Romantic Novelists' Association


2 July 2024

Six debut novels are vying for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s (RNA) Joan Hessayon Award for New Writers for 2024.

The award is for authors whose novels have gone through the RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme and are subsequently accepted for publication. Sponsored by Dr. David Hessayon OBE in honour of his late wife, Joan, who was a longstanding RNA member and supporter of its New Writers’ Scheme, the award showcases the 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Established in 1962, the New Writers’ Scheme provides support to unpublished romantic fiction authors.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.

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.’

The winner of the award will be announced during our conference Gala Dinner, at Royal Holloway, University of London on Saturday 10th August 2024.

The contenders for 2024 are as follows: