Ruby Award Winners – Romance Writers of Australia 2021

February 4, 2022


One of the highlights of any Romance Writers of Australia Conference is the announcement of The Romantic Book of the Year Award. This award, affectionately known as the RUBY, is announced each year at the Gala Awards Dinner. It’s the groups most prestigious award and the only one of its kind in Australia. Judged by Australian readers and writers this award is open each year to any Australian or New Zealand author who has published a romance or romantic elements book.

Recent winners include the well known romance authors – Amy Andrews, Fiona McArthur, Bronwyn Parry, Rachael Johns, Penelope Janu, Maddison Michaels and Keri Arthur. The winners of the 2021 awards have had to wait much longer than usual to receive their RUBY, so the excitement in the room on awards night was palpable. The RUBY Awards are like the Academy Awards for Australian romance books and are kept a carefully guarded secret.

Not all finalists could make it to the ceremony due to border restrictions, so the RUBY Award Winners were this year live-streamed. Well loved MC and previous winner, Amy Andrews, invited some of our favourite authors to announce the winners on the night. There were several categories from Contemporary Romance through to Romantic Elements and authors also have the option to enter the new Novella category. The competition is open to both digital (ebook) and print entries. 

So without further ado….. Drum roll, please…

The winners of the 2021 Romantic Book of the Year Awards are: 

Contemporary – Madeline Ash for Her Cowboy Prince Historical – Janis Linford for An Unexpected CompanionSpeculative – Michelle Diener for High FlyerRomantic Elements – Fiona Lowe for Just an Ordinary FamilyRomantic Suspense – Shannon Curtis for Easy Target Novella – Anne Gracie for The Christmas Bride


Congratulations to all nominees and winners. Congratulations must also go to Tanya Kean and her team for organising such a fabulous event in the most difficult of circumstances. Their determination, resilience and hard work ensured that the 2021 event on the beautiful Gold Coast could go ahead for their excited participants.Tanya was rewarded by winning the Lynn Wilding Award for Meritorious Service for her outstanding contribution as a volunteer. 

Tanya Kean has been a volunteer since 2018. She helped organise the Melbourne conference and the online conference in 2020. I remember Tanya organising we ‘ Newbies ‘ at the Brisbane conference in 2017 and we have both become fast friends after we both had stories published in the Destination Romance anthology. Her dedication and tireless work are appreciated greatly within the Romance community and beyond. 

Nominations for next year’s Ruby awards are now open. Maybe it will be your name called out at the Gala Awards  in Fremantle. For a full list of nominees and romance awards for 2021 head to the Romance Writers of Australia. Has your favourite romance been included?

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