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Romantic Novel Awards 2016

Administered and awarded by the Romantic Novelists’ Association



  1. The RoNA awards are open to members and non-members of the RNA and are given for five categories of Romantic Novel (see rule 19 below). The category winners will be announced at an awards event in March 2016. Entries may be submitted by a publisher, agent or author. There is an administration fee of £15.00 for each title submitted, with an additional fee of £50 for each title submitted by authors or authors’ agents where authors are not current RNA members, i.e. a total fee of £65 per title entered.

It should be noted that the five RoNA winners (one from each category) automatically go forward to form the shortlist for the RNA’s Romantic Novel of the Year Award together with the winner of the RoNA Rose Award. The overall winner of the Romantic Novel of the Year Award will be chosen by a judging panel.

  1. Entries must be published by a traditional publisher (see rule 10). Self-published and author subsidised novels are not eligible.

  1. Titles which have been self-published first and then later accepted for publication by a traditional publisher can be entered for the awards. The new publication date must be within the qualifying period but there is no limit as to the time lapse in between self-publication and the later qualifying publication.

  1. Ebook (digital) only published entries are eligible. Entries first published electronically and later in printed form (including print on demand) are also eligible, but they may only be submitted in one format and once a title has been entered for the awards in eg electronic format, it may not be entered again in printed form during another calendar year. A title’s eligibility will be judged on whether the submitted version complies with these rules.

  1. Entries must be written in the English language.

  1. Subject to rule 7 below, entries are eligible only if first publication in English in any market takes place within the qualifying period, which is the twelve month period between 1st January 2015 and 31st December 2015 inclusive. Entrants will be required to provide the date of the first published edition.

  1. Entries may be submitted in hardback, paperback or electronic (digital) format, whichever is the first publication. For this year only because of changes in the rules from the previous year, books first published in e-format between 1st January 2014 and 31st December 2014 will also be eligible for entry provided that no other formats have already been submitted for the awards.

  1. No entry for the RoNA Awards may be submitted more than once (e.g. after previous entry in a different format or under a different imprint or with a different title or a different author name). See also rule 4 above. No book entered for the RoNA Rose Award may also be entered for any of the other five RoNA Award categories in the same year.

  1. Entries are only eligible if the author is living and working in the UK or Eire at the time of submission, or is a Commonwealth citizen living outside the UK, or if first publication of the work is by a UK based publisher and takes place in the UK. Entrants may be asked to prove citizenship and/or domicile. Authors living outside the UK must be contactable by email.

  1. For the purposes of these rules a traditional publisher shall mean one which meets the criteria on which eligibility for membership of the RNA is determined. These criteria include the following:

The publisher must be properly established as a bona fide business and have a significant number of recently published authors on its lists (normally at least ten), and/or a significant publishing track record (normally spanning at least two years), and must not have required the author to bear any part of the cost of preproduction or production of any submitted book, and must not have tasked the author with editing, copy editing, typesetting, cover design, commercial distribution, or any other publication process, and must not have required the author to buy any copies.

  1. On all questions of eligibility of entries the organiser’s decision shall be final.

  1. Authors may submit more than one entry and such entries may be published by the same publisher.

  1. Each title may only be submitted to one of the RoNA award categories and must meet the criteria for that category as described below under rule 19.

  1. Publishers should inform authors that their book has been entered for an award. Equally, authors or agents should advise the publisher if they make an individual entry.

  1. Entries should be submitted as soon as possible before 1st October 2015, which is, without exception, the closing date for all books published before 15th November 2015. Only books with a publishing date between 16th November 2015 and 31st December 2015, where advance copies are not available by 1st October 2015, may be submitted later with prior permission from the organiser, but in no case may they be submitted later than 1st November 2015. Four copies of each title entered are required or, in the case of ebooks, one PDF file which can be copied at least four times. It is in the interests of publishers/authors to submit entries as early as possible.

  1. Each entry will go to a team of three preliminary readers and a shortlist of potential winners for each category will be identified from the results of this assessment. The shortlists for each category will be announced in January/February 2016. The titles on these lists then go for a further, fourth, assessment and the winner of each category will be announced at the RoNA Awards Event to be held in March 2016.

  1. Shortlisted authors will be expected to be available for publicity purposes and to attend the awards event. Failure to attend the event will not necessarily disqualify the book in question but may do so without sufficient justification for non-attendance. It is obviously in the author's own interest to be present as the publicity opportunity is unique.  Please note that the RNA does not undertake to pay for entrants, publishers, agents or individual authors to attend the awards event. It is the responsibility of the shortlisted authors and their agents/publishers to make sure they book tickets for the awards in plenty of time.

  1. Publishers or authors of shortlisted titles will be expected to supply details of a publicity contact (if available) for each author, together with an author photograph, large digital image of the book cover, press release and any other relevant information. Publishers or authors should also be prepared to provide a reasonable number of additional copies of each shortlisted title for PR purposes.

  1. Each book submitted must meet the relevant RoNA category description for the category in which the book is entered:

PLEASE NOTE: entries for all categories should have romance as a main over-arching theme, i.e. the romance has to be apparent throughout the book. It is not enough that the protagonists find love at the very end of the book, having just met each other. Any novel submitted should embody a deep and moving love story in the traditional sense, or be a novel in which the romantic content and love interest is at the core of the story.

The five Categories of RoNA (each having an equal-status award) are:

(i) The RoNA for a Contemporary Romantic Novel: mainstream romantic novels set post 1960 - e.g., chick-lit, older romance, beach reads, etc. Includes niche genres such as paranormal/fantasy/time-slip/romantic suspense.

(ii) The RoNA for an Epic Romantic Novel: a romantic novel concerned with serious issues or themes which, for this category, may have more equal footing with the romantic story or stories in the book. Includes grittier fiction such as sagas, multi-generation tales, etc. May include time-slip.

(iii) The RoNA for an Historical Romantic Novel: a romantic novel set pre-1960. The historical nature may either principally be a social setting (as in Regency romances) or be principally used to set the romantic story against particular, real, historical events. May include time-slip.

(iv) The RoNA for a Romantic Comedy Novel: a romantic novel clearly intended to be consistently humorous or amusing - from laugh-out-loud to more subtle forms.

(v) The RoNA for a Young Adult Romantic Novel: romantic novels where the main characters are teenagers/young adults. Includes paranormal/fantasy stories and/or young-adult exploration of romance, over the range from light-hearted to deep/serious.

Entries will be judged in the category for which they have been entered so please make sure to choose the right one!
PRINT ENTRIES - Please send FOUR copies of each entry with the entry form supplied (which may be photocopied) and the appropriate entry administrative fee (cheques payable to ‘The Romantic Novelists’ Association’) to

Nicola Cornick. Contact Nicola for the address

01793 710252

E ENTRIES - Please send FOUR copies of each entry (or one PDF file which can be copied four times) with the entry form supplied (which may be photocopied) and the appropriate entry administrative fee (cheques payable to ‘The Romantic Novelists’ Association’) to:-

Anne Graham. Email Anne for details: 

N.B. Any category winners will automatically be entered for the Romantic Novel of the Year Award
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