The Romantic Novelists’ Association  in its second Industry Awards has recognised those people who have made a significant contribution in 2016 to the success and sales of romantic fiction. This year a further two awards were added, bringing the total to five, presented in front of an audience of romance writers, publishers and agents at a ceremony in London.

New award Agent of the Year recognised the late Carole Blake, of Blake Friedmann, whose sudden death in October stunned her many friends and colleagues in the publishing industry. Described as ‘a hard-working professional’, with ‘an immense sense of fun’, Carole was widely respected for her knowledge of the industry and loyalty to her clients, many who became close friends, and on whose behalf she worked tirelessly.

The RNA’s Deputy Chairman Nicola Cornick presented the trophy to Carole’s colleagues Hattie Grünewald and Juliet Pickering. Hattie Grünewald said “Carole was delighted to have been shortlisted for the Agent of the Year Award and would have been thrilled and honoured to have won. Carole was a keen supporter of the RNA over many years, and this award is a worthy acknowledgement for all she achieved for Romantic Fiction, and a lovely tribute to one of the best agents in the business.”

Lizzy Kremer, Director and Head of the Books Department for David Higham Associates, was runner-up for the prize.

Bookseller of the Year Award went to Goldsboro Books’ Managing Director, David Headley, whose Romance in the Court event earlier in the year provided a tremendous opportunity for authors, agents, publishers and readers to meet and celebrate their shared love of romantic fiction.

Runner-up for the award was Blackwell’s Bookshops, Lancaster University Branch.

The Media Star was presented to Kim Nash, Publicity and Social Media Manager at Bookouture, for her extensive and creative promotion of Bookouture titles.

Runner-up for the Media Star award was Jo Good, presenter on BBC Radio London.

Best Adaptation of a Novel was awarded to Jojo Moyes for the film Me Before You, which she adapted from her own novel of the same name.

Runners-up were Diana Gabaldon and Ronald D. Moore for Outlander, a TV series based on Diana Gabaldon’s enormously popular timeslip novels.

The final award of the evening, for Publisher of the Year, was won by Oliver Rhodes, Managing Director and Publisher, Bookouture, for his vision, drive and passion.

Kimberley Young, Publisher at HarperFiction, was runner up for the Publisher of the Year.

Commenting on the awards, Eileen Ramsay, Chairman of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, said, “It’s wonderful to see talent and hard work being recognised. The record number of nominations submitted this year shows how RNA members have truly embraced the Industry Awards, and how keen they are to acknowledge those who support romantic fiction at every stage.”



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