Romantic Novelists' Association

Fantasy Romantic Novel Award – Sara Downing

11 March 2023

Image credit by Camilo Queipo Photography

Worcester author Sara Downing has WON the Fantasy Romantic Novel Award with her novel, I Let You Fall, for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s (RNA) annual Romantic Novel Awards for 2023. The awards celebrate excellence in romantic fiction in all its forms.

Sara lives in Worcestershire with her husband, three almost grown-up children, a Labrador and a cat. Before she had children, she was a Chartered Accountant, but always knew her dream career lay elsewhere. She started writing in 2009 and hasn’t since yearned to return to the world of accountancy. Sara writes across several genres, including romance. More recently she has become fascinated with the supernatural, and her latest novel, I Let You Fall, combines these two genres.

She commented,Winning this award is by far the biggest moment of my writing career. Thank you to the RNA for such a wonderful evening – I’m still buzzing and think I will be for some time!!’

Jean Fullerton, the RNA Chair, commented, ‘Once again the judges have had the almost impossible task of choosing winners for each of our romantic awards categories. Huge congratulations to our worthy winners.’

Sharon Ibbotson, the RNA Awards Coordinator, said, ‘Our Romantic Novel Awards in 2023 had nearly five hundred entries, which were whittled down to nine very worthy winners by our amazing reader-judges. Along with the winner of the Popular Romantic Fiction Award, their stories made people laugh, smile, weep and above all, fall in love. I am delighted to congratulate them for their success in our awards.’

The awards, which have been held since their inception in 1960, are highly respected in the UK publishing industry. Previous winners include Santa Montefiore, Joe Heap, Julie Cohen and Milly Johnson. The awards are unique in that they are judged entirely by readers, without input from any industry professionals.   

The award categories for this year were as follows: The Fantasy Romantic Novel Award, the Jackie Collins Award for Romantic Thrillers, the Katie Fforde Debut Romantic Novel Award, the Christmas/Festive Holiday Romantic Novel Award, the Shorter Romantic Novel Award, the Romantic Saga Award, the Jane Wenham-Jones Award for Romantic Comedy, the Historical Romantic Novel Award, the Contemporary Romantic Novel Award, and the Popular Romantic Fiction Award (voted for by librarians, booksellers and book bloggers/reviewers).

The winners of the awards were announced during the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Romantic Novel Awards ceremony, which was held at the Leonardo Royal Hotel London City on Monday 6th March 2023.




I LET YOU FALL BOOK BLURB (Publisher: Quilla Books (TCK Publishing)

A woman in a coma looks on as her body lies inert and useless. Then she meets a man who teaches her that being out-of-body means to live and to love, and that perhaps the half-life she is caught in is more romantic than her real life ever was.