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 email


2018 RWA Vivian Stephens Industry Award Recipient

Pamela Jaffee, Avon Books

Pam Jaffee 

After a decade promoting romance novels—among other products—at various New York City PR agencies, Pam joined HarperCollins as the head of publicity for Avon Books in 2003. By 2014, she became the senior director of publicity and brand management for both Avon as well as Voyager, HarperCollins’ science fiction/fantasy imprint. For more than twenty years, Pam has worked concertedly to create more opportunity for romance and its authors and elevate discussion about the genre among mainstream media, booksellers, and the reading public. As one self-appointed champion of the industry, Pam has worked with authors and publishing professionals to seed positive and influential romance coverage in major outlets (including CBS Sunday Morning, CNN, The Today Show, National Public Radio, The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, Shondaland … and more!). She spearheaded the launch of Avon’s hugely successful KissCon event platform, has convinced major literary festivals across the United States to embrace romance programming, has worked directly with Independent bookstores to increase understanding/adoption of romance fiction, and speaks widely at regional trade shows and conferences to promote the genre and its hugely talented author base. 


Past RWA Industry Award Recipients

  • 2017: Tina Dick, editor in chief, Walking in the Clouds
  • 2016: Carrie Feron, HarperCollins
  • 2015: Mary-Theresa Hussey, Harlequin Books
  • 2014: Debra Dixon, BelleBooks, and Brenda Chin, ImaJin Books
  • 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.