Joanna Trollope wins Lifetime Achievement Award at RNA Pure Passion Awards 2010

Above, left to right: Romantic Comedy Award winner Jane Costello, Lifetime Achievement winner Joanna Trollope, Romantic Novel of the Year winner Lucy Dillon, Romantic Film of the Year winner Lynn Barber

The Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) today marked their 50th Anniversary by honouring two of the world’s best-selling and much-loved authors, Maeve Binchy and Joanna Trollope, with Lifetime Achievement Awards for their contributions to this ever popular, block-busting genre. The winners were announced today at the RNA’s Pure Passion Awards lunch at the Royal Garden Hotel, London, hosted by critic and TV personality Barry Norman.

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The Lifetime Achievement Award is the second award Joanna Trollope has received from the RNA having, thirty years ago, won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award for her novel Parson Harding’s Daughter (1980).

Joanna Trollope said, ‘I am amazed and thrilled to be given this, and so touched, too. Of course it means a lot in itself, but it means even more to me because I have such admiration and respect for the RNA, which must be one of the most professional and supportive of literary associations around, as all its aspiring writer members know, and of course, I was one of them, once…So my pleasure and gratitude are very heartfelt.’

Maeve Binchy was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of the joy she has given to millions of readers around the world.  Her first novel, Light A Penny Candle was published in 1982, and her books have sold an estimated 45 million copies in 39 countries worldwide.

Maeve Binchy said, on being presented with her award in Ireland, ‘Thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to say how delighted I am with my Lifetime Achievement Award, and to have it on the 50th anniversary is even better. I’ve always admired the Association because it’s managed to make us believe that stories are important and that we can get lost in the lives of other people.’ 

The RNA’s long-standing and hotly-contested Romantic Novel of the Year and Love Story of the Year awards, highly respected within the publishing industry, were also presented.  In honour of the 50th Anniversary, several new awards were introduced this year:  the Romantic Film of the Year, The Romantic Comedy Award and The People’s Choice Award.  In keeping with the RNA’s desire to help emerging authors, The Harry Bowling Prize for New Writing was included in the RNA ceremony for the first time.

Winner of The Romantic Novel of the Year 2010, which recognises the best of the year’s novels exploring the ‘deep mysteries of the human heart’, is Lucy Dillon’s Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts, published by Hodder & Stoughton.   

Katie Fforde, Chair of the RNA, said, ‘The new awards introduced to celebrate the RNA’s 50th year not only showcase this fantastic, best-selling and popular genre but also provide a wonderful excuse for readers to get to know new writers across the diversity of themes and plots that comprise the romantic fiction genre.’  

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