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The RITA Award opens for entries in the fall. Entrants must supply five printed
books by the posted deadline. Each title is judged by five separate judges durin
g the preliminary round. Finalist are announced in mid-March. Winners are announ
ced at the annual award ceremony, held on the last day of RWA's National Confere
nce, which is normally held in July.[3][4] Winners receive a gold statuette, boo
k editors receive a plaque.
Current contest rules may be found on the RWA website (, in the Awar
ds section.
Current award categories are:
Best First Book
Contemporary Romance
Erotic Romance
Historical Romance
Inspirational Romance
Paranormal Romance
Romance Novella
Romantic Suspense
Short Contemporary Romance
Young Adult Romance
Best First Book
2008 Dead Girls Are Easy by Terri Garey
2009 Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs
2010 One Scream Away by Kate Brady
2011 Pieces of Sky by Kaki Warner
2012 First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
2013 The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James
Contemporary Series Romance
2008 Snowbound by Janice Johnson
2009 A Mother's Wish by Karen Templeton
2010 A Not-So-Perfect Past by Beth Andrews
2011 Welcome Home, Cowboy by Karen Templeton
2012 Doukaki's Apprentice by Sarah Morgan
Contemporary Series Romance: Suspense/Adventure
2008 Treasure by Helen Brenna
2009 Danger Signals by Kathleen Creighton
2010 The Soldier's Secret Daughter by Cindy Dees
2011 The Moon That Night by Helen Brenna
2012 Soldier's Last Stand by Cindy Dees
Contemporary Single Title
This award refers to novels that are not part of a series.[5]
This award may correlate to:
Best Category Contemporary Romance in 1982
Various awards in 1983
Best Contemporary 65-80,000 words in 1984
Best Single Title Contemporary 1990 and from 1992 to 1993
Best Contemporary Single Title (Romance) from 1994 to 2008
Past winners:[6]
1982 Winner Take All by Brooke Hastings
Best Contemporary Mainstream Romance: Opal Fires by Lynda Trent
Best Contemporary Sensual Romance: The Hearts Victory by Nora Roberts
Best Contemporary Sweet Romance: Renegade Player by Dixie Browning
1984 This Magic Moment by Nora Roberts & Destiny's Sweet Errand by Deirdre M
1989 Leaves of Fortune by Linda Barlow
1990 Private Relations by Diane Chamberlain
1992 A Man to Die For by Eileen Dreyer
1993 This Time Forever by Kathleen Eagle
1994 Private Scandals by Nora Roberts
1995 Again by Kathleen Gilles Seidel
1996 Born in Ice by Nora Roberts
1997 Daniels Gift by Barbara Freethy
1998 Nobody's Baby But Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
1999 Dream A Little Dream by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
2000 Body Guard by Suzanne Brockmann
2001 First Lady by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
2002 True Confessions by Rachel Gibson
2003 No Place Like Home by Barbara Samuel
2004 Birthright by Nora Roberts
2005 Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
2006 Lakeside Cottage by Susan Wiggs
2007 Adios To My Old Life by Caridad Ferrer
2008 Catch of the Day by Kristan Higgins
2009 Not Another Bad Date by Rachel Gibson
2010 Too Good To Be True by Kristan Higgins
2011 Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis
2012 Boomerang Bride by Fiona Lowe
2013 The Way Back Home by Barbara Freethy
Historical Romance
Best Series Historical: The Bride by Julie Garwood
Best Single Title Historical : Silver Noose by Patricia Gardner
Best Regency Romance: The Rake and the Reformer by Mary Jo Putney
Best Series Historical: A Wild Yearning by Penelope Williamson
Best Single Title Historical : Where Love Dwells by Elizabeth Stuart
Best Regency Romance: The Sandalwood Princess by Loretta Chase
Best Series Historical: The Tender Texan by Jodi Thomas
Best Single Title Historical : Courting Miss Hattie by Pamela Morsi
Best Regency Romance: Emily and the Dark Angel by Jo Beverley
Best Historical Series: The Prisoner by Cheryl Reavis
Best Historical Single Title: Keeper of the Dream by Penelope Williamson
Best Regency Romance: An Unwilling Bride by Jo Beverley
Best Historical Series: My Lady Notorious by Jo Beverley
Best Historical Single Title: Untamed by Elizabeth Lowell
Best Regency Romance : Deidre and Don Juan by Jo Beverley
Best Historical Romance: To Tame a Texans Heart by Jodi Thomas
Best Long Historical Romance: Dancing on the Wind by Mary Jo Putney
Best Regency Romance: Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand by Carla Kelly
Long Historical Romance: Something Shady by Pamela Morsi
Short Historical Romance: Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
Best Regency Romance: Gwen's Christmas Ghost by Lynn Kerstan and Alicia
Long Historical Romance: Conors Way by Laura Lee Guhrke
Short Historical Romance: Always to Remember by Lorraine Heath
Best Regency Romance: The Lady's Companion by Carla Kelly
Long Historical Romance: Promise of Jenny Jones by Maggie Osborne
Short Historical Romance: Heart of a Knight by Barbara Samuel
