Romantic Novelists' Association

Joan Hessayon Award Contender: Helen Yendall, A Wartime Secret

30 June 2022

Helen Yendall is a contender for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s (RNA) annual Joan Hessayon Award for 2022 with her novel, A Wartime Secret. The award is for authors whose debut novels have gone through the RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme and are subsequently accepted for publication.

Helen lives in the Cotswolds with her husband and Bonnie the dog. She’s been writing for a long time and her small claim to fame is that she was once the Poet Laureate for Warwick. She has worked in a variety of jobs, all of which have provided inspiration for her fiction, but her favourite occupation (apart from writing, of course), is teaching creative writing to adults. She likes the way fiction can help make sense of the world and that, as a writer, she can give good people the happy ending they deserve.

She commented, ‘I’m delighted to be a contender for this year’s Joan Hessayon Award for my debut novel and to be in such prestigious company. Having my first book published this year has been such an exciting time a real dream come true and to be a contender for an award is the absolute icing on the cake. Without the RNA and their fabulous New Writers’ Scheme, I would never have got this far. The encouragement, advice and (much needed) deadline for submitting a manuscript was the incentive I needed to finally complete the first draft of a novel. It’s also lovely to be able to celebrate the publication of the novel and being an award contender with my agent, Robbie Guillory at Underline, and my publisher, HQ (HarperCollins), all of whom worked tirelessly to make the book the best it could be.’

(Publisher: HQ Digital)
London, 1940. When Maggie’s new job takes her from the Blitz to grand Snowden Hall, she’s apprehensive but determined to ‘do her bit’. Her family’s been torn apart by the war and as a secret project at Snowden threatens to reveal Maggie’s German roots, howwill she ever reunite them?

Twitter: @HelenYendall