Last Saturday, the Romance Writers of Australia (RWA) held their annual R*BY (Romantic Book of the Year) awards dinner to honour the best books written by Australian romance authors.
Historical romance author Anne Gracie was given a standing ovation as she accepted her honorary life member award.
The R*BY in the Short and Sweet category went to Melanie Milburne for The Doctor’s Rebel Knight. Lindsay Armstrong took out the Short and Sexy category for The Socialite and the Cattle King. The R*BY in the Long Romance was awarded to Sophia James for her historical novel One Unashamed Night, featuring a blind hero. Romantic suspense author Helene Young won the R*BY for Romantic Elements with her debut novel, Wings of Fear.
The ROMA Award (Romance in the media) was awarded Simon Royal for The Changing Face of Romance (Stateline, ABC South Australia, 28/8/2010), featuring various Australian romance writers and interviews with people in the romance industry.
The RWA awarded the Lynne Wilding Meritorious Award to 2011 conference organiser Louise Reynolds. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the Romance Writers of Australia, and the association recognised the service of Julie Redlich and the support of Mills and Boon Australia by presenting them with special 20th Anniversary Appreciation Awards.
The night also celebrated the achievements of aspiring authors, with the Emerald Awards for best unpublished authors going to Rebecca Skrabl for The Infinite Heart and Emmie Dark for Tycoon’s Choice. It was announced that Dark had been offered a contract by the final judge for the award. The Anna Campbell Award for the highest placed historical in the Emeralds went to Jona Jones for Loving the Earl. Other awards, mainly for aspiring authors, went to:
- Selling Synopsis Award — Fiona McKenzie
- Harlequin Mills and Boon High Five Award (based on the first five pages of an unpublished manucript) — Jackie Coates
- STALI Award (Single Title and Loving It) – Suzanne Webb
- Little Gems Anthology Award — Lynne Kokshoorn
- Little Gems Anthology Cover Contest Winner — Sheridan Kent
- Valerie Parv Award — Michelle de Rooy
Favourite Cover awards were presented to:
- Category Series — Bronwyn Jameson
- Contemporary Series — Christine Stinson for It Takes A Village
- Paranormal Series — Christina Phillips and Tamara Gill (tie)
- Overall Winner — Ebony McKenna for The Autumn Palace
The night concluded with Anne Gracie’s traditional closing speech which celebrated RWA members’ achievements and milestones for the year.
The R*BY awards were presented at the Grand Ballroom at Melbourne’s Hilton on the Park, with Emmie Dark as the emcee.