Best Regency Romance: Love's Reward by Jean R. Ewing
Long Historical Romance: My Dearest Enemy by Connie Brockway
Short Historical Romance:
Best Regency Romance: His Grace Endures by Emma Jenson
Long Historical Romance: Silken Threads by Patricia Ryan
Short Historical Romance: The Proposition by Judith Ivory
Best Regency Romance: The Rake's Retreat by Nancy Butler
Long Historical Romance: Devilish by Jo Beverley
Short Historical Romance:
Best Regency Romance: A Grand Design by Emma Jensen
Long Historical Romance: The Bridal Season by Connie Brockway
Short Historical Romance: Tempt Me Twice by Barbara Dawson Smith
Best Regency Romance: Much Obliged by Jessica Benson
Long Historical Romance: Stealing Heaven by Madeline Hunter
Short Historical Romance: The Bride Fair by Cheryl Reavis
Best Regency Romance: A Debt to Delia by Barbara Metzger
Long Historical Romance: The Destiny by Kathleen Givens
Short Historical Romance: Worth Any Price by Lisa Kleypas
Best Regency Romance: Prospero's Daughter by Nancy Butler
Long Historical Romance: Shadowheart by Laura Kinsale
Short Historical Romance: A Wanted Man by Susan Kay Law
Best Regency Romance: A Passionate Endeavor by Sophia Nash
Long Historical Romance: The Devil to Pay by Liz Carlyle
Short Historical Romance: The Texan's Reward by Jodi Thomas
Best Regency Romance: A Reputable Rake by Diane Gaston
Long Historical Romance: On the Way To the Wedding by Julia Quinn
Short Historical Romance: The Book of True Desires by Batina Krahn
Historical Romance: Lessons of Desire by Madeline Hunter
Regency Historical Romance: The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever b
y Julia Quinn
Historical Romance: The Edge of Impropriety by Pam Rosenthal
Regency Historical Romance: My Lord and Spymaster by Joanna Bourne
Historical Romance: Not Quite a Husband by Sherry Thomas
Regency Historical Romance: What Happens in London by Julia Quinn
Historical Romance: His at Night by Sherry Thomas
Regency Historical Romance: The Mischief of the Mistletoe by Lauren Will
Historical Romance: The Black Hawk by Joanna Bourne
Regency Historical Romance: A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare
Historical Romance: A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean
Inspirational Romance
2008 A Touch of Grace by Linda Goodnight
2009 Finding Stefanie by Susan May Warren
2010 The Inheritance by Tamera Alexander
2011 In Harm's Way by Irene Hannon
2012 The Measure of Katie Calloway by Serena B. Miller
2013 Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden
Long Contemporary Series Romance
2013 A Gift For All Season by Karen Templeton
Novel with Strong Romantic Elements
This award may correlate to:
Best Romance from 1990 to 1996
RWA's Favorite Book in 1998
Best Novel With Strong Romantic Elements from 2004 to 2008
Past winners are:[6]
1990 Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer
1991 The Prince of Midnight by Laura Kinsale
1992 Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
1993 Come Spring by Jill Marie Landis
1994 Lord of the Night by Susan Wiggs
1995 It Had To Be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
1996 Born in Ice by Nora Roberts
1998 Nobody's Baby But Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
2004 Between Sisters by Kristin Hannah
2005 A.K.A. Goddess by Evelyn Vaughn
2006 Lady Luck's Map of Vegas by Barbara Samuel
2007 A Lady Raised High by Jennifer Ashley w/a Laurien Gardner
2008 Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn
2009 Tribute by Nora Roberts
2010 The Lost Recipe for Happiness by Barbara O'Neal
2011 Welcome to Harmony by Jodi Thomas
2012 How to Bake a Perfect Life by Barbara O'Neal
2013 The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James
Paranormal Romance
2008 Lover Revealed by J.R. Ward
2009 Seducing Mr. Darcy by Gwen Cready
2010 Kiss of a Demon King by Kresley Cole
2011 Unchained: The Dark Forgotten by Sharon Ashwood
2012 Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison
2013 Shadow's Claim by Kresley Cole
Romance Novella
2008 "Born in My Heart" by Jennifer Greene in Like Mother, Like Daughter
2009 "The Fall of Rogue Gerard" by Stephanie Laurens in It Happened One Nigh
2010 "The Christmas Eve Promise" by Molly O'Keefe in The Night Before Christ
2011 "Shifting Sea" by Virginia Kantra in Burning Up
2012 I Love the Earl by Caroline Linden
2013 Seduced by a Pirate by Eloisa James
Romantic Suspense
2008 Ice Blue by Anne Stuart
2009 Take No Prisoners by Cindy Gerard
2010 Whisper of Warning by Laura Griffin
2011 Silent Scream by Karen Rose
2012 New York to Dallas by J.D. Robb
2013 Scorched by Laura Griffin
Short Contemporary Series Romance
2013 A Night of No Return by Sarah Morgan
Young Adult Romance
2008 Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
2009 Hell Week by Rosemary Clement-Moore
2010 Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
2011 The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
2012 Enclave by Ann Aguirre
2013 The Farm by Emily McKay