Friday, October 29, 2021


When I started this blog, over 20 years ago, I could never have predicted writing this post. I'm still so overwhelmed, I'm going to reproduce the press release sent out by the Romantic Novelists' Association rather than find my own words. 


FRIDAY 29TH OCTOBER 2021 London Indie Editor, Debi Alper, has won the Indie Editor of the Year award for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s annual Industry Awards for 2021. The awards, which include four exciting new categories for this year, celebrate the hard work and talent of any person, group or organisation who has championed the broad genre of romantic fiction in a positive way. The Indie Editor of the Year award recognises an editor who has worked on an independently published novel that falls within the scope of romantic fiction, and who embraces the genre, supports writers to produce their best work, and is innovative, creative and visionary in the marketing and promotion of romantic fiction on every level.

Debi is an author, freelance editor and creative writing tutor. Since 2006, Debi has spent her time helping other writers to perfect their novels through critiques, mentoring, Book Doctor sessions and creative writing workshops. She also runs the phenomenally successful Jericho Writers’ Self-Edit Your Novel course, together with Emma Darwin. An astonishing one in four authors from the first five years of the course are now published. Debi also acts as a competition judge, is on the jury for the London Independent Story Prize and is a reader for the Costa Short Story Awards.

She commented, I would like to dedicate this award to the hundreds of authors I've worked with over the years, many of whose novels now grace my bookshelves. The world needs your stories and I'm so privileged and proud to have been a part of such wonderful journeys.”

Laura James, the RNA Industry Awards organiser, commented, I am delighted for the recipients of this year's Romantic Novelists' Association Industry Awards and applaud their wonderful skill and creativity. The range and depth of expertise and their dedication in supporting romantic fiction is outstanding. Honouring the winners has been a pleasure and a privilege.”

The awards, which have been held for the eighth time, are highly respected in the UK publishing industry. The shortlistees are nominated by the full and associate membership of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, with the winners being chosen by a panel of judges.

The new award categories recognise the best Narrator, Named Cover Designer, Indie Editor, and Indie Champion of the Year. Along with the best Bookseller, Media Star, Agent, Publisher or Editor, Library or Librarian, and the Inclusion Award for championing inclusivity in romantic authorship and publishing, they spotlight the many professionals who promote and support romantic fiction.

The winners of the ten awards were announced during the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Winter Party and Industry Awards ceremony, which was held at the Leonardo Royal Hotel London City, 8-14 Cooper’s Row, London EC3N 2BQ, on Thursday 28th October 2021.


Debi commented, “I became a published author – and a parent – in my forties, having worked in a variety of jobs after leaving school. I began working full-time as a freelance editor in my fifties. Now in my sixties, I have my dream job and can’t imagine ever wanting to retire. I like to think that I’m proof that age need not be a barrier to success, nor do you need a string of academic qualifications.”

With Orna Ross from ALLi, who won the Indie Champion of the Year


Tuesday, October 05, 2021

I'm still here!

 Ah, my poor neglected blog. What a lot has happened in the world since I last posted in 2019. 

I'm breaking radio silence to announce some BIG news! I'm blown away to have been shortlisted by the RNA for their inaugural Indie Editor of the Year Award 2021. I know, right? I love what I do - who wouldn't? I spend all day (and quite a lot of my nights) working with wonderful authors on fabulous stories. That brings its own rewards and I never expected to be recognised in this way for doing the job I enjoy so much. It's as if a dream that I never knew that I had has come true. Here's the announcement in the Bookseller

I'll also get to go to the famous RNA awards party! For years, I've seen photos on social media and thought these events looked like such fun, never guessing that I would be there myself one day in this capacity. 

It's going to take some adjustment. Like many people, I'm not used to socialising after well over a year of keeping my head down and, in any case, I'm always more comfortable with the spotlight shining on someone else, having the satisfaction of having helped them to get there. I'm going to have words with myself though and own this. I like to think I'm proof that age is no barrier to success, nor do you need academic qualifications to know how stories work.