Romantic Novelists' Association

The RNA Industry Awards 2022

5 October 2022

Friday, November 11
th 2022 sees the eighth year of the RNA’s prestigious Industry Awards, where we 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. 

Throughout the month of July, full and probationary membership of the Romantic Novelists’ Association nominated their champions in the following categories:

The Romantic Bookseller of the Year
This award recognises booksellers promoting and championing romantic fiction in a positive and proactive way throughout the year.

Inclusion Award
Recognising the individual or organisation that has championed inclusivity in romantic authorship and publishing.

Indie Champion of the Year
For a person, group, organisation, association, or company (such as a podcaster, promoter, or advisor) who has made an outstanding contribution to indie romance publishing.

Library or Librarian of the Year
This award recognises the important work that libraries and librarians do in supporting the romantic fiction genre, and the RNA.

Indie Editor of the Year
For an editor who has worked on an independently published novel that falls within the scope of romantic fiction, and who embraces the genre, supports writers to produce their best work, and is innovative, creative, and visionary in the marketing and promotion of romantic fiction on every level.

Named Cover Designer of the Year
For the designer of novels published independently or traditionally, whose covers capture the spirit and heart of the genre.

Narrator of the Year
This award is in recognition of the contribution narrators of audiobooks have made to romantic fiction.

Media Star of the Year
This award recognises journalists, bloggers, publicists, and TV or radio presenters who have helped raise the profile of romance writing and/or the RNA in a positive way.

Agent of the Year
For the literary agent who has striven to support, mentor, nurture and promote their authors’ careers, the genre in general and the RNA in particular.

Publisher and / or Editor of the Year
For an individual editor, publishing house or imprint who embraces the genre, supports writers to produce their best work, and is innovative, creative and visionary in the marketing and promotion of romantic fiction on every level.

In May 2019, I volunteered to become the Industry Awards organiser (IAO), making 2022 my fourth year at the helm, but although it’s my name at the bottom of the finalists’ congratulation emails, there is an entire team working together to make the event as special as it and the finalists deserve.

We are an awards team consisting of Annette Hannah, Melanie Griffiths, Ali Henderson, and me, with guest appearances from Jean Fullerton and Sue Merritt. Without this team, the Monday morning Google Meet meetings would be … well, just me and a few obscure video effects.

Over the past two years we have been modernising the awards to fit with our ever-growing organisation, including the introduction in 2021 of Indie contribution awards, and this year, a new, robust system of judging. Following a rigorous selection process, with applications anonymised, three new judges were chosen — Georgia Hill, Debbie Johnston and Katherine Mezzacappa. In addition, there is a Head Judge, author, Sue Moorcroft, and the RNA Chair, Jean Fullerton, bringing the panel to a total of five.

The judges read through the nominations and accompanying statements made by the RNA full and probationary membership, carry out due diligence and research, then convene via video link to discuss who they feel are the strongest candidates to go forward as finalists. The judges then agree on the top two or three per category.

The judges do not participate in the nomination process and must declare any interest in the nominees as appropriate. There is a list of reserve judges should a panel member recuse themselves due to a conflict of interest. The new system is an evolving process, and as the IAO I am always open to ideas as to how to make it more robust and transparent.

A Meet The Judges feature can be found below, and the judging protocol can be found on the RNA website under the Industry Awards tab.

The shortlists will be announced on Tuesday 11th October on the RNA website and in a members’ Industry Awards e-newsletter.

The Awards team works closely with the aforementioned RNA Events Organiser, Sue Merritt, who puts together the amazing Winter Party year-on-year, and on the night the venue’s technician, Tim Matthews, ensures the smooth running of the audio-visual elements, including choosing and playing the ‘walk-up’ music.

It really is a wonderful opportunity to get together, celebrate romantic fiction in all its forms and show our appreciation for the industry and its support.

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 Friday 11th November 2022 at 6.30pm.

Winter Party & Industry Awards 2022 – Tickets now available  

Tickets can be purchased from the Eventbrite link.


RNA Members: £69 (plus Eventbrite fee)
Non-members: £79 (plus Eventbrite fee)
(Note: Payment instalments via PayPal are available at checkout)

 The ticket price includes a full buffet and a complimentary drink.

Dress code is smart / party. Please note – you must be over 18 to attend the event.
For further details please email:

We’d love to see you there!
For more information, please visit our website:

Laura E James
Industry Awards Organiser

Meet the 2022 RNA Industry Awards Judges

Sue Moorcroft, Head Judge

Sue Moorcroft is a Sunday Times bestselling author, #1 on Kindle UK and Top 100 on Kindle US. She’s won the Goldsboro Books Contemporary Novel of the Year, Readers’ Best Romantic Novel award and the Katie Fforde Bursary.

Her novels, short stories, serials, columns, writing ‘how to’ and courses have appeared around the world. Sue served on the RNA committee for eleven years and edited two RNA short story anthologies.



Georgia Hill

Georgia Hill writes warm-hearted and up-lifting contemporary and timeslip romances about love, the power and joy in being an eccentric oldie and finding yourself and your community. There’s always a dog. It’s usually a naughty spaniel of which, unfortunately, she has had much experience. She lives near the sea with her beloved dogs and husband (also beloved).




Debbie Johnston

Writing and book blogging as JB Johnston, Debbie Johnston is a social worker from sunny Northern Ireland. JB is a member of the RNA New Writers scheme. She is currently writing her 3rd novel and feels it’s probably about time she submitted some work to publishers. She can be found over at her site Brook Cottage Books where she loves promoting authors and has been an author P.A., book tour coordinator and a lifestyle columnist. She is also a member of her local writing group and runs their Facebook page. When she’s not writing or book blogging, JB is an avid runner, raising money for charity. She also enjoys yoga, and trying to talk her friends into all manner of adventures which usually involves dance classes, climbing up mountains or taking adult ballet lessons. She is passionate about animal rights and disability rights and is a carer for her daughter.


Katherine Mezzacappa

Katherine Mezzacappa is an Irish writer of historical fiction, currently living in Tuscany. Writing as Katie Hutton, she has published The Gypsy Bride, The Gypsy’s Daughter and Annie of Ainsworth’s Mill with Bonnier Zaffre, and as Kate Zarrelli, Tuscan Enchantment and The Casanova Papers with eXtasy Books. Her short fiction has appeared in magazines worldwide. Katherine also works as a manuscript assessor with The Literary Consultancy and as a proofreader for an Italian publisher. She is a regular reviewer for the Historical Novel Society and was on the organising committee of the Society’s 2022 conference. In her spare time she volunteers with a secondhand book charity of which she is a founder member.


Jean Fullerton

Jean joined the NWS in 2003 and became a full member in 2006. Having left her day job to become a full-time writer, nine years ago she stepped forward to serve on the committee. As education officer she oversaw the creation of RNA Learning workshops and she is now the chair of the management board. She has published twenty books and has just sent her twenty-first to her editor.