RWA Board of Directors

To contact the RWA Board of Directors, email [email protected].
For press inquiries, email [email protected] or [email protected].



HelenKay Dimon, President

President-Elect HelenKay DimonTerm expiration: 08/31/2019

HelenKay Dimon is a former trial attorney turned full-time romance author. She has sold over fifty novels and novellas to numerous publishers, including Avon, Penguin Random House, Kensington and Harlequin. Her nationally best-selling and award-winning books have been showcased in numerous venues and twice been excerpted in Cosmo. HelenKay served in numerous board positions in her local RWA chapter (San Diego), including President and Vice President of Programs. She was named the RWA PRO Mentor of the Year in 2010.

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Carolyn Jewel, President-Elect

President-Elect Carolyn JewelTerm expiration: 08/31/2019

Carolyn Jewel is an award-winning author of historical and paranormal romance who has written for publishers such as St. Martin’s Press, HarperCollins, Berkley Books, and Grand Central Forever. She has been a RITA finalist in the Historical and Paranormal categories. In a past day job, she was a web developer. She is currently a Microsoft SQL Server DBA and Data Architect. She leads a team of offshore DBAs for a company with a presence in North America, Europe, and now expanding into Asia. She has written 25 novels, novellas, and short stories, and has self-published backlist as well as front list.

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Renee Ryan, Secretary

Renee RyanTerm expiration: 08/31/2019

Two-time winner of the published Daphne Award, Renee Ryan left her job teaching high school to pursue her dream of writing romance fiction. She credits her ongoing publishing success to her longtime membership in RWA. With over twenty books published, and more scheduled for 2018, she's written in several subgenres including historical romance, contemporary romance, and romantic suspense. A former chapter president and an active volunteer at the local and national level, Renee currently serves as Secretary for the RWA Board of Directors and was the recipient of the 2014 RWA Service Award.

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Nan Dixon, Treasurer

Treasurer Nan DixonTerm expiration: 08/31/2020

Nan Dixon graduated with an accounting degree and passed the CPA and CMA (Certified Management Accountant) exams in one year. She was Senior VP and Chief Financial Officer of a non-profit 150 provider medical group for 14 years. As VP Finance of a pharmaceutical company, her span of control included Treasury, Cash Management, Strategic Planning, IT, Tax, Contracting, Insurance, Real Estate, and Mergers and Acquisitions. She has served as MFW’s Secretary and President and is also a member of TGN. She serves as treasurer of a non-profit dance company. Now writing full-time, Nan has published 6 books with Harlequin.

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Kelley Armstrong, Director-At-Large

Kelley ArmstrongTerm expiration: 08/31/2019

Kelley Armstrong is the author of the Cainsville modern gothic series and Rockton romantic thrillers. Past works include the Otherworld urban fantasy series, the Darkest Powers & Darkness Rising paranormal romance YA trilogies, the Age of Legends YA trilogy, and the Nadia Stafford trilogy. Armstrong lives in Ontario, Canada, with her family.

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Hanna Rhys Barnes, Director-at-Large

Hanna Rhys-BarnesTerm expiration: 08/31/2020

Hanna Rhys Barnes/Tolden Rhys has been a member of RWA for ten years. She has served on committees and boards of several RWA chapters, both local and online. Hanna has been a freelance developmental editor and author coach for the last six years. Though she’s traditionally published in historical romance, Hanna is currently querying her paranormal romance while self-publishing her two holiday romance novellas featuring “seasoned heroines.” Hanna lives on Whidbey Island in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her sassy ginger tabby Nekkohime (Japanese for Cat Princess).

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Jamie Beck, Director-At-Large

Jamie BeckTerm expiration: 08/31/2019

National best-selling author Jamie Beck's realistic and heartwarming stories have sold more than one million copies. She's a 2017 Booksellers Best Award finalist whose work has also been a 2016 Woman's World Book Club pick and hit's "Top Romance Novels of 2015" list. Critics at Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist have respectively called her work "smart," "uplifting," and "entertaining." In addition to writing novels, she enjoys dancing around the kitchen while cooking and hitting the slopes in Vermont and Utah. Above all, she is a grateful wife and mother to a very patient, supportive family.

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Catherine Bybee, Director-at-Large

Catherine BybeeTerm expiration: 08/31/2020

New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today best-selling author Catherine Bybee has written twenty-eight books that have collectively sold more than 5.5 million copies and have been translated into more than eighteen languages. Raised in Washington State, Bybee moved to Southern California in the hope of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. She now writes full-time and has penned several best-selling contemporary romance series.

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Pintip Dunn, Director-at-Large

Pintip DunnTerm expiration: 08/31/2020

Pintip Dunn is a New York Times best-selling author of young adult fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B., and received her J.D. at Yale Law School. Pintip’s novel Forget Tomorrow won the 2016 RWA RITA® for Best First Book, and Seize Today won the 2018 RITA for Best Young Adult Romance. Her books have been translated into four languages, and they have been nominated for the following awards: the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire; the Japanese Sakura Medal; the MASL Truman Award; the Tome Society It list; and the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award.

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Avery Flynn, Director-At-Large

Avery FlynnTerm expiration: 08/31/2019

USA Today best-selling author Avery Flynn has published more than twenty romance novels. She has held committee and/or board leadership positions with the Washington Romance Writers chapter (WRW) and the Kiss of Death chapter (KOD). In addition, she volunteers with RWA, WRW, KOD, the Virginia Romance Writers chapter and the Maryland Romance Writers chapter. Also, she teaches writing workshops on topics from world building and voice to marketing and professional jealousy. Avery believes in happily ever afters, strong heroines, the power of coffee, and that romance is a genre for everyone.

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Shirley Jump, Director-at-Large

Shirley JumpTerm expiration: 08/31/2019

New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Shirley Jump has written more than 50 novels for Berkley, Harlequin, Entangled and Kensington books. A former chapter president and frequent speaker both in the United States and abroad, Shirley’s diverse career has spanned two decades. She has won numerous awards, including the HOLT Medallion, the Booksellers Best Award and Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence. In addition, she’s been nominated multiple times for the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice award.

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Adrienne Mishel, Director-at-Large

Adrienne MishelTerm expiration: 08/31/2019

A member of RWA since 2010, Adrienne Mishel served as RWA Chapter Advisor. She has served as chapter president for her local chapter and has held various positions within CIMRWA and FF&P Special Interest online chapters. She has also served on several national committees and task forces. A PRO member and avid reader, Adrienne turned her love for things that go bump in the night into steamy paranormal romance novels. She’s working hard to get “the call” and is currently querying. Adrienne lives in North Carolina with her husband, kid number three, and two 100-pound lap dogs.

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Priscilla Oliveras, Director-at-Large

Priscilla OliverasTerm expiration: 08/31/2019

Priscilla Oliveras is a four-time Golden Heart® finalist who writes sweet, contemporary romance with a Latinx flavor. Her debut release, His Perfect Partner, earned starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist, while the second in the series, Her Perfect Affair, earned another starred review from PW as well. As a long-time RWA member, Priscilla has served in multiple board roles for several chapters and most recently completed a term as RWA National PRO Advisor. Since earning an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, she serves as English adjunct faculty at her local college and teaches an online course titled “Romance Writing” for ed2go. Priscilla is a sports fan, a beach lover, a half-marathon runner and a consummate traveler who often practices the art of napping in her backyard hammock.

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Chanta Rand, Director-at-Large

Chanta RandTerm expiration: 08/31/2020

Chanta Rand is an award winning, best-selling author of sizzling-hot romance, and the former host of The Chanta Rand Show. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in finance, she set out to become a CPA, but ended up writing happy endings instead.

She’s partnered with RWA to increase awareness of diversity and inclusion in romance, serving as chairperson of the Diversity Committee, a member of the Diversity Training Task Force, and in an advisory capacity on the Ethics Committee. The author of over 25 novels, Chanta is a history junkie, a Walking Dead fan, and a recovering shoe addict. She never met a stiletto she didn't like!

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Farrah Rochon, Director-at-Large

Farrah RochonTerm expiration: 08/31/2020

USA Today
best-selling author Farrah Rochon hails from a tiny town in South Louisiana. The author of more than twenty-five novels and novellas, she has garnered rave reviews for her Holmes Brothers and Moments in Maplesville series. A two-time RITA finalist, Farrah has also been nominated for the RT BOOKReviews Reviewer's Choice Award and in 2015 won the Emma Award for Author of the Year. She is addicted to all things Disney, and spends way too much money on chocolate, traveling and seeing Broadway shows.

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Damon Suede, Director-at-Large

Damon SuedeTerm expiration: 08/31/2020

Damon has earned his crust as a model, a messenger, a promoter, a programmer, a sculptor, a singer, a stripper, a bookkeeper, a bartender, a techie, a teacher, a director… but writing has ever been his bread and butter. Though new to romance fiction, Damon has been a full-time writer for print, stage, and screen for over two decades. He has won some awards, but counts his blessings more often: his amazing friends, his demented family, his beautiful husband, his loyal fans, and his silly, stern, seductive Muse who keeps whispering in his ear, year after year.

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Advisors to the Board

Donna Alward, PAN Advisor

Donna AlwardTerm expiration: 08/31/2019

Donna Alward is an award-winning author of over forty romances. She lives in Nova Scotia, Canada with her husband, nearly grown daughters, a senior dog, and two crazy cats. She writes for St. Martin’s Press and self publishes, was a 2012 RITA® finalist, and was the PAN Steering Committee chair.

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Denny S. Bryce, PRO Advisor

Denny S. BryceTerm expiration: 08/31/2019

Denny is two-time Golden Heart® finalist and winner in 2014. A RWA PRO since 2013, she writes historical fiction and romantic suspense. She also is a contributor to USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog. Denny is a member of RWA chapters WRW, MRW, and STARS and special-interest chapters KOD and CIMRA. She has served most recently as co-chair of the 2017 MRW online auction, chair of the MRW stage at the 2016 Baltimore Book Festival and judge coordinator for WRW’s 2016 Marlene contest. Denny also ran her own event marketing firm, managing conferences, retreats, and other special events.

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Mellanie Szereto, Chapter Advisor

Mellanie SzeretoTerm expiration: 08/31/2019

Mellanie Szereto has been a member of RWA since 2009 and is the author of nearly twenty-five romances, both traditionally and self-published. In addition to various committee responsibilities, she has five years of board service as president, vice president, and director-at-large in Indiana RWA. She was a chapter president, served on RWA’s Chapter Leadership Development Ad Hoc Committee, and maintained the chapter website. She received the IRWA Chapter Service Award in 2013 and was a 2016 recipient of the RWA Service Award. Mellanie is a PAN member of IRWA, Contemporary Romance Writers, and FF&P chapters.

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