four boys.

Liam Livings

Diversity and Inclusion Officer

Liam is an award-shortlisted gay romance novelist. As Charlie Lyndhurst, he writes crossover mainstream romantic fiction. He lives with his boyfriend and cats. He drinks pink wine with friends. His favourite sport – of which he’s a gold medal winner – is reading a romantic novel in a long hot bath.

For further details including photos of the new board please contact: