Romantic Novel longlist revealed

<p>The longlist for the Romantic Novel of the Year 2009 has been announced with bestsellers such as Cecelia Ahern, Harriet Evans, Victoria Hislop among those in the running.</p><p>The shortlist is announced on January 13th. Organised by the Romantic Novelists&#39; Association, the 2009 prize will be awarded at a lunch at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington on February 10th to coincide with Valentine&#39;s Day. Originally read and selected by a panel of 80 readers from all over the country, aged from 20 to 70, the long list will next be reduced to 6 novels by a panel of RNA members. This shortlist then passes to 3 external judges who will select a winner.</p><p>Chairing the panel will be the Bookseller&#39;s books editor Alice O&#39;Keeffe. &quot;I was delighted to be asked to judge the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year Award. There are some fantastic authors writing in this area and we hope to honour the very best next February.&quot;</p><p>Freya North, winner of last year&#39;s prize, said: &quot;During the course of the year, messages of support and congratulations have continued to come in - from readers and the trade alike - and I&#39;m proud to have won an award whose reputation is so widely acknowledged.</p>