Social networking for romance readers
Authors, publishers and literary agents gathered at a plush venue in central London yesterday afternoon for the announcement of the RoNA Awards. Guests sat down to pink champagne and pink canapes at the sumptuous ceremony compared by Peter James and Jane Wenham-Jones. Announced first was the Harry Bowling Prize, a prize for unpublished writers for a novel with an urban setting. The winner was Natalie Lloyd-Evans who was sharing a table with other Harry Bowling shortlistees. Despite explaining in her speech that she hadn't rehearsed what to say, she was articulate and gracious. The winner of the RoNA Rose Award was announced as Sarah Mallory for The Dangerous Lord Darrington. Sarah Mallory gave a short thank you speech and headed back to her seat looking delighted. The next award presented was an outstanding achievement award for Karin Stoecker recently retired from Harlequin Mills and Boon. Her voice cracking with emotion, Karin Stoecker spoke about the many activities that both the RNA and Mills and Boon had undertaken to promote good stories.
Young Adult Romantic Novel was awarded to Caroline Green for Dark Ride and who appeared surprised but delighted. Historical Romantic Novel was awarded to shrieks of delight from her table as the winner was announced as Christina Courtney for Highland Storms. Christina Courtney dedicated the prize to the earliest supporter of her writing, her father whose birthday it would have been.
Romantic Comedy Novel went to Jane Lovering for Please Don't Stop the Music. Jane Lovering professed to be astonished at her win and returned to her table clutching her star shaped crystal trophy still with an an expression of disbelief. Epic Romantic Novel was then awarded to Rosie Thomas for The Kashmir Shawl and finally Contemporary Romance Novel to Katie Fforde for Summer of Love. The winners will now go on to compete for the overall crown of Romantic Novel of the Year to be announced in May. The celebrations continued at the venue into early evening.
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