On Wednesday, 18th November, I was fortunate to attend The Romantic Novelists’ Association’s (RNA) 2015 Winter Party, which was held at The Royal Overseas League in London.
Tickets were a sell out, as it’s a great opportunity for writers, agents and publishers to meet, whilst sipping bubbly and eating canapés. The event was also a great opportunity for the RNA to present its inaugural Industry Awards to people who have contributed to the success and sales of romantic fiction.
I made the most of my whistle-stop tour to the capital by spending the morning sightseeing and the afternoon watching Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre. This was quickly followed by the RNA Winter Party.
There was a real buzz of excitement and noise at the event, as new writers, established authors and experienced agents met with one another and new friends were made. Three awards were presented; Bookseller of the Year, Best Adaptation of a Novel and Media Star.
The Bookseller of the Year Award went to WHSmith Travel Book Buyer, Matthew Bates in recognition for supporting many RNA members’ books and turning them into bestsellers.
Runner up was Michael Korel, Waterstones, Camden, in recognition of his support for the romance genre, in particular indie romance writers.
The second award, Best Adaptation of a Novel, went to Debbie Horsfield for her adaptation of the Poldark series, written by my favourite author, Winston Graham. I was surprised to learn that in the early days he was a judge of the Romantic Novel of the Year Award and had links to the RNA for many years. This discovery made me feel even more privileged to be a member of the RNA, as I attempt to follow in his gifted footsteps.
Runner up was Jamie Patterson, an independent film director from Jump Start Productions, who adapted RNA member Cally Taylor’s novel, Home for Christmas.
The final award of the evening, Media Star, was awarded to The Romaniacs, a popular blogging and social media group.
Runner up for the Media Star Award was Radio Gorgeous, which broadcasts podcasts which are particularly supportive of women authors.
After the awards, Katie Fforde, president of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, was delighted to announce that Goldsboro Books were going to sponsor the Romantic Novel of the Year Award in 2016. This news was a wonderful way to end the award ceremony.
More wine and bubbly flowed, as everyone got back to the serious task of mingling before the evening came to a close.
Two train journeys later, I was able to kick off my high heels and put my feet up. My last visit to London was many years ago, but I found it as vibrant, busy and fascinating as I remembered. Now I am back in Cornwall (which is also vibrant, busy and fascinating, but in a completely different way), however, I am glad I made the journey to London and resolve not to leave it so long next time.
Photos of award winners courtesy of the RNA