"You all feel like winners on the night" a good friend told me, referring to the Romantic Novelists' Association's (RNA) Joan Hessayon Awards. She was so right.
|The award is given in honour of romantic writer, Joan Hessayon|
I figured there can't be many times in a writer's life when your book is up for an award, so I booked a hotel, dug out a dress and heels, and caught the train to London seeing the trip as a treat for myself.
The Joan Hessayon Award is awarded each year to a writer whose book has passed through the New Writers' Scheme and subsequently been published.
|The 14 contenders for the Joan Hessayon award 2016|
There were fourteen contenders this year and it was lovely to meet the other authors, some of whom I 'know' from Twitter. It was also a great opportunity to meet my fellow Accent authors as four of us were in the shortlist.
The evening passed in a blur of posing for photographs and chatting with new friends and old, and before I knew it last year's winner, Brigid Coady, was giving a short speech about what the win has meant for her.
The contenders were each in turn presented with certificates, then - drumroll - the winner was announced, and it was:
Clare Harvey for her novel, The Gunner Girl.
Champagne glasses were raised in celebration!
|Research - honest!|
Next day I took things easy, and made the most of staying near Covent Garden to explore and do some window shopping. I even managed to squeeze in some research for the novel I'm currently working on.
I know, it's a hard life!
Sources and links:
The Romantic Novelists' Association
Clare Harvey's website
Thanks also to John Jackson for his photo
Sophie Claire's (shortlisted!) novel is currently 99p from Amazon