Sainsbury's and HarperImpulse are among the winners at the Romantic Novelists’ Association's (RNA) annual industry awards. Meanwhile, Shirley Everall was presented with the inaugural Librarian of the Year award.
Audience development officer at Hertfordshire Libraries Everall was praised by association for hosting a "great number of events" for RNA members, and promoting romantic fiction in Hertfordshire Libraries, while runner-up Rachel Gee, from Tiverton Library, was nominated for her "continual support and proactivity in promoting romantic fiction". The new award recognises the "important work" that librarians do in supporting the romantic fiction genre, and the RNA in particular.
Five other awards were presented during the RNA’s Winter Party, held in the Library at the Institute of Mechanical Engineers in London.
Romantic Bookseller of the Year was awarded to Kearan Ramful, book buyer for Sainsbury’s Plc, for his "continuing support" for romantic fiction by selecting many romantic titles for Sainsbury’s stores. Runner-up was David Headley and his team at Goldsboro Books.
The award for best adaptation of a romantic novel, whether for stage, screen (TV or movie) or radio went to Debbie Horsfield for the third series of "Poldark". The judges said: "After three series, 'Poldark' remains a fantastic series with stunning scenery, excellent casting, and still stays close to the original text. It is one of those can't-be-missed programmes, with a charismatic but flawed hero and heroine."
Runner-up was Whit Stillman and Jane Austen for "Love and Friendship", a film based on Jane Austen’s novella.
Left-right: RNA vice chair, Alison Mayn; Librarian of the Year, Shirley Everall; Agent of the Year, Broo Doherty; Romantic Bookseller of the Year, Kearan Ramful; winner of the Best Adaptation of a Romantic Novel, Debbie Horsfield; and Publisher of the Year, Charlotte Ledger.
Blogger Linda Hill was awarded Media Star of the Year for her continued support for romance novels through retweeting, reviewing and blogging. "Friendly and professional, even when her [to be read] pile is overflowing, she’ll take more books on, going above and beyond the call of duty, and all with a smile," the judges said. Blogger Kaisha Holloway was runner-up in the category and was nominated for her "great support" for authors and her "honest, detailed and reflective reviews which are constructively critical".
Agent of the Year was awarded to Broo Doherty of the D H H Literary Agency, for her championing of romantic fiction and support for the RNA. "With a list featuring several authors in the genre, she provides guidance and great support to her clients, being honest and tactful, as well as kind, supportive and savvy about romantic fiction", said the judges.
Runner-up was Rebecca Ritchie of the AM Heath Agency, nominated for her "dedication, warmth and genuine passion for the genre."
Meanwhile, publisher of the Year was awarded to Charlotte Ledger at HarperImpulse, for her "tireless championing" of romance novels at HarperCollins, giving many debut novelists "their first break". According to the judges: "Open and honest, she provides transparent dealings with those authors under her wing and many nominated her, citing that working with Charlotte is a team effort, and she has a real personal touch when it comes to developing writers’ careers.
Runner-up was publishing company D C Thompson, a "stalwart and steady publisher of a great number of members over the years".
The RNA Industry Awards are decided by the membership, with every member eligible to nominate within each category. The awards were presented at the RNA’s Winter Party at the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, Birdcage Walk, London on 15th November 2017.