From the RWA website, the awards are:
“The purpose of the RITA® contest is to promote excellence in the romance
genre by recognizing outstanding published romance novels and novellas.
The award itself is a golden statuette named after RWA’s first president, Rita Clay Estrada,
and has become the symbol for excellence in published romance fiction.
Up to 1,200 romance novels from 12 different categories are entered in the RITA competition each year.
A novel may be entered either by the author or by the book’s publisher in one of the 12 categories. After
the first round of judging by published romance authors, the competition narrows to approximately 100 finalists.
Once RWA announces the RITA finalists, a final round of judges evaluates and ranks these novels to determine
the 12 RITA Award winners.”
This years winners range from bestselling author J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts) for New York to Dallas – as Best Romantic Suspense, to Darynda Jones – First Grave on the Right – as Best First Book. You can see the entire list of award winners here. Congratulations to all the nominees and the award winners.