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The RITA® is an award given by the Romance Writers of America (RWA) to the best romance fiction in a given year published by an RWA-recognized publisher. Named after RWA’s first president, Rita Clay Estrada, the RITA® is the highest honor a romance author can receive. Published authors judge entrants in 12 categories. The finalists are generally announced toward the end of March. Winners are announced at RWA's Annual Conference held during the summer.

From its introduction in 1982 until 1989, the RITA® was known as The Golden Medallion. The current award is a gold statue.

RITA® Winners

Golden Medallion Winners

RITA® / Golden Medallion Categories

RITA® categories have evolved and changed over the years in order to better reflect the changing romance market. The year indicated is the first year the category was included in the awards. If it appears that a category was changed or renamed, the original category is grouped with the current category.

RITA® Authors

For a list of authors who have won RITA awards, see category:RITA Winners.