RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award

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.

To nominate a member for the RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award, click here or e-mail


2017 RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

Beverly Jenkins

Beverly Jenkins 

Beverly Jenkins is a USA Today best-selling author and a prestigious writer of African-American historical romance fiction. She specializes in 19th century African American life and has over thirty published novels to date. She has received numerous awards and has also been featured in many national publications. 


Past Recipients of the RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award

  • 2016: Robyn Carr
  • 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.