The Romantic Novelists’ Association has announced the judges for this year's Goldsboro Books Romantic Novel of the Year. Among the judging panel this year is our very own LoveReading Expert Reviewer, Liz Robinson. Liz is joined by Fiction Buyer Matt Bates, editor Alex Hammond, and writer Elizabeth Buchan on the judging panel.
300 books have been submitted by hopeful writers to this year's Romantic Novel of the Year Awards. The submissions are narrowed down, with a shortlist to be announced on the 8th February. The winner will be announced by Richard Coles at the RoNA Awards in London on the 5th March. This prestigious event will be hosted by a familiar face, the Reverend Richard Coles. Rev. Richard will present the winner with a trophy and a cheque for £5,000 at The Gladstone Library in London. The event's host first became famous as a part of the 80s chart-topping bands Bronski Beat and The Communards. Following his musical success, Richard became a Church of England priest. However, he remains a popular figure, most recently appeared as a contestant in the latest season of Strictly Come Dancing.
There will be seven awards up for grabs at the Romantic Novel Awards: Contemporary, Epic, Historical, Paranormal or speculative Fiction, Romantic Comedy, Young Adult and the RoNA Rose Award for Shorter Romantic Novel. The four independent judges will read the winners of each category and then decide the overall winner of the Award. The RNA Chair Nicola Cornick has said that they are “thrilled to have such an enthusiastic and knowledgeable panel of judges with such a commitment to the romantic fiction genre”.
We look forward to finding out the winner of the Goldsboro Books Romantic Novel of the Year!
A Bit More About the Judges
Matt Bates is a Fiction Buyer for WH Smith Travel. He featured in the Evening Standard Top 1000 most influential Londoners. Aside from his work, Matt has also contributed to book-related articles for The Daily Telegraph, Daily Express and The Bookseller. The RNA awarded Matt Bates the Bookseller of the Year Award in 2015, and he was a judge for the Novel category of The Costa Book Prize and The Booksellers’ Association Debut Fiction Category Prize in 2016.
The editor, Alex Hammond holds a BA (Hons) in American Literature with Creative Writing and an MA in Creative Writing. Alex is also currently working towards his PhD in Creative Writing. With a CV that includes working with literacy agency Rogers, Coleridge & White, with a number of different authors such as Zadie Smith, Phillip Henser and Joe Dunthorne, Alex is now an editor, mentor and scout as part of the Cornerstones Literary Consultancy in 2014.
Elizabeth Buchan had a job in publishing before becoming a full-time writer. Consider the Lily won he Romantic Novel of the Year in 1994, and Middle-Aged Woman not only became an international bestseller but was transformed into a CBS Primetime Drama. The author was also the chair of the RNA, the Betty Trask and Desmond Elliot literary prizes. Elizabeth has also been a judge for the Whitbread First Novel Award and the 2014 Costa Novel Award. Her vast judging experience will mean she knows exactly the quality required for an award-winning book.
Liz Robinson has been a part of the team at LoveReading since the start of 2014. Liz is an integral member of our panel of expert reviewers and the editorial team. Before this Liz worked as a Police Civilian for twenty years. During this time, one of her roles was a Criminal Intelligence Analyst. Her well-honed scrutiny will be perfect when working to choose the Goldsboro Books Romantic Novel of the Year. Liz enjoys all genres from crime, mysteries and thrillers to romance, family dramas and relationship tales.