The Romantic Book of the Year Award, or Ruby, is our premier award and the only one of its kind in Australia. Judged by Australian readers and writers, this contest is open each year to any Australian or New Zealand author who has published a romance or romantic elements book.

The sections are: Long Romance (65K+), Short Romance (40K-65K), Romantic Elements (40K+) and Romance Novella (10K-40K).

This competition has both digital (ebook) and print entries. If you are a reader of romance and would like to be a judge for this competition, please contact reader-judge-coordinator@romanceaustralia.com  

Last years and previous winners can be seen here.


The Ruby 2017 is for romantic novels (40K+) and novellas (10K–40K), written by Australian or New Zealand authors, which were first published (in digital or print) between 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2016.

Opens: 16 December 2016
Closes: 16 January 2017. Or, once we reach 300 entries.

Sections: Long Romance, Short Romance, Romance Novella, Romantic Elements.

Entry fees: $50/$45.45 (RWA member within Australia/outside Australia) $160/$145.45 (non-member within Australia/outside Australia)

Final round judges:

  • Kat Mayo, writer, reviewer and host of the romance podcast Heart to Heart
  • Danielle Binks, writer, reviewer and chair of LoveOzYA
  • Hayley Shephard, Marketing Assistant and Promotions Coordinator at Booktopia

A Ruby will be awarded for the highest scoring book in each section. For 2017, we are also awarding an overall ‘Romantic Book of the Year’, to be selected from our finalists by a panel of expert industry judges.

Entry limits: 3 entries per person (that means per human being, not per pseudonym).

Before entering, please read the 2017 Ruby rules/conditions for information on choosing the correct section, the entry process and entry fees.

All entrants will be entering the Ruby online:

  • If your book has a digital (ebook) edition, submit digital files with your online entry form. You will need .epub, .mobi (Kindle) and/or .pdf files. Please upload as many of these formats as you have available.
  • If your book doesn’t have a digital edition (or the digital edition cannot be uploaded), you can submit print copies by post – but still fill out the entry form online.

New for this year: all entrants will be judging 1 or 2 books. See the Ruby rules for details – entrants will receive instructions on judging once the contest is under way. It’s easy and fun!

Entries are now closed. Questions? Contact the managers, Jo and Erica: ruby@romanceaustralia.com