Romantic Novelists' Association

Lily Joseph: Joan Hessayon Award Contender 2024

5 July 2024

Author Lily Joseph and her book The Near Miss

Richmond author Lily Joseph is a contender for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s (RNA) annual RNA Joan Hessayon Award for 2024 with her novel, The Near Miss. The award is for authors whose debut novels have gone through the RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme (NWS) and are subsequently accepted for publication.

Lily Joseph is a romantic fiction writer, born and raised in Newcastle upon Tyne, now living in Richmond, North Yorkshire. North East England is a setting which appears regularly in her writing. Her work has been shortlisted for the Lindisfarne Prize, an award for northern authors. She lives in North Yorkshire with her partner, two teens and two cats, none of whom are interested in books whatsoever. At least the cats have an excuse.

She commented, ‘It’s incredibly exciting to be eligible for such a prestigious award, especially being aware of the awe-inspiring list of past contenders. Becoming a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and graduating from the New Writer’s Scheme has been a wonderful experience, and seeing The Near Miss among the Joan Hessayon hopefuls feels like a dream!’

Melissa Oliver, the RNA Joan Hessayon Award organiser (and winner of the award in 2020), commented, ‘Many congratulations to the 2024 contenders of the prestigious RNA Joan Hessayon Award. The authors who have graduated from the brilliant New Writers’ Scheme to secure publishing contracts this year are not only a testament to the success of the scheme but also to the enduring appeal of the romance genre. Well done to all of you.’

RNA Chair, Jean Fullerton, added, ‘Congratulations to all of the 2024 contenders for the RNA Joan Hessayon Award for graduates of the most excellent New Writers’ Scheme. Once again, the judges have the almost impossible task of picking a winner due to the quality of the books.’

Sponsored by Dr. David Hessayon OBE in honour of his late wife, Joan, who was a novelist, RNA member and supporter of its New Writers’ Scheme, the award showcases a variety of debut novels within the romantic fiction genre. The novels are judged by a panel of published authors from the RNA and publishing industry professionals.

Established in 1962, the New Writers’ Scheme provides support to unpublished romantic fiction authors. Manuscripts can be submitted for assessment and are critiqued by published authors. In addition, the 250 members of the scheme can attend RNA events and participate in members-only activities and networking opportunities.

Previous graduates of the New Writers’ Scheme include Sue Moorcroft, Jessica Redland and Heidi Swain.

For more details about the New Writers’ Scheme please visit here. 

The winner of the award will be announced during the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s annual conference Gala Dinner, which is being held at Royal Holloway, University of London on Saturday 10th August 2024.

THE NEAR MISS BOOK BLURB (Publisher: Bookouture
Nick and Wren are meant to be. But Nick and Wren have never met. And now, fate is about to change everything. Could true love be just a catastrophe away?

Website: Lily Joseph Author

Facebook: Lily Joseph Author

Twitter: @lilyjowriter 

Instagram: @lilyjosephwriter