Romantic Novelists' Association

Winners Of The RNA Industry Awards 2023

22 November 2023

Winners of the RNA Industry awards lined up with their trophies

On Monday, November 13, the romantic novelists turned out in force to celebrate the RNA Industry Awards. 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.

The ten categories for this year were as follows: The Romantic Bookseller of the Year, Inclusion Award, Indie Champion of the Year, Library or Librarian of the Year, Cover Designer of the Year, Narrator of the Year, Media Star of the Year, Agent of the Year, Editor of the Year and Publisher of the Year.

The awards have been held for the past nine years and are highly respected in the UK publishing industry. The finalists were nominated by the full and probationary membership of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, with a panel of independent judges selecting the shortlists and winners. This year’s awards were sponsored by ProWritingAid, a manuscript editing software programme with in-app video learning for writers.

Here are the winners and their reactions:

Hannah Schofield – WINNER – Agent of the Year

“I am so honoured and delighted to have been chosen as the RNA Agent of the Year for the second time running! Thank you so much to my authors, colleagues and readers and writers of romantic fiction – plus the RNA for their support and this award. It’s because of them all that I get to do what I love!”

Clare Wade – WINNER – Inclusion Award

“I’m delighted to have won the Romantic Novelists’ Association Inclusion Award. I’ve been working hard to improve disability inclusion in the publishing industry since my award-winning debut The Choice was published in 2019.

There are so many incredible disabled authors but they often face barriers to publication due to their disabilities; my aim is to show the industry how they can be more inclusive and accessible to ensure we hear the stories disabled authors are ready to share. There is so much division in the world and one of the best ways to bridge the gap is to understand others with different backgrounds and experiences to our own, books are the perfect way to do this.

This award is evidence that the publishing industry is taking inclusion seriously and that we are making progress.”

Anne Dover – WINNER – Narrator of the Year

“Well, after having been nominated for the third time, it was lucky for me. Of course I feel honoured and blessed to have won, and somewhat overwhelmed. Over the last 30 or so years I have narrated about 1500 titles. The arrival of the audio industry was brought to my attention when a dear friend arrived at my house with one of the first editions of an adult audiobook, and said “Why aren’t you narrating this book?” She sadly was losing her sight, and audiobooks were a great comfort to her. I thought that they were a way of keeping one’s children quiet on long car journeys! So I contacted the name on the cover which was Soundings, and as luck would have it they were just starting up, and were looking for a female narrator….the rest as they say is history. I am absolutely thrilled to become Narrator Of The Year. A huge thank you to those who voted for me, and all those in this glorious industry who have liked my narrations enough to support me.
Best Wishes to all colleagues and friends who love a good read!”

Fiona Lucas – WINNER – Media Star of the Year

“I’m completely thrilled but also astounded! It just goes to show that if you find a social media platform that clicks for you, go ahead and enjoy yourself! If this old dog can learn new social media tricks – anyone can!”

Ripley Library – WINNER – Library/Librarian of the Year

“It is such an honour to receive this and to be here to represent Ripley Library. Thank you so much.”

Boldwood Books – WINNER – Publisher of the Year

“Absolutely thrilling to win for the second time in our short four-year life. This is the most special award to win and the RNA are the most wonderful organisation, championing as they do the most important genre in the industry.”

Charlotte Ledger – WINNER – Editor of the Year

“This is an incredible honour. To be nominated by the authors and members of the RNA themselves is wonderful. These are the people who bring joy and an escape to readers all over the world and there is no greater privilege to play a small part in publishing their books.”

JD Smith – WINNER – Cover Designer of the Year

“I was absolutely astonished to discover I had won this year’s Cover Design of the Year Award. Having been nominated twice before, I didn’t think I would be nominated for a third year running, let alone win. It’s been heartwarming hearing from all writers, colleagues, clients, friends and family of how delighted they are for me. The enthusiasm, particularly of my clients with whom I have had the pleasure of working with for many years, particularly made me smile. I definitely share this award with them for all we have achieved together over the years.”

Lizzie Lamb – WINNER – Indie Champion of the Year

“I am chuffed to fly the flag for the RNA and all the Indies out there. Never give up!”

Diss Publishing Group – WINNER – Romantic Bookseller of the Year

“We are overjoyed and immensely proud of Chris, Karen and Anya for selling so well and to all our loyal customers of Diss Publishing Bookshop and Diss, the great town on the Waveney in South Norfolk.”


Congratulations to all of the winners!