New Talent Award aims to uncover romantic fiction authors of the future

I had such a great time at the Festival of Romance last year (slightly influenced by Love & Freedom winning the Best Romantic Read Award) that I signed up for this year’s Festival (in Bedford 16th-18th November) as soon as it became possible to do so. I shall be at the Festival Gala Ball on Friday evening, the Romance Fair on Saturday morning and leading a workshop on writing romantic fiction on Saturday afternoon. I’ll be hotfooting it to the Meet the Authors Rock Star Party in the late afternoon and then the literary dinner in the evening. On Sunday I’m attending the authors’ brunch and the Romantic Fiction Conference. I’m sure there is time in my schedule for sleep, too.

What’s great about the Festival this year is that you can either buy the entire weekend package, or just attend the events you wish to. The programme is here.

I’m entering my soon-to-come book, Dream a Little Dream, into the Best Romantic Read Award and, if it’s ready in time, my e-book-only novella, Listen to Your Heart, into the Best Romantic e-book Award. One of the things I like about the Festival (there are too many to list, but one of them) is the New Talent Award. It’s open to everybody, not just festival-goers. This is the announcement from the Festival organisers:

The Festival of Romance is delighted to announce that the New Talent Award will run again this year. The industry judges are Georgina Hawtrey-Woore senior editor at Cornerstones, Random House and Diane Banks, literary agent at the Diane Banks Associates Literary Agency.

The Festival of Romance New Talent Award aims to cast a spotlight on the authors of tomorrow and is open to all writers who have not yet had a book commercially published. Writers may submit the opening chapter (up to 3,500 words) of a romantic novel of any type by 30th September 2012. The winner and runners-up will be announced and presented with trophies at the gala Festival of Romance Awards on Friday 16th November 2012. There is a small entry fee to cover the award administration. Entrants may also gain a critique of their entry written by a professional novelist.

“As part of the Festival of Romance we want to help new writers with talent get their break into the commercial fiction world,” says Kate Allan, chief romantic at the Festival of Romance. “At the Festival of Romance in November we are running writing workshops, an industry conference and chance to meet publishers face to face as well as the New Talent Award. I’m delighted that Georgina Hawtrey-Woore and Diane Banks have agreed to judge this year’s entries.”

Winner of the 2011 New Talent Award Henriette Gyland subsequently garnered a book deal from publishers Choc Lit. Her debut novel Up Close will be published in December 2012.

For more details about how to enter the New Talent Award please see

What a brilliant opportunity to come to the attention of top industry professionals!


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4 responses to “New Talent Award aims to uncover romantic fiction authors of the future

  1. Henriette Gyland

    Like you, I had such a great time last year – partly to do with winning the New Talent Award 🙂 – that I’ve also signed up again for 2012, this year as a participating author (yay!). Last year’s programme was really varied, and I went to talks on subjects I’d never normally have gone to, which was quite an eye opener. An all-round enjoyable weekend.


  2. All sounds good, may have a go at the competition.


  3. Ooooo, that is very tempting, thanks for the info Sue 🙂



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