One of the highest honors RWA bestows is the RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is presented to a living author in recognition of significant contributions to the romance genre. To qualify for the award, the recipient's career in romantic fiction must span a minimum of 15 years. Recipients must in some way continue to promote the romance genre, teach romance in fiction, or publish romantic fiction. In 1994 a new requirement was added, that recipients must maintain active RWA membership. Authors are nominated for the award by RWA members and selected by the Board of Directors.
2016 RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient
Robyn Carr was a young mother of two in the mid-1970s when she started writing fiction, an Air Force wife, educated as a nurse, whose husband’s frequent assignment changes made it difficult for her to work in her profession. Little did the aspiring novelist know then, as she wrote with babies on her lap, that she would become one of the world’s most popular authors of romance and women’s fiction, that 11 of her novels would earn the #1 berth on the New York Times best-selling books list.
In the eight years since Robyn’s A Virgin River Christmas scored her first New York Times success in 2008, the Las Vegas author’s novels have spent 231 weeks on that prestigious list. Amazingly, sales of her books in digital and print have risen with each successive novel. Her 20-book Virgin River series alone has netted more than 13 million copies. That series’ sixteenth title, Bring Me Home for Christmas, scored the #1 slot not only on the New York Times list but on two others as well—Publishers Weekly and Barnes and Noble.
Proof of Robyn’s international popularity is also in the numbers. Over the past 17 years, 41 Robyn Carr titles, with collectively 27 million copies in print, have been translated into 19 languages in 30 countries.
Past Recipients of the RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award
- 2015: Carole Mortimer
- 2014: Bertrice Small
- 2013: Mary Jo Putney
- 2012: Brenda Jackson
- 2011: Sharon Sala
- 2010: Debbie Macomber
- 2009: Alison Hart
- 2008: Vicki Lewis Thompson
- 2007: Linda Lael Miller
- 2006: Susan Elizabeth Phillips
- 2005: Linda Howard
- 2004: no award given
- 2003: Heather Graham
- 2002: Maggie Osborne
- 2001: Robin Lee Hatcher
- 2000: Rita Clay Estrada
- 1999: Rosalyn Alsobrook
- 1998: Sandra Brown
- 1997: Nora Roberts
- 1996: Anne Stuart
- 1995: Jayne Ann Krentz
- 1994: Ann Maxwell, aka Elizabeth Lowell
- 1992: Mary Stewart
- 1991: Barbara Mertz
- 1990: Phyllis A. Whitney
- 1989: Eleanor Burford Hibbert
- 1988: Kathleen Woodiwiss
- 1987: Patricia Maxwell, aka Jennifer Blake
- 1986: Roberta Gellis
- 1985: Virginia Myers
- 1984: Ethel Bangert (Virginia Mann)
- 1983: Virginia Nielsen McCall
Historical Note: from 1983 through 1989 the award was called the Golden Treasure. In 1990, it was changed to the Lifetime Achievement Award and then renamed the RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.