Every year the Romantic Novelists’ Association holds its annual awards lunch to celebrate the best in romantic fiction. It’s always a wonderful occasion, but this year’s event was extra special, because 2010 is the RNA’s 50anniversary year and everyone was determined to celebrate this in style.
The venue was the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington and from the moment you walked through the doors, you could feel the buzz of excitement as 350 authors, agents, publishers and their guests gathered to find out who had won the prestigious awards. This year there were no less than seven up for grabs, the main one being the Romantic Novel of the Year. And there to present them was Barry Norman, who opened with a short, but amusing speech.
The organisers had really outdone themselves – pink champagne on arrival, fabulous table settings that included gold covered chocolates, and purple hued lighting which matched the “Pure Passion” theme. Delicious food, served with perfect timing by attentive waiters, and the piece de resistance – a dessert called “Pure Chocolate Passion” which really was irresistible.
Tension built as the awards ceremony itself began, and one by one the awards were given out as follows:-
- RNA People’s Choice Award – Louise Douglas with “Missing You”
- RNA Love Story of the Year – Nell Dixon with “Animal Instincts”
- RNA Lifetime Achievement Awards – Maeve Binchy and Joanna Trollope
- RNA Romantic Comedy of the Year – Jane Costello with “The Nearly-Weds”
- Romantic Film of the Year – Lynn Barber for “An Education”
- RNA Romantic Novel of the Year – Lucy Dillon with “Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts”
Congratulations to all these winners!
Clutching goodie bags that contained chocolate (result!) among other things, some of us continued the celebrations in a nearby pub, but that’s another story …