Four Accent Press titles have been shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA)’s “prestigious” Joan Hessayon Award for new writers.
Her Forget-Me-Not Ex by Sophie Claire, A Street Café Named Desire by R J Gould, The Hidden Legacy by Julie Roberts and French Kissing by Lynne Shelby are the four titles by Accent in contention for the award. Joining them on the shortlist are Letting in Light by Emma Davies (Amazon Media), Take a Chance on Me by Debbie Flint (Choc Lit), The Gunner Girl by Clare Harvey (Simon & Schuster UK) and Waiting for You by Catherine Miller (Carina).
Also shortlisted are It Started at Sunset Cottage by Bella Osborne (HarperImpulse), Remarkable Things by Deidre Palmer (Crooked Cat Publishing), The Giants Look Down by Sonja Price (Robert Hale), Sense and French Ability by Ros Rendle (Endeavour Press), The Friendship Tree by Helen Rolfe (Crooked Cat Publishing) and The Cherry Tree Café by Heidi Swain (Simon & Schuster UK).
The shortlist is made up of authors whose debut novels have been accepted for publication after passing through the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers Scheme. Each year 250 places are offered to unpublished writers writing in the romance genre. Manuscripts submitted under the scheme are read by an experienced writer or editor who provides feedback. Any manuscript that is subsequently published as a debut novel is eligible for the Joan Hessayon Award.
Eileen Ramsay, RNA chairman, said: "The New Writers’ Scheme is unique to our organisation and this year has resulted in debut novels from fourteen writers – a real testament to the success of the scheme. Congratulations to everyone on the list who has achieved that magical goal of getting a publishing deal!”
Immi Howson, who runs the New Writers Scheme, said: “The scheme offers new writers fantastic opportunities to network with over 800 other members who have been there and done it, as a result they can offer inside knowledge, advice and a wealth of experience which is invaluable for anyone embarking on the difficult path to publication.”
The Joan Hessayon Award is sponsored by gardening expert Dr. David Hessayon OBE, in honour of his late wife Joan, who was a longstanding member of the RNA and a supporter of the New Writers' Scheme.
The award will be presented at the RNA Summer Party on Thursday 19th May.