Two Orion Dash titles have been nominated for the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) Joan Hessayon Award for new writers.
The contenders for this award are all authors whose debut novels have been accepted for publication after passing through the RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme. Each year, unpublished authors are invited to join the scheme, which features conference sessions and opportunities to network, meeting industry professionals and other authors. They are also invited to submit their work in progress for a critique by one of the association’s published authors.
The authors listed for Orion’s digital imprint are Kate G Smith with You’ve Got Mail, and Victoria Springfield with The Italian Holiday.
Commenting on the contenders for 2021, RNA president Katie Fforde said: “One of the most exciting times in the RNA year is when the Joan Hessayon candidates are announced. These are the writers who have come through our New Writers’ Scheme and have achieved publication. The standard is always high and these ‘new writers’ often go on to become bestsellers. I know I’m not the only one who feels extremely proud of them all. They feel like our own and we all get huge pleasure from their success.”
The award is sponsored by gardening expert Dr David Hessayon in honour of his late wife Joan, who was a longstanding member of the RNA and a supporter of its New Writers’ Scheme. The award will be announced on 18th September at the RNA’s York Afternoon Tea at Merchant Taylors’ Hall in Aldwark. It is judged by author and chair of Authors North Rhoda Baxter, Laura Longrigg of MBA Literary Agents and Sara-Jade Virtue, fiction brand development director at Simon & Schuster.
The shortlist in full: