Romantic Novelists' Association

RNA Industry Awards: Finalists For Cover Designer Of The Year 2023

11 October 2023

The Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) is delighted to announce the shortlists for their annual Industry Awards for 2023. The awards celebrate the hard work and talent of any person, group or organisation who has championed the broad genre of romantic fiction in a positive way.


Berni Stevens

After graduating from Art College, Berni worked first as a publicity designer and then as a book cover designer for many of the big publishers in London, before branching out as a freelance cover designer. She now works both for publishers and self-published authors. Her love of books began at a very early age, when she picked up an old fairytale in a second-hand bookshop, she wouldn’t let it go – so her mother bought it for her! Her office is now crammed with books from every genre, although her very favourite novel is still Bram Stoker’s Dracula. One of Berni’s hobbies is dance, which she’s loved since the age of seven, and just for fun, she’s now also a licensed Zumba Instructor.

Berni says, ‘Receiving the email informing me I’d been shortlisted for the RNA Cover Designer of the Year Award was a wonderful surprise. It’s fabulous to feel appreciated by my peers and friends who work in the same industry. And it is a great industry – so thank you all so much.’


JD Smith

JD Smith is an award-winning book designer, having worked in the graphics industry her whole life. Jane lives in the English Lake District and regularly enjoys the great outdoors when she’s not at her desk. She is the author of The Importance of Book Cover Design and several historical novels. Her forthcoming book, The Great Adventure Baker, combines her passion for design, mountain adventures, and baking. She has always loved cake …

JD says, ‘It’s amazing to be shortlisted for the third year running for Cover Designer of the Year!’


The winners of the ten awards will be announced during the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Winter Party and Industry Awards ceremony, which is being held at the Leonardo Royal Hotel London City, 8-14 Cooper’s Row, London EC3N 2BQ, on Monday 13th November 2023 at 6.30pm.

This year’s awards are sponsored by ProWritingAid, a manuscript editing software programme with in-app video learning for writers. Hayley Milliman, Head of Education at ProWritingAid said, ‘Congratulations to the finalists for the 2023 RNA Industry Awards! We applaud your accomplishments and hard work bringing beautiful stories to life.’