I can’t believe that it’s a whole year since the Romantic Novelists’ Association Summer Party 2017, where I graduated from their New Writer’s Scheme by being a contender in the Joan Hessayon Award. Last Year, Kate Field won with The Magic of Ramblings.
The 2018 Summer Party was held in Oxford and it was a real treat to travel on the train with three other writing friends to support the many fellow writers who were contenders for the award. Liz Hanbury produced non-alcoholic cocktails and fruit kebabs from her bag as soon as the train had pulled out of the station – she knows how to travel!
I had been invited to afternoon tea with an audio publisher and met up with fellow Choc Lit authors including Victoria Cornwall and Sue McDonagh at the cafe. Lovely to chat to Katie Fforde, Nicola Pryce and Cathy Bramley as we munched cake and scones and drank tea. Thank you to Becky and Aimee from Isis Publishing and Soundings for hosting the event.
The AGM and Summer Party were held at the wonderful Ashmolean Museum. I must find time to go back and have a look at the exhibits. The short list for this year’s Joan Hessayon award was huge (17 writers) and a great testimony to the wonderful New Writers’ Scheme. In alphabetical order:
Mick Arnold, The Season for Love, Passion in Print
Donna Ashcroft, Summer at the Castle Café, Bookouture
Susanna Bavin, The Deserter’s Daughter, Allison & Busby
Cryssa Bazos, Traitor’s Knot, Endeavour Press
Hannah Begbie, Mother, Harper Collins
Anita Belli, The Traveller and the Rose, Endeavour Press
Lynn Forth, Love in La La Land, Crooked Cat
Erin Green, A Christmas Wish, Aria Fiction
Lisa Hill, Meet Me at Number Five, Choc Lit
John Jackson, Heart of Stone, Crooked Cat
Jane Lacey-Crane, Secrets and Tea at Rosie Lee’s, Aria Fiction
Zoe May, Perfect Match, HQ Digital
Sue McDonagh, Summer at the Art Café, Choc Lit
Kate Ryder, Summer in a Cornish Cove, Aria Fiction
Elaine Roberts, The Foyles Bookshop Girls, Aria Fiction
Tanya Jean Russell, Broken Trust, Evernight Publishing
Awen Thornber, Foxtrot in Freshby, Crooked Cat
Kate Field, last year’s winner gave a very moving handover speech to the new winner, Hannah Begbie with her debut novel, Mother. Hannah also gave a mascara threatening speech, which had many of the audience wiping away a tear.
We had a lovely time. Writers know how to party – they don’t get out much!!