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NECRWA no longer presents the First Kiss Award (for unpublished romance writers).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

2018 Finalists and Winners


1st place: Shelly Alexander, It’s In His Arms (Red River Valley #4)

2nd place: Rose Grey*, Waiting for You (Durrell Brothers #1)

3rd place: Maria K. Alexander, Awaken My Heart (Tangled Hearts #3) and Jo McNally, She’s Far from Hollywood



1st place: Jen Doyle*, Holiday House Call (Calling It series)

2nd place: Kate James, Home to Stay (San Diego K-9 Unit #4)

3rd place: Angela Quarles, Earning It



1st place: Kilby Blades, Snapdragon

2nd place: Marie Johnston, Unmistaken Identity

3rd place: Karen Stivali, Moment of Fate (Moments in Time #5)



1st place: Patricia Barletta*, Moon Shadow (Book #2 Auriano Curse series)

2nd place: Abigail Dane, The Viscount and the Valet

3rd place (tie): Lisa Berne, The Laird Takes a Bride (The Penhallow Dynasty #2) and Michelle Sinclair, Never Kiss a Highlander



1st place: Miranda Liasson, Can’t Miss Christmas (Mirror Lake Christmas series)

2nd place: Nancy Herkness, Second To None (Second Glances series)

3rd place: Maria K. Alexander, Believe In My Heart (Tangled Hearts #4)



1st place: Nadine Mutas, To Enthrall the Demon Lord (Love and Magic #4)

2nd place: Gabi Stevens, Mystic

3rd place: Saharra K. Sandhu, Fire in Ice: Tale of the Dragon Rider



1st place: Dana R. Lynn, Plain Target (Amish Country Justice #1)

2nd place: Dana R. Lynn, Amish Christmas Abduction (Amish Country Justice #3)

3rd place: Karen Foley, A Hummingbird Christmas (Glacier Creek #1)



1st place: Abbie Roads, Saving Mercy (Fatal Truth #1)

2nd place: Sarah Andre, Capturing the Queen

3rd place: Katie Reus, Resurrection (Redemption Harbor #1)



1st place: Gina Conkle, To Steal a Viking Bride

2nd place: Sionna Fox*, Etudes, in Symphony Amore: Erotic Stories of Love and Music

3rd place (tie): Jean C. Joachim, The House-Sitter’s Christmas and Madame de Boudoir, King of the Sea



1st place: Ann Gallagher, Having Her Back

2nd place: Meg Kassel, Black Bird of the Gallows

3rd place: C. C. Hunter, The Mortician’s Daughter


GRAND PRIZE ($250 certificate from Barclay Publicity)

Dana R. Lynn, Plain Target (Amish Country Justice #1)


* denotes a NECRWA member

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:

2017-18: Kristen Strassel
2016-17: Myretta Robens
2015-16: Sandy Tabor
2014-15: Mary Reiber
2013-14: Valerie Harris
2012-13: Myretta Robens
2011-12: Hannah Howell
2010-11: Tara Holt
2009-10: Jessica Smith
2008-09: Barbara Keiler
2007-08: Cathryn Parry
2006-07: Liana Dalton
2005-06: Jessica Andersen
2004-05: Lesley Matthews
2003-04: Barbara Wallace
2002-03: Katy Cooper and Cindy Jachrimo (joint recipients)
2001-02: Lori Lotti
2000-01: Michelle Drosos
1999-00: Betsy Eliot
1998-99: Blanche Marriott
1997-98: Terri Pino
1996-97: 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 final First Kiss Contest for unpublished romance writers was held in 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”

First Place: Lynn Lindquist, from “Nothing Left to Lose but Me”
Second Place: Bobbi Ruggiero**, from “Encore”
Third Place: Shelley N. Greene, from “The Fire Walkers”
Fourth Place: Mimi Jean, from “Accidentally Married to a . . . Vampire?”
Fifth Place: Elle Twifold, from “’Til There was You”
Sixth Place: Cindy Thompson, from “The Lavender Trail”