Romantic Novelists' Association

Popular Romantic Fiction Award – Heidi Swain

11 March 2023

Image by Camilo Queipo Photography

WEDNESDAY 8TH MARCH 2023 Norfolk bestselling author, Heidi Swain, has WON the Popular Romantic Fiction Award with her novel, A Christmas Celebration, for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s (RNA) annual Romantic Novel Awards for 2023. The awards celebrate excellence in romantic fiction in all its forms.

Although passionate about writing from an early age, Heidi gained a degree in literature and flirted briefly with a newspaper career before she plucked up the courage to join a creative writing class and take her literary ambitions seriously. She now writes two books a year for Simon and Schuster. Her debut novel, The Cherry Tree Café, was published in July 2015 and she became a Sunday Times Bestseller in 2017. She is represented by Amanda Preston and lives near Norwich in Norfolk.

She commented, ‘I’m genuinely thrilled to have received the Popular Romantic Fiction Award, especially on such a monumental and memorable evening. The award will have pride of place on my bookshelf and marks a very special career highlight. Huge thanks to everyone involved in both the organisation of the event and the voting process. It was an honour to celebrate our love of romantic fiction with so many friends. Huge congratulations to all the winners and finalists!’

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).

Heidi was presented with her trophy 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.


When Paige arrives at Wynthorpe Hall just before Christmas, she’s quickly pulled into local life and enjoys getting to know Albert and Brodie. However, all three of them have a secret and a desire to hide away from the world, but is that the best way to celebrate the season?

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