Romance Writers of America (RWA), the trade association for published and aspiring romance fiction authors, announced the winners of the 2019 RITA® Awards on Friday, July 26, at a black-tie awards ceremony at its 39th Annual Conference in New York New York. The evening was hosted by Sarah MacLean and was notable for its celebration of diversity within the genre. The entire ceremony can be seen here. RWA has also compiled a stellar list of Trailblazing romances that may be seen here.
The RITA® Award is the highest award of distinction in romance fiction and recognizes outstanding published romance novels and novellas.
Up to 2,000 romance novels and novellas from 13 different categories are judged each year in the RITA® competition. After the first round of judging by fellow published romance authors, the competition narrows to approximately 100 finalists. Then, final round judges, also published romance authors, select one winner in each category from among the finalists.
The 2019 RITA® Award winners are:
Romance Novella: Bad Blood by M. Malone
Young Adult Romance: My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma
Romantic Suspense: Fearless by Elizabeth Dyer
Paranormal Romance: Dearest Ivie by J. R. Ward
Erotic Romance: Three-Way Split by Elia Winters
Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements: The Saturday Night Supper Club by Carla Laureano
Contemporary Romance Short: The Bachelor’s Baby Surprise by Teri Wilson
Best First Book: Lady in Waiting by Marie Tremayne