Romance Writers of America: 2018 RITA® Awards

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Romance Writers of America (RWA), the trade association for published and aspiring romance fiction authors, announced the winners of the 2018 RITA® Awards on Thursday, July 19, at a black-tie awards ceremony at its 38th Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado.

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 2018 RITA® Award winners are:

Romance Novella: Forbidden River by Brynn Kelly

Contemporary Romance Long: Falling Hard by Lexi Ryan

Young Adult Romance: Seize Today by Pintip Dunn

Historical Romance Long: Between the Devil and the Duke by Kelly Bowen

Romantic Suspense: The Fixer by HelenKay Dimon

Paranormal Romance: Hunt the Darkness by Stephanie Rowe

Erotic Romance: Wicked Dirty by J. Kenner

Historical Romance Short: Waltzing with the Earl by Catherine Tinley

Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements: Then There Was You by Kara Isaac

Contemporary Romance Short: Second Chance Summer by Kait Nolan

Contemporary Romance Mid-length: Tell Me by Abigail Strom

Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance: Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins

Best First Book: Take the Lead by Alexis Daria

The list of winners, along with author photos and book covers, can be found on the RWA website at



Romance Writers of America’s mission is to advance the professional and common business interests of career-focused romance writers through networking and advocacy and by increasing public awareness of the romance genre. Romance fiction is a $1 billion industry, and it’s a consistent, top-performing category on the best-seller lists. To learn more about romance fiction and RWA, visit

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