• Each year the Romantic Novelists’ Association recognises the work of its own members. The Joan Hessayon New Writers’ Scheme Award, which has been run by the RNA since 1962, aims to encourage fresh talent.Manuscripts submitted by unpublished New Writers Scheme members are read by experienced writers or editors. Any manuscript subsequently published as a debut novel becomes eligible for the Award – provided the author is still a member of the RNA.The Joan Hessayon Award is sponsored by Dr David Hessayon in honour of his late wife Joan, who was a longstanding member of the RNA and a great supporter of the New Writers’ Scheme.This year there are nine contenders for the Award, they are:Joss Alexander : Tainted Innocence published by Carina Press
    Jenny Barden : Mistress of the Sea published by Ebury Press/Random House
    Serena Clarke : All Over the Place published by Crimson Romance
    Henriette Gyland : Up Close published by Choc Lit
    Liz Harris : The Road Back published by Choc Lit
    Carol McGrath : The Handfasted Wife published by Accent Press
    Cathy Mansell : Shadow Across the Liffey, published by Tirgearr Publishing
    Liesel Schwarz : A Conspiracy of Alchemists published by Ebury Press/DelRey
    Anne Stenhouse : Mariah’s Marriage published by MuseItUp Publishing

    See images of the contenders in our photo gallery.

    The award will be presented on May 16th at the RNA Summer Party in London.

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