Judy Finnigan and Richard Madeley with the award winners
Sarah Mallory wins The RoNA Rose Award with Beneath the Major’s Scars
Contemporary Romantic Novel winner – Mhairi McFarlane
Epic Romantic Novel winner – Rowan Coleman
Historical Romantic Novel winner – Charlotte Betts
Romantic Comedy Novel winner – Jenny Colgan
Young Adult Romantic Novel Winner – Victoria Lamb
Sophie Kinsella presented with Outstanding Achievement Award
Judy Finnigan and Richard Madeley announced the five category winners who will contest the prestigious Romantic Novel of the Year during a glittering reception in London.
The winning novels will now be read and judged by five independent industry experts, and the overall winner will be revealed at the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s (RNA) Summer Party on 16 May 2013.
Annie Ashurst, current RNA Chair, told the capacity gathering of some 250 romantic fiction authors, publishers and guests how proud the Association was of its finalists and winners.
“Tonight we are here to celebrate the success of our brightest stars. We are proud of their talent, tenacity and dedication to their craft. It is a lonely thing to write a novel, and to keep on going even as doubts set in – as they do with us all. Our Awards give us an opportunity to publicly recognising the enjoyment you bring to your readers. Congratulations to you all.”
Long-time RNA member, Sophie Kinsella, was honoured with an Outstanding Achievement Award for her continued contribution to the world of romantic fiction.
The category winners 2013
The Contemporary Category is for mainstream romantic novels set after 1960. Mhairi McFarlane was named winner with You Had Me At Hello, after Katie Fforde stepped down. To compete for the Romantic Novel of the Year all category winners must be present at the RNA Summer Party on 16 May and conflicting travel plans left Katie unable to attend. The other competing authors included Veronica Henry, Monica McInerney, Sue Moorcroft and Polly Williams..
In the Epic Category, which deals with issues or themes including multi-generational novels, Rowan Coleman triumphed with Dearest Rose. Other finalists included Madeline Miller, Dilly Court, Kate Moreton, Gill Paul and Liz Trenow.
Finalists in the Historical Category (set before 1960) included Charlotte Betts, Christina Courtenay, Kate Furnivall, Pamela Hartshorne, Susanne Kearsley and Mary Nichols. Charlotte Betts was declared the winner with her novel The Apothecary’s Daughter.
In the Romantic Comedy Category, for consistently humorous or amusing novels, the finalists included Jenny Colgan, Victoria Connelly, Jane Costello, Nicola Doherty, Belinda Jones and Jane Wenham-Jones. Jenny Colgan claimed victory with Welcome to Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop of Dreams.
The Young Adult Category features protagonists who are teenagers or young adults and the shortlist this year included Jo Cotterill, Laura Jarratt, Marie-Louise Jensen, Victoria Lamb, Sarra Manning and Susan Waggoner. Victoria Lamb was declared winner with her book Witchstruck.
The RoNA Rose Award, which recognises the best in category/series and shorter romance that focuses on a developing love affair between hero and heroine, was presented for the second year running to Sarah Mallory, author of Beneath the Major’s Scars. Her rivals included: Fiona Harper, Heidi Rice, Carol Townend, and Scarlett Wilson, who had two books nominated. This category does not go forward to contest the Romantic Novel of the Year.