RWA Vivian Stephens Industry Award

    The RWA Vivian Stephens Industry Award is presented to one or more professionals in the romance-publishing industry, who is not a writer, who has contributed to the genre or to RWA in a significant and/or continuing manner.

    Named for one of RWA's founders, the RWA Vivian Stephens Industry Award is for an accumulated body of work and may n
    ot be presented every year if no candidate is clearly identified as meeting the level of excellence established by past recipients of the award.

    To nominate an industry professional for the RWA Vivian Stephens Industry Award, click here or e-mail

    2014 RWA Vivian Stephens Industry Award Recipients

    Debra Dixon

    Debra Dixon
    Early in her career, Debra Dixon published with major publishers, wrote 10 books, contributed to 12 anthologies, and served as Vice President of RWA. She’s won RWA’s local, regional and national Service Awards, as well as the prestigious Emma Merritt Service Award. Her popular GMC: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict workshop spawned a book that has become a how-to bible for writers. In 2000, Debra joined Deborah Smith, Sandra Chastain, Gin Ellis, Martha Crockett, Nancy Knight and Donna Ball to form BelleBooks, Inc. The two “Debs” continue as co-publishers and made their first appearance in the Top 10 of Digital Book World’s “Power Publisher Rankings” in 2013.

    Brenda Chin

    Brenda Chin
    Award-winning editor Brenda Chin has worked in the romance industry for more than 25 years. Throughout her many years with Harlequin, she had the opportunity to work with some of the best writers in the business, often buying their first book. Several of the 74 new authors Brenda introduced to Harlequin have gone on to hit the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists. Now, Brenda is taking on a new role—that of editorial director at ImaJinn Books, an imprint of BelleBooks.



















    Past RWA Industry Award Recipients

    • 2013: Bette-Lee Fox, Library Journal
    • 2012: Barbara Vey, Publishers Weekly
    • 2011: award not given
    • 2010: Eileen Hutton, VP, Associate Publisher (retired), Brilliance Audio
    • 2009: Tracy Farrell, editor-at-large, Harlequin Enterprises
    • 2008: Sue Grimshaw, romance buyer, Borders Group
    • 2007: Linda Marrow, vice president/editorial director, Ballantine
    • 2006: Lucia Macro, executive editor, Avon Books
    • 2005: Leslie Wainger, executive editor, Harlequin Enterprises
    • 2004: Donna Hayes, publisher and CEO Harlequin Enterprises, and Isabel Swift, vice president of editorial, Harlequin Enterprises
    • 2003: Donna Seaman, Booklist
    • 2002: award not given
    • 2001: Carol Stacy, Romantic Times publisher
    • 2000: Jeff Bezos, president & CEO,
    • 1999: award not given
    • 1998: Daisy Maryles, executive editor, Publishers Weekly
    • 1997: Kay Murray, attorney, Authors Guild
    • 1996: Evan M. Fogelman, literary agent
    • 1995: Gerald Ratcliff, bookseller
    • 1994: Richard Curtis, literary agent
    • 1993: Jayne Ann Krentz, author
    • 1992: Marilyn Black, publisher, Meteor Kismet
    • 1991: Kate Duffy, executive editor, Meteor Kismet


    Historical note: Waldenbooks was awarded special recognition for contributions to the romance genre in 1990, prior to the inception of the Industry award in 1991. The award was presented to the Waldenbooks romance expert committee comprised of Jennifer McCord, Frances Perrine and Mary Grigg. Prior to 2006, the Vivian Stephens Industry Award was known as the Industry Award. The award name was changed in order to honor one of RWA's founders, Vivian Stephens.