CONGRATULATIONS – RWA 2013 Award Winners

I wrote this blog post as I returned from the Romance Writers of America conference in Atlanta where about 2100 romance writers and publishing professionals gathered for four days of workshops, networking, and the awards ceremony that is––I kid you not––on par with the Oscars.
RWA was founded in 1980, and today it has over 10,000 members. I had the honor to serve on the Board of Directors for five years, two of which were as RWA’s President. There are so many wonderful people who I am privileged to call “friend” because of RWA.
The Golden Heart Award is highly prized recognition for unpublished writers, and the RITA Award (named for RWA’s first president and co-founder, Rita Clay Estrada) is the highest honor awarded to published romance novels.
This year, I was thrilled to have my book, Betrayal, as a finalist in the Inspirational category of the RITAs. This is my ninth finalist book. Two of my novels have been awarded the RITA: Patterns of Love and The Shepherd’s Voice. But I must add this: Winning or losing awards should never be a yard stick with which authors value ourselves or the books we write. Good thing I’ve learned that lesson because I didn’t bring the RITA Award home this year.
                                                                                                                                            Robin with Rita Estrada

Faith Hope & Love is the inspirational chapter of RWA. We have an active membership of 180+, and our goal is: To promote excellence in romantic fiction and advance the professional interests of career-focused romance writers within the genre of Christian Fiction… The chapter was formed in 1997, and I have had the privilege to serve on its board of directors from then until now. If anyone is a member of RWA and is interested in writing fiction that is informed by the Christian worldview, check out the chapter at
Now without further adieu, allow me to share the 2013 Golden Heart and RITA Award winners. And huge congratulations to them and to all of the other finalists.
Golden Heart
Contemporary Series Romance: Baby on Board––Help! By Miranda Liasson
Contemporary Single Title Romance: Objection Overruled by Jane O’Hanlon
Historical Romance: Drawn to the Earl by Joanna Shupe
Paranormal Romance: Mind Sweeper by Amy Jones w/a AE Jones
Romantic Suspense: Broken Places by Krista Hall Reynolds
Young Adult Romance: Summer of Supernova by Darcy Woods
(Note: Categories that don’t have the required number of entries are not included in that given year.)
RITA Award
Best First Book: The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James
Contemporary Single Title Romance: The Way Back Home by Barbara Freethy
Historical Romance: A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean
Inspirational Romance: Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden
Long Contemporary Series Romance: A Gift for All Seasons by Karen Templeton
Novel with Strong Romantic Elements: The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James
Paranormal Romance: Shadow’s Claim by Kresley Cole
Romance Novella: Seduced by a Pirate by Eloisa James
Romantic Suspense: Scorched by Laura Griffin
Short Contemporary Series Romance: A Night of No Return by Sarah Morgan
Young Adult Romance: The Farm by Emily McKay

                                                        Inspirational finalists who were in Atlanta (from left:
                                                        Missy Tippens, Jennifer Delamere, Robin Lee Hatcher,
                                                        Marta Perry, Rachel Hauck, and Becky Wade)

Both the TBL (unpublished) and the ICRS (published) awards were given out at the Faith, Hope, & Love meeting on Wednesday before the official start of the RWA conference
To see the list of award winners for FHL contests, visit:
Touched by Love Award (unpublished manuscripts)
Inspirational Readers Choice Award (published books)
Robin Lee Hatcher is the author of 70 novels and novellas (historical and contemporary romance as well as women’s fiction). She currently writes for HarperCollins Christian Publishing under both the Zondervan and Thomas Nelson imprints. Robin’s latest release is A Bride for All Seasons, and the third book in the Where the Heart Lives series, Beloved, will release in September 2013. Join Robin on her web site and blog at and on Facebook at You can also find her on Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest.