Romantic Novelists' Association

The Popular Romantic Fiction Award – Winner

9 February 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 absolutely delighted and completely overwhelmed to have been awarded the 2023 Popular Fiction Award. 2022 was a milestone year for me and receiving this prestigious award for a book written during that time is a genuine career highlight and an achievement of which I am immensely proud.’

Jean Fullerton, the RNA Chair, commented, ‘Once again, our lovely reader-judges have had the almost impossible task of creating award shortlists from what is an unbelievable number of cracking, page-turning novels. Thankfully they have, and I can only say this year’s shortlist books are the crème de la crème of romantic fiction.’

Sharon Ibbotson, the RNA Awards Coordinator, said, ‘Our genre continues to go from strength to strength, providing escapism, delight and delicious romance with the turn of every page. Our shortlisted books, voted for by real, everyday readers, are a testament to wordmanship and the dedication of their authors, who we congratulate today.’

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 are 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 will be presented with her trophy – and the winners of the other awards will be announced – during the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Romantic Novel Awards ceremony, which is being held at the Leonardo Royal Hotel London City, 8-14 Cooper’s Row, London EC3N 2BQ, on Monday 6th March 2023 at 6.30pm.

A CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION (Publisher: Simon and Schuster UK)
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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