In these troubled times, love is surely what we need. For one another, and incorporated into a good, escapist story.

The Romantic Novelists’ Association has launched the RNA Learning Programme as part of its sixtieth diamond anniversary celebrations.

Online workshops will take place this autumn, with monthly web-based workshops covering writing, craft, technical skills for writers and the business of writing and publishing. They will be open to RNA members, but ALSO TO NON-MEMBERS.

In addition, as part of its ongoing commitment to widening opportunities for romantic fiction writers, a number of RNA Diamond Bursaries are available to new and mid-career writers from under-represented backgrounds for membership of the New Writers’ Scheme, which includes a full manuscript assessment.

Their New Writers’ Scheme is something I joined myself this January and I consider it one of the best investments I have made. The manuscript that I submitted to them had a minor character killed off half-way through, only to mysteriously reappear at the end, fit and well. It also included incorrect information about an inheritance, which my mentor – carefully chosen to be knowledgeable about historical novels – tactfully drew to my attention. There was praise for what I had got right, and constructive suggestions about how I could strengthen my plot. That it was a worthwhile investment can be seen from the fact that the manuscript subsequently went on to win the Historical Writers’ Association 2020 Unpublished Novel Award.

The RNA are not only about light-hearted Regency romances. They simply require an element of love incorporated in your plot. Jane Austen did so, as did Charlotte Bronte and many others.

Why not take a look at what they have to offer?