The 2017 Board

Joanna Shupe Thumnail

Joanna Shupe

Award-winning author Joanna Shupe has always loved history, ever since she saw her first Schoolhouse Rock cartoon. While in college, Joanna read every romance she could get her hands on and soon started crafting her own racy historical novels. In 2013 she won Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart® Award for Best Historical. She now lives in New Jersey with her two spirited daughters and dashing husband.


Shelly Chalmers Thumbnail

Shelly Chalmers
Vice President, Growth


Shelly Chalmers’ favorite first book was Cinderella, so once she could form letters, naturally she turned to romance where everyone “loved” each other—though mostly because she didn’t yet know how to spell “like.” In 2008 she joined RWA® to meet other romance writers because she had no local chapter, but instead found her tribe. She was thrilled to be a 2014 Golden Heart® finalist in the paranormal category and continues to write romances that all include a touch of magic, a sense of humor, and a dab of geek. She makes her home in Western Canada where when not writing, she DIYs everything, hunts teapots and unusual treasure, and wrangles a husband, two daughters, and two nutty cats.


Lynda Bailey Screenshot

Lynda Bailey
Vice President, Programs


A born storyteller, Lynda Bailey joined RWA® the summer of 2005 when Nationals was held in Reno—where she’s resided for over thirty years. In 2010, to her amazement and honor, her historical romance, Wildflower, received a nomination for a Golden Heart®. While there isn’t a Reno chapter of RWA®, Lynda has been active in the local writing community for the better part of two decades. She’s served as president, vice president and secretary for the High Sierra Writers Group (formerly known as Unnamed Writers) and just signed up for another two-year hitch as secretary. She’s been an independently published author of erotic romance for four years and has fifteen titles available. She’s currently working on her first romantic suspense novel.


Jamie Michele Screenshot

Jamie Michele


Award-winning romance writer and former zookeeper Jamie Michele has wrestled a giant Indian python and brushed the teeth of a Chinese Alligator, but nothing challenges her quite like an empty page and a blinking cursor. Her first novel, An Affair of Vengeance (Montlake Romance 2012), won a prestigious Golden Heart from the Romance Writers of America. Now, Jamie writes sexy, page-turning romantic suspenses while managing her own little zoo, which consists of two cats and two exceedingly handsome great apes. An Affair of Deceit is her second novel.


Anne Kenny Screenshot

Anne Kenny

Anne Kenny lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where she works for city government as a community development aide. She is a 2012 Golden Heart® Finalist in the Regency Romance category and a 2011 finalist in the Spacecoast Authors of Romance Launching a Star Contest. She is a member of WisRWA, TGN, and The Beau Monde chapters of RWA®. Currently, she is working on a soon-to-be-released series of four novels set in Regency England. In her free time, she is an avid reader of anything romance and enjoys antiquing, researching history, sleeping, and of course, writing.


Liz Bemis

Liz Bemis-Hittinger is a six-time Golden Heart® finalist, and 2012 Golden Heart® Winner. She is the creative director of Bemis Promotions, an Ad Agency for Authors. She has worked in the design and technology fields for more than two decades with clients in a wide range of industries, including publishing, restaurants, non-profit, small business, corporate, military/government and educational institutions. Her consulting and corporate work includes acclaimed site design and comprehensive eCommerce site development. Additionally, she has implemented Ad Agency-led international marketing campaigns and managed application development for the US Air Force. Liz’s first book will be out in early 2015.


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