Friday, October 22, 2010

The RNA New Writer's Scheme

Most romantic novelists know about the RNA, the Romantic Novelists Association - but new writers may not be aware of one of it's most useful schemes, the New Writer's Scheme, so I'm blogging here today about it to let you all know!

This year the RNA is celebrating it's first 50 years. You can become either a full or an associate member of the RNA if you are a published author, an agent, an editor or a publisher.

If you are unpublished, you can join under the New Writer's Scheme for £93 (£100.50 for non EU members), and for this fee you get a host of goodies, including the opportunity to take part in all RNA activities and also to submit a full-length manuscript for appraisal. This final option is what, for me, made the New Writer's Scheme so attractive. The chance to have my manuscript read and commented on by a reader who was familiar with my genre, and a publishing professional is solid gold to find out how I was getting on, and what areas needed work. In most cases, the reader also scribbles notes in your manuscript, showing areas that could do with tightening, and providing vital feedback that the newbie writer can use to improve their book.

The reason I'm blogging about the New Writer's Scheme now is twofold. The first is that there are only 250 places available, and if you're interested in joining for 2011, you need to be ready on the first of January to sign up, because these places go very very fast, and if you're not aware of it until February you might miss out - so check out the NWS link at the beginning of January!

And the second reason I'm blogging is to tell you that if you manage to achieve publication at a later date of a story submitted to the New Writer's Scheme, your first published work can be entered into the highly prestigious Joan Hessayon Award for New Writers at the RNA. 

I've been a participant in the New Writer's Scheme twice. My first published romance, Catch Me A Catch  (if you have a Kindle it's available here from or here from went through the NWS in 2009, and my second, Bound to Love (to be published in January 2011 as a launch title for Embrace Books) went through the NWS in 2008.

Catch Me A Catch has been entered for the Joan Hessayon Award, 2011, and I'll be going to the RNA Summer Party next summer where they announce the winner!

So if you haven't heard of the NWS scheme, and you write romance and haven't been published, check it out in 2011 - you don't have to have your entry in until mid-year, and it's a great resource for romance writers.


  1. Coo, good luck with CATCH ME A CATCH in the RNA contest. How lovely if it were to win!


  2. Yes, Jane, wouldn't it be great? (fingers and toes crossed)

  3. Ooh thanks for the info - can non-UK people enter? Also good luck for your entries! My fingers and toes are crossed for you :)

  4. Keeping everything crossed for Catch Me A Catch, Sally.


  5. Yes, Rach, they can! I'm in Ireland, and we have no RNA chapters here so I unfortunately can't go to any meetings, but they send out a magazine too, which is nice.
    Hi Suz! Thanks for the crossed everything, I'm sure there'll be some fab contenders, but I'm just glad to be in, tbh!

  6. Yay for the RNA! I was a member of the New Writers' Scheme a few years ago, and I found it so helpful. Good luck for the award - hope to meet you at the summer party.

  7. Rachael, you can submit mss from all over the world! The only problem is the postage...

    Sally, I'm thrilled to bits you are up for the Joan Hessayon next year, I finalled in 2007 with Bedded by a Bad Boy and my good mate (and fellow Modern Heat author) Lucy King won last year. Will be rooting for you at the summer party which I'll probably be attending (don't need an excuse to go schmooze with my romance friends) so it'll be great to see you there.

    And yes, the NWS is terrific, it's how I got published so I can't recommend it highly enough to everyone out there who wants to be a romance writer.

    Heidi x

  8. And Melanie Hilton, the NWS organiser emailed me today to say she'd been trying in vain to leave a comment, so here's what she said:

    "Well done. The forms will go up on the website January 7th (and I'm afraid the fees will go up too!)"

  9. Hi Talli, I'll definitely be looking for you at the summer party! Really looking forward to meeting you in person, after all this time.

  10. Hi Heidi, thanks so much for the cheering! Really looking forward to meeting you there too - I didn't know that about you finalling, it's all very exciting, and even though I'm sure there will be wonderful writers there, I'm very glad to have my hat in the ring, whatever happens!

  11. Congrats Sally! I've got everything crossed for you!

  12. Yey, Sally. Great news!
    And yes the RNA is fabulous. jx

  13. Oooh I might have to give it a go! will go check out the deadlines and stuff :)

  14. Thanks, Judy!
    Hi Rach, yup, check it out, I think its well worth a look...

  15. I am on pins waiting for the forms to go online - unfortunately this year they've reduced the places available to new members by giving existing ones a few days grace to get theirs in first :( and I readily admit, if I don't get a place there will be crying.