RNA OPEN LETTER TO THE SUNDAY TIMES

Dear Andrew Holgate,

On behalf of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and all the 496 undersigned, we are writing this open letter in response to the Sunday Times books roundup of 2021 entitled, ‘The 33 best books of 2021 from every genre.’ At the time the roundup was published, two of our author members were in the Sunday Times top ten bestsellers chart, with Phillipa Ashley at number 9 and Milly Johnson holding the number 2 spot. To have romantic fiction occupying a fifth of the top ten is a huge achievement. It was, therefore, astonishing that in an article claiming to include every genre, romance was nowhere to be seen. To add insult to injury, your tweet questioned whether it was indeed a genre. We recognise that you have since withdrawn the tweet – but the damage has been done.

Romantic fiction plays a crucial role in financially underpinning the industry. We believe that it should be recognised for the great success it is, and for that, we would like your support. Speak to us! Find out more about our genre and include us in your future lists. How about a separate list to round off this year just for romantic fiction? The New York Times now has a regular romance column. We would like to suggest something similar so that our genre can be more visible and receive the respect it merits.

The RNA has almost a thousand members, including many bestselling and world-renowned authors who not only appear regularly on your bestseller list, but several of whom also have film and TV deals. Our membership is also made up of editors, literary agents and other publishing professionals. Every year we present prestigious awards for excellence in romantic fiction, as well as highly coveted awards for those in the industry that champion our genre.

Many of our members are upset and angry at the dismissal of the genre they love and are proud to write and read — a genre that is in fact a multi-billion dollar industry. Booksellers and librarians have dedicated Romantic Fiction sections, the publishing industry recognises the genre and so do millions of readers. How can you possibly justify your failure to acknowledge us?

The general snobbery towards these wonderful, intelligent, creative and supportive people is nothing new — but the complete erasure of our genre is a step too far. The perception of romantic fiction needs to change across the whole industry, and you are in a position to be able to influence that change. We have lots of ideas, and would welcome the chance to work with you. Are you up for the challenge?

To contact the RNA Committee please email: PressOfficer@romanticnovelistsassociation.org

#RespectRomFic

Our open letter is still available to sign – please click this link to add your name: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdyLJvVRkBvsw7ZeKAo2-Kidx45apWjb4jPMokCW0sRQkUVOw/viewform?fbclid=IwAR28ifXfCvzWLyPOI8lH8ArqRhsFvXvNrrHGrIeB0XpGlbNpxJQB_VsBqk8

Signed by:

