Romantic Novelists' Association

Romantic Novel Awards 2022 Winners Announced

7 March 2022

MONDAY 7TH MARCH 2022 We are delighted to announce the winners for this year’s Romantic Novel Awards. The awards celebrated excellence in romantic fiction in all its forms, and this year included a new category, the Christmas / Festive Holiday Romantic Novel Award. In addition, the Romantic Comedy Novel Award was renamed the Jane Wenham-Jones Award for Romantic Comedy, in honour of the late Jane Wenham-Jones, author, broadcaster and compère for the Romantic Novel Awards for eleven years.

The award categories for this year were as follows: The Popular Romantic Fiction Award (voted for by librarians, booksellers and book bloggers / reviewers), 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, and the Contemporary Romantic Novel Award. The Outstanding Achievement Award will be presented later this year.

The awards, which have been held since their inception in 1960, are highly respected in the UK publishing industry. Previous winners include Phillipa Gregory, Joanna Trollope and Rosamunde Pilcher. The awards are unique in that they are judged entirely by readers, without input from any industry professionals.

Sharon Ibbotson, the Awards Coordinator for the Romantic Novelists’ Association, said, “More than ever, readers needed a year in which to laugh, cry and fall in love. Our winning authors, with style and grace, delivered those smiles, tears and romances. The Romantic Novelists’ Association is proud of them all, and congratulates them for their achievement.”

The winners of the awards were announced during the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Romantic Novel Awards ceremony, which was held at the Leonardo Royal Hotel London City, 8-14 Cooper’s Row, London EC3N 2BQ, on Monday 7th March 2022. Best-selling novelist Jo Thomas compèred the ceremony, BAFTA-longlisted film producer Lizzie Gillett presented the Jackie Collins Award for Romantic Thrillers on behalf of sponsors Simon & Schuster UK, and actor Larry Lamb presented the remainder of the awards.

Readers who are interested in becoming a reader-judge for next year’s awards should contact Sharon Ibbotson, the Awards Coordinator, at:

Download the RNA Awards 2022 finalists’ brochure


The Popular Romantic Fiction Award

The River Between Us, Liz Fenwick, HQ

The Fantasy Romantic Novel Award

A Marvellous Light, Freya Marske, Pan Macmillan

The Jackie Collins Award for Romantic Thrillers

All That We Have Lost, Suzanne Fortin, Aria

The Katie Fforde Debut Romantic Novel Award

Two Metres From You, Heidi Stephens, Headline Accent

The Christmas / Festive Holiday Romantic Novel Award

Winter at Cliff’s End Cottage, Sheila Norton, Little, Brown Book Group

The Shorter Romantic Novel Award

A Proposal to Risk Their Friendship, Louise Allen, Mills & Boon

The Romantic Saga Award

The Mother’s Day Club, Rosie Hendry, Little, Brown Book Group

The Jane Wenham-Jones Award for Romantic Comedy (Joint Winners)

Mr Right Across the Street, Kathryn Freeman, One More Chapter

The Promise of Summer, Bella Osborne, Avon

The Historical Romantic Novel Award

A Waltz with the Outspoken Governess, Catherine Tinley, Mills & Boon

The Contemporary Romantic Novel Award

A Sky Full of Stars, Dani Atkins, Head of Zeus


The Jackie Collins Award for Romantic Thrillers

Jackie Collins was a creative force, a trailblazer for women in fiction, and, in her own words, ‘A kick-ass writer!’ Since her 1968 debut The World is Full of Married Men, her books have sold in their millions in more than 40 countries and she is one of the world’s top-selling novelists. Ian Chapman, CEO of Simon & Schuster UK and International, said, “Jackie was kind, brilliantly astute, with a wicked, mischievous sense of humour. She was a consummate storyteller and made her craft look easy, like all great practitioners.  I – along with many others – miss her still and often expect to see her appear suddenly in our midst.  We have long made a solemn commitment to ensure that her legacy endures and are incredibly proud to partner with the Romantic Novelists’ Association again to sponsor the Jackie Collins Romantic Thriller award to support her fellow writers.”

The Katie Fforde Debut Romantic Novel Award

Best-selling author Katie Fforde lives in the beautiful Cotswold countryside with her family and is a true country girl at heart. Each of her books explores a different profession or background and her research has helped her bring these to life. She’s been a porter in an auction house, tried her hand at pottery, refurbished furniture, delved behind the scenes of a dating website, and she’s even been on a Ray Mears survival course. She loves being a writer; to her there isn’t a more satisfying and pleasing thing to do. She particularly enjoys writing love stories. She believes falling in love is the best thing in the world, and she wants all her characters to experience it, and her readers to share their stories., @KatieFforde

The Jane Wenham-Jones Award for Romantic Comedy

Not only was Jane Wenham-Jones a novelist, comedienne, columnist and agony aunt, she was also a stalwart of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and compère of the Romantic Novel of the Year Awards for many years. Whether dressed for the occasion in a figure-hugging gown, or dispensing words of wisdom through her razor-sharp wit, she was always kind, always caring and always spectacularly on point. Katie Fforde, President of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, said, “She was funny, with perfect comic timing. She was so warm and so welcoming that one felt embraced by her charm the moment she began to speak. Having the Romantic Comedy Award named after her is entirely fitting. Her own books were full of humour, while not ignoring the more serious aspects of life. Having an awards ceremony without her is going to be very hard.”