Romantic Novel of the Year Award Judges

The Romantic Novelists’ Association has announced the four judges who will choose the Goldsboro Books Romantic Novel of the Year 2017.

They are Matt Bates, the Fiction Buyer for WH Smith Travel, writer and journalist Fanny Blake, bookseller and publisher Ron Johns and Caroline Sanderson, writer and books journalist.

In 2017, the RNA will award Romantic Novel Awards in seven categories: Contemporary, Epic, Historical, Paranormal or Speculative Fiction, Romantic Comedy, Young Adult and the RoNA Rose for a shorter romantic novel.

The four judges will read each of the category winners to decide the overall Goldsboro Books Romantic Novel of the Year.

RNA Vice-Chair and Award Organiser, Nicola Cornick said:  ‘We are thrilled to have such an enthusiastic and knowledgeable panel of judges with such a commitment to the romantic fiction genre.”

Matt Bates is the Fiction Buyer for WH Smith Travel. He has been rated as one of the Top 1000 most influential Londoners in the Evening Standard and is an Associate VP of the RNA. In 2013 he judged the HNS International Award and has contributed to book-related articles in Daily TelegraphDaily ExpressThe Bookseller and Writers Forum magazine. In 2015 he was named Bookseller of the Year by the RNA.

Fanny Blake was a publisher for many years editing both fiction and non-fiction before becoming a freelance journalist and writer. She has written various non-fiction titles, acted as a ghost writer for a number of celebrities and is also books editor of Woman & Home. She has written five novels including Women of a Dangerous Age and House of Dreams. Her new novel Our Summer Together will be published in in July 2017.

Ron Johns started Bookselling with WH Smith and opened his first bookshop in 1974 aged 20. He now owns Bookshops in Falmouth, St Ives, Dartmouth and a joint venture, Padstow Bookseller with a well-known chef . He also created Mabecron Publishing, which publishes books with a West Country flavour and to date has published 23 titles.

Ron has been a Costa Prize judge and is a council member of the Booksellers Association and the Independent Booksellers Group. He is a qualified gliding instructor and has been flying gliders since the age of 16. Ron lives in the Tamar valley, and enjoys wine, travelling, spending time with his cats and reading .

Caroline Sanderson is a writer and books journalist, and Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the University of Worcester. She is Associate Editor for The Bookseller, and the editor of ALCS News, the online magazine of the Authors Licensing & Collecting Society. She has written and reviewed books for a wide variety of other publications including The Express, Mslexia, The Observer and The Mail on Sunday.

Caroline is the author of five non-fiction books, and co-hosts a monthly book club on BBC Radio Gloucestershire. She also chairs events at literary festivals including the Cheltenham Literature Festival, and Stroud Book Festival.

A total of 300 books were entered for this year’s Romantic Novel of the Year Awards. The awards have the aim of celebrating excellence in romantic fiction and were established in 1960.

The shortisted books will be announced on February 7th and the RoNA Awards will be presented in London on March 13th 2017.

For more information about the RoNA Awards, visit our Awards pages

For more information about the award event, or to buy tickets, visit our activities pages.


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