Annette Hannah
Virginia Heath
Laura E James
Clare Flynn
Philip Shaw
Elaine Everest
Anne Allen
Carol Cooper
Karen Critchley
Liz Taylorson
Pernille Hughes
Morton S Gray
Jean Fullerton
Leonie Mack
Helena Dixon
Bronwyn Scott
Elaine Fearnley
Liz Fielding
Helga Jensen
Amanda Giles
Victoria Springfield
Catherine Kullmann
Helen Hawkins
S A Adetoro
Carol Bevitt
Jan Baynham
Carrie Elks
Kate Frost
Brigid Coady
Karen Osborne
Emma Robinson
Sarah Bennett
Fiona Lucas
Lucy King
Jessie Cahalin
Amanda James
Cass Grafton
Melissa Morgan
Hilary Mackelden
Lynda Stacey
Elizabeth Chadwick
Janet Gover
Ruth Frances Long / Jessica Thorne
Paul Greenlees
Samantha Tonge
Fiona Perrin
Judy Leigh
Catherine Jones
Jeanette Woodall
Julie Stock
Jaya Martin
Celia Anderson
Louise Douglas
Ros Rendle
Rachel Brimble
Suzanne Snow
Jane Lovering
Judy Astley
Nancy Peach
Bella Osborne
Catherine Tinley
Natalie Kleinman
Sally Zigmond
Jules Wake
Melanie Hewitt
Jill Barry
Philip William Stover
Emma-Claire Wilson
Laura Kemp
Jill Steeples
Milly Johnson
Mel Gough
Clare Swatman
Giulia Skye
Katie Jarvis
Susan Buchanan Cunningham
Melissa Oliver
Ann West
Adrienne Vaughan
Susan Allan
Amanda Radley
Emily Royal
Denise Sutherland
Kate Johnson
Becca Mascull
Sue Moorcroft
Ritu Bhathal
Vivien Brown
Kelly Griffiths
Dòrinda Cass
Kirstie Pelling
Jessica Haines
Lizzie Lamb
Alice Goulding
Jenny Dutton
Evonne Wareham
Katie Ginger
Lilac Mills
Susan Brookes-Morris
Rebecca Banks
Rebecca Ryan
Julia Boggio
Adrienne Chinn
Victoria Walker
Penny Brindle
Julia Wild
Nicola Cornick
Laura Martin
Catherine Allwood
Emily Windsor
Dorthe Studsgarth
Julia Williams
Leah Fleming
Laura R Leeson
Jenni Keer
Vicki Beeby
JL Merrow
Kathy Strobos
Fiona Leitch
Michelle Downing
Lizzie Lane
Liz Fenwick
Cathy Bramley
Kate Field
Laura Kenton-Weeks
Isabelle Broom
Emily Kerr
Rosie Hendry
Carol MacLean
Victoria Cooke
Rachael Lucas
Cressida McLaughlin
Terri Brisbin
Leah Mercer
Kate Pearce
Jennifer Bohnet
Glynis Peters
Sophie Cousens
Penny Hampson
Janice Preston
Sue Barnard
Louise Fein
Angela Britnell
Kirsty Greenwood
Jenni Fletcher
Sandra Forder
Jennifer Pittam
Francine Beaton
Hazel Mary Martell
Jane Lacey-Crane
Debbie Johnson
Helen Yendall
Poppy Alexander
Rosie Howard
Heidi Swain
Sonja Price
Nicola Pryce
Janice Horton
Claire Collier
Holly Martin
Laura Russell
Sarah Rodi
Emma Jackson
Alex Brown
Karen King
Georgia Hill
Deborah Carr
Clare London
Zoe Allison
Beth Elliott
Josie Bonham
Lucy Morris
Liz Harris
Marie Mistry
Suzie Tullett
Libby Ashworth
Anise Eden
Lynn Johnson
Kate Walker
Nina Kaye
M W Arnold
Margaret Kaine
AnneMarie Brear
Lara Temple
Dawn Knox
Lesley Field
Maddie Please
Sasha Lane
Hannah Langdon
Natalie Normann
Lynn Forth
Sheila Riley
Jeevani Charika
Vanessa Woolley
Katy Moran
Sue Fortin
Kate Thompson
Sue Cook
Liz Harris
Kim Nash
Lottie Cardew
Sarah shard
Elisabeth Hobbes
Rosie Mae George
Elaine Spires
Shari Low
John Jackson
Madalyn Morgan
Alice J Miller
L.L. Diamond
Sadie Ryan
Tessa Bickers
Kristina Douglas
Carol Thomas
Cryssa Bazos
Alison May
Chrissie Bradshaw
Skye MacKinnon
Miranda Dickinson
Elaine Roberts
Lynne Connolly
Sandy Barker
Glenda Horsfall
Melanie Beynon
Joanne Mallory
Rosie Travers
Ruby Moone
Karen Aldous
Fenella J Miller
Bettina Hunt
Henriette Gyland
Francesca Capaldi Burgess
Melanie Hudson
Sheila Norton
Katey Lovell
Sharon Ibbotson
Gail Crane
Jan Jones
Kerry Barrett
Wendy Soliman
Louise Armstrong
Sue Mackender
Christie Barlow
Kate Hewitt
Liz Davies
Lizzie Page
Kate Lord Brown
Jessica Gilmore
Shabnah Ratnarajah
Kate G. Smith
Anna Belfrage
Ellie Darkins
Rowan Coleman
Emma Cowell
Darcie Boleyn
Mary Wood
Donna Ashcroft
Janet Gover
Charlotte Betts
Linda Hill
Claire Dyer
ROXANE DHAND
K.C. Wells
Stefania Hartley
Jane Gordon-Cumming
Annie Robertson
Lindsey Brogan
T A Williams
Wendy Kremer
Gail Mallin
Katherine Turner
