An author’s debut novel will go up against 14 others to win a pretigious award next month.
Jules Wake’s book Talk To Me is among the contenders for The Romantic Novelists’ Association’s (RNA) prestigious Joan Hessayon Award for new writers.
The shortlist is made up of authors whose debut novels have been accepted for publication after passing through the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers Scheme.
Each year 250 places are offered to unpublished writers writing in the romance genre. As part of the scheme, they can submit a complete manuscript for critique by one of the Association’s published authors as well as attend RNA events which offer opportunities to meet and network with publishers, agents and other published authors.
Ever since she was paid for writing an article in the local newspaper, aged seventeen, Jules has wanted to write.
She spent several years in the glamorous world of PR, honing her fiction writing skills on press releases, before focusing on novels.
Her PR background also inspired many of the scenes in her first novel, particularly the trials and tribulations of dealing with celebrities at red carpet events.
Her second novel, From Italy With Love, will be published by HarperImpulse in May.
Jules, who is married to Nick and mum to two teenagers, said: “Graduating from the RNA’s fantastically supportive New Writers’ Scheme is brilliant enough; being among such a fine cast of contenders is wonderful and I think all of us consider ourselves winners for achieving our goal of being published.”
RNA Chairman Pia Fenton said: “This year’s list of contenders once again demonstrates the depth and breadth of the work produced by RNA authors and I am absolutely thrilled that we have another superb group of graduates from our New Writers’ Scheme.
“The New Writers’ Scheme is unique to our association and it’s wonderful to see that it really works. Congratulations to everyone on the list and especially to the winner!”
The Award will be presented at the RNA Summer Party on Thursday, May 21 at a ceremony in London.
The Joan Hessayon Award is sponsored by gardening expert Dr. David Hessayon OBE in honour of his late wife Joan, who was a longstanding member of the RNA and a great supporter of its New Writers’ Scheme.