AN author will hope an award win is written in the stars as she makes the shortlist with her debut novel.

Alison May is one of 17 authors to make The Romantic Novelists' Association's shortlist for its prestigious Joan Hessayon Award for new writers.

Her debut novel Much Ado About Sweet Nothing, a retelling of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing set in York, was recently published by Choc Lit.

The story follows Ben Messina, a certified maths genius and romance sceptic, and Trix who meet at university and have been quarrelling and quibbling ever since.

Charming and sensitive, Claudio Messina is very different from his brother, and Trix's best friend, Henrietta, cannot believe her luck when he chooses her.

She grew up in Scarborough and went to university in York.

Mrs May said: "I'm delighted to be a contender for the Joan Hessayon award.

"Without the RNA's New Writers' Scheme I could never have achieved publication when I did, and I feel incredibly lucky to be nominated for the award."

The award will be presented at the RNA Summer Party at the Royal Over-Seas League, Park Place, London on Thursday, May 22.

She will make up part of the Romantic Novelists’ Panel for Worcestershire Literary Festival at St Swithun’s Institute, The Trinity, on Saturday, June 21 from 2pm to 5pm.

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