The RITA Award

RITA winner sealThe purpose of the RITA award 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.


About the Contest

Up to 2,000 romance novels are entered in the RITA competition. A novel may be entered either by the author or by the book's publisher in one of the contest categories. After the first round of judging by published romance authors, entries that meet the qualifications to become a finalist then advance to the final round.

Once RWA announces the RITA finalists, a final round of judges evaluates and scores these novels to determine the RITA Award winners. The RITA Award winners are announced at a black tie awards ceremony at the RWA Annual Conference.

The word RITA® and the RITA statuette are registered service marks belonging to RWA. The drawing of the RITA statuette may not be used in generic fashion as a logo or decorative motif for any purpose in any publication not explicitly authorized by RWA. Permission to use RITA and Golden Heart symbols and institutional marks of RWA for any publication in other than fair use hard-news reporting must be obtained in writing from RWA.