Dr Julia Ibbotson
Ellee Seymour
Jo Barnden
Anna Stuart
Susanna Kearsley
Joanna Courtney
Lynne PARDOE
Jo Wilde
Sarah Mallory
Sarah Williams
Kate Barker
Alison Craig
Lorraine Brown
Alison Knight
Victoria Cornwall
Kate Harrison
Marion Lindsey-Noble
Mari Jane Law
Laura Parish
Fiona Cooper
Jadesola James
Christina Courtenay
Katherine Garbera
Judith barrow
Christine Allen
Ian Wilfred
Maggi Fox
Kirsten Hesketh
Ella Matthews
Alison Sherlock
Anne Sheila Livesey
Claire Huston
Carol Townend
Jessica Redland
April Hardy
Lily Watson
Imogen Martin
Sheryl Browne
Angela Wren
Jeannie Moon
Sandra Howard
Elizabeth Rolls
Roland Moore
Heidi Stephens
Kate Kenzie
Glenda Bragg
Jane Linfoot
Joanna Maitland
Elaine Hastings
Imogen Howson
Judy Astley
Catherine Isaac
Sheia O’Flanagan
Fay Keenan
Jenny Barden
Sophie Pembroke
Clare Marchant
Anita Faulkner
Fiona Marsden
jay Dixon
Liz Hurley
Glenda Young
Catherine Burrows
Charlie Cochrane
Lynda Dunwell
Kathryn Freeman
Jaya Martin
Elizabeth McGinty
Cazz Anders
Faith Hogan
Lela May Wight
Caroline James
Sharon Booth
Elizabeth Morton
Fiona Walker
Eve Pendle
Erica James
Debbie Flint
LIZZIE LANE
Susan Bergen
Gwen Kirkwood
Penny Parkes
Nancy Barone
Juliet Pickering
Alison Morton
Helena Fairfax
Emma Bennet
Sheila Turner Johnston
Phillipa Ashley
A. L. Lester
Linda Sprott
Alan C. Williams
Kate Ryder
Katherine Mezzacappa
Rosemary Dun
Rosie Parker
Amanda Revell Walton (Nancy Revell)
Sara Downing
Linda Taylor
L.T. Kelly
Rachel Hore
Nicola Smalley
Maggie Davies (writing as Maggie Richell-Davies)
Monica Fairview
Lucy Keeling
Helen Brandom
Lisa Hobman
Jenny Worstall
Sophie Duffy
Sue Tingey
Louise Allen
Tracy Bloom
Heidi Rice
Jane Ayres
Deborah J Briers
Jo Lovett
Scarlett Fin
Helena Halme
Amanda Ward
Gill Stewart
Zelah Roberts
Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang
Lin Treadgold
Jane Cable
Janet MacLeod Trotter
Ellie Gray
Freya North
Linda Tyler
Susan Leona Fisher
Lorella Belli
Frances Mensah Williams
Dr J A Mortimore
Lucia Swiers
Rasheda Malcolm
Ann Palmer
Terri Fleming
Sarah Stephenson
Lindsay Townsend
Susan Watson
Rosemary Gemmell
Lynne Francis
Liv Thomas
Jen Gilroy
Christine Burrows
Sherry Gloag
Mary Jayne Baker
Pauline Dudley
Luana DaRosa
Clodagh Murphy
Amanda Cinelli
Sue Sami
Fiona Mayes – aka Emily Ross
Theresa Le Flem
Lotte R. James
Linda Corbett
Fiona Ford
Natalie Bull
Audrey Harrison
Amelia Hopegood
Fay Wentworth
Melanie Taylor
Angela Barton
Sue Teddern
Judith Lennox
Kimberley Ash
Alex Gutteridge
Kathleen McGurl
Lorna Cook
Jacky Little
Louise Bay
Lorna Windham
Nicole Locke
Ana D Handen
Gwen Williams
Nina Bensch-Wielander
Helen Conway
Louise Marley
Mary Anne Lewis
Pippa James
Anna Sugden
Samantha Curtis (writing as Isabella May)
Carol Marshall
Arlene Pearson
Rachael Stewart
Alison Burke
Marie Laval
Paullett Golden
Karen Swann
Anthea Kenyon
Kate Nash
Marie Hurley
Anna Markland
Helen Barrell
Elizabeth Hanbury
Joanna Toye
Samantha Burton
Kathryn Le Veque
Jenny Harper
Jill Mansell
Melanie Griffiths
Gracie Bond
Gail Floyd
Sue Featherstone
Karen Storey
Kate Blackadder
Tracy Gow w/a Ella Hayes
Bella Andre
Misa Buckley
Katrina Coll
Jane Steen
Julie Morris
Hywela Lyn
Lynne McElrea
Elizabeth Chatsworth
Ann Ankers
Lisa Hill
Kali Anthony
Pippa Roscoe
Jennifer Bibby
2 Comments

Comments are closed.

  1. John Jackson 7 months ago

    I am ridiculously proud to see just how many of those who are signatories to this important letter are writers who I hold in the highest regard as authors, professionals and friends.

    AS a male author I am equally proud of being a Member of the RNA. An amazing organisation working towards the highest ideals of authorship and story-telling.

    May your pens never run dry!

  2. Amy Gaffney 7 months ago

    Well said.

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