The categories for this year’s Romantic Novel Awards are:

  • The Goldsboro Books Contemporary Romantic Novel Award: For stories about the here and now, where romance forms a substantive part of the story. Any novel set predominantly in the last 50 years.
  • The Goldsboro Books Historical Romantic Novel Award: For stories set in the past, showing historic worlds, where romance forms a substantive part of the story. Romantic novels predominantly set 50 years or more in the past.
  • The Romantic Comedy Novel: For romantic novels which are consistently funny. Can be set in any time period.
  • The Fantasy Romantic Novel:For romantic novels with elements of science-fiction, magical realism, fantasy or paranormal. This includes timeslip (where a character moves between time periods) and time travel novels.
  • The Jackie Collins Romantic Thriller Award:For stories featuring a substantial thriller, suspense, mystery or crime story, alongside or entwined with a romantic story. Novels set in any time period may be entered for this category.
  • The Romantic Saga Award:For novels predominantly set in the past (pre 1970), usually featuring characters overcoming social pressures or hardships alongside or entwined with a romantic story thread.
  • The Libertá Books Shorter Romantic Novel:For shorter romantic novels, serials or novellas. These may range from magazine serials, short stories of no less than 30 000 words to shorter novels of no more than 70 000 words approximately. Entries may represent any aspect of the romantic genre and can be set in any time period.
  • The Katie Fforde Debut Romantic Novel Award: For the best romantic novel by a first-time author. Entries may represent any aspect of the romantic genre.


We’re delighted to be adding the Jackie Collins Romantic Thriller Award, sponsored by Simon & Schuster to celebrate romantic novels which combine romance with a thriller, crime, suspense or mystery story.

We’re also delighted to be presenting our inaugural Romantic Saga Award. Sagas are a mainstay of commercial fiction publishing and their popularity grows from year to year. RNA Chair, Nicola Cornick, commented, ‘Sagas are some of the most popular books in modern literature, telling complicated, compelling stories through an unforgettable cast of characters and events that span love, life and generations.’

In addition to these eight reader-judged awards, we will also be presenting an Outstanding Achievement Award to an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to the genre and the Sapere Books Popular Romantic Novel Award to a novel which made commercial impact during 2019. This award is voted for by booksellers, librarians and book reviewers.

The awards will open for entries from publishers and authors on 20th May 2019.

Thanks go to Goldsboro Books, Katie Fforde, Sapere Books, Libertá Books and Simon & Schuster for their ongoing support for the awards. Further sponsors will be announced in due course.


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