Each year, NECRWA honors published romance writers with the New England Readers' Choice Awards. In addition, each year, a member of NECRWA is honored with the Goldrick Service Award.

NECRWA no longer presents the First Kiss Award (for unpublished romance writers).


The New England Readers’ Choice Awards Contest (formerly known as the Readers’ Choice Bean Pot Contest) recognizes excellence in published romance fiction. Our contest is one of the few judged exclusively by fans: librarians, booksellers, and devoted romance readers. Former contest winners include New York Times bestsellers, USA Today bestsellers, and many of the most familiar and beloved authors in the romance field.

The New England Readers’ Choice Awards are presented annually at the Let Your Imagination Take Flight conference.

If you have any questions about the awards or the contest, please contact the Contest Coordinator at [email protected]

2017 New England Readers' Choice Award finalists and winners:

Short Contemporary
First place: Anna DePalo, Second Chance with the CEO
Second place: Barbara Wallace, Winter Wedding for the Prince
Third place (three-way tie): Peggy Jaeger, A Kiss Under the Christmas Lights; Robin Perini, San Antonio Secret; and Barbara Wallace, Christmas Baby for the Princess

Long Contemporary
First place: Babette deJongh, Angel Falls
Second place (tie): Melynda Price, Beneath the Surface; and Melynda Price, Fighting for Control
Third place: Rissa Brahm, Catching Preeya

Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements
First place: Olivia Rae, Redemption
Second place (tie): Laurel Blount, A Family for the Farmer; and Dana R. Lynn, Interrupted Lullaby
Third place: Kat Brookes, His Holiday Matchmaker

Romantic Suspense
First place (tie): Tamra Lassiter, Guiding Fate; and Tara Wyatt, Necessary Risk
Second place: Robin Perini, Forgotten Secrets
Third place (tie): Cate Beauman, Deceiving Bella; and Katie Reus, Love Thy Enemy

First place: Loretta Chase, Dukes Prefer Blondes
Second place: Megan Frampton, One-Eyed Dukes Are Wild
Third place (tie): Linda Broday, To Love a Texas Ranger; and Nicole Elizabeth Kelleher, Wild Lavender

First place: Laura Baumbach, The Dark Side
Second place: Shana Figueroa, Vengeance
Third place: Christina James, Operation Persuade Me

First place: Nadine Mutas, Blood, Breath, and Desire
Second place: Marissa Doyle, Skin Deep
Third place: Michelle Miles, In the Tower of the Wizard King

First place: Tessa Gray, My Dearest Chloe
Second place (tie): Jessica Linden, Bodyguard; and Debra Jess, A Secret Rose
Third place: Katie Reus, Merry Christmas, Baby

See past years' winners and finalists


The NECRWA Goldrick Service Award, first awarded in 1996, is given in honor of the late Bob Goldrick, who, along with his wife Emma, wrote as Emma Goldrick for Harlequin Books. Longtime members of NECRWA, they generously volunteered their time, knowledge, and expertise to the chapter and to their fellow members. Upon Bob Goldrick’s death, the NECRWA Board decided to create a service award that would annually celebrate a member whose contribution to the chapter best exemplified the service, volunteerism, and collegiality that so characterized Bob.

How to nominate a NECRWA member for the Goldrick Award:
The NECRWA Board encourages the membership to nominate any member who has given time, energy, emotional and/or mental stamina to the chapter, especially those unsung members who so often quietly give of themselves without any recognition.

There is no formal nomination form or process. Simply email or mail your written nomination to any member of the Board, including a detailed statement as to why you believe your nominee deserving of the Goldrick Award. The board reviews all nominations and chooses a recipient. Current Board Members are not eligible.

The award is presented annually at the Let Your Imagination Take Flight conference.

If you have any questions about the award, or the nominating process, please contact the president of the Board at [email protected]

Past recipients of the Goldrick Award:

2016: Myretta Robens
2015: Sandy Tabor
2014: Mary Reiber
2013: Valerie Harris
2012: Myretta Robens
2011: Hannah Howell
2010: Tara Holt
2009: Jessica Smith
2008: Barbara Keiler
2007: Cathryn Parry
2006: Liana Dalton
2005: Jessica Andersen
2004: Lesley Matthews
2003: Barbara Wallace
2002: Kathy Cooper and Cindy Jachrimo (joint recipients)
2001: Lori Lotti
2000: Michelle Drosos
1999: Betsy Eliot
1998: Blanche Marriott
1997: Terri Pino
1996: Neringa Bryant and Jo Ann Ferguson (joint recipients)


Unlike many writing contests for unpublished romance writers, which ask authors to send in the first scene of their novel, NECRWA’s First Kiss contest asked authors to submit the scene in which their romantic protagonists kiss for the first time. As the entry instructions specified:

The scene should convey the emotion and romantic conflict between the characters, sparkle with creative dialogue, description, and characterization, and move the story forward. As one of our authors said, “Good kiss scenes are essentially emotional discoveries. The first kiss brings a new closeness...but also a new set of complications.”

NECRWA’s First Kiss Contest for unpublished romance writers was held between 2012 and 2014.

Past winners of the First Kiss Contest:

First Place: Marianne Stephenson, from “Summer Rayne”
Second Place: Christina Alexandra, from “A Duchess Does”
Third Place: Sarah Bailey, from “The Ren”

Honorable Mention:
Angela Bissell, from “When in Rome”
LynneRose Cannon, from “Doing Good”
Tara Wyatt, from “Off Guard”

First Place: Katy Regnery, from “It’s You”
Second Place: Crystal Eliot, from “Lessons in Scandal”
Third Place: Virginia Frost , from “Prop Girl”

Honorable Mention:
Tina Evans, from “One More Night”
Susan Chambers, from “Dragonfly”
Anna Richland, from “The Soldier”

Elle Twifold, from “‘Til There Was You”
Lynn Lindquist, from “Nothing Left to Lose but Me”
Cindy Thompson, from “The Lavender Trail”
Mimi Jean, from “How to Divorce a Vampire”
Shelley N. Greene, from “The Fire Walkers”
Bobbi Ruggiero, from “Encore”