Notice of Special Meeting of NECRWA Chapter and Disaffiliation Vote


By unanimous written consent, NECRWA’s Board of Directors (the “Board”) has voted to approve a resolution for NECRWA to disaffiliate from RWA by no later than September 30, 2020, and to set a special meeting for a disaffiliation vote by the NECRWA membership. The Board will be issuing a statement regarding its disaffiliation vote after the chapter meeting on Sunday, February 16th.

This message serves as notice that a Special Meeting of the Membership will be held on Sunday, March 15, 2020 at 1:00 PM in the Great Room at Old Town Hall, 16 South Road, Bedford, Massachusetts. The purpose and agenda for this Special Meeting will be for the membership of NECRWA to vote on disaffiliation of the chapter. In accordance with NECRWA’s bylaws, NECRWA’s Board of Directors has fixed the record date for determining the members entitled to vote at the Special Meeting as February 13, 2020. Only General chapter members in good standing as of February 13, 2020 are entitled to cast a vote. Eligible members may vote in person at the Special Meeting or by electronic ballot prior to the Special Meeting. Electronic ballots will be distributed within the next few days.

The Special Meeting will be followed by NECRWA’s regular monthly chapter meeting.

Please contact Alexa Rowan at president @ with any questions or concerns.

Board Candidate Bios

We will be electing a new president and treasurer to a two-year term very soon. Here are the bios of our two candidates:

President – Jackie Horne

I joined NECRWA in 2011 in hopes of transferring the skills I earned during a decade of work in children’s book publishing and a subsequent foray into academia (during which I earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. in children’s literature) into a new career as a historical romance novelist. Knowing that the best way to meet new people in any organization is to volunteer, I worked at my first conference, and the following year, ran for the Board position of Treasurer. Since 2012, I have served the chapter in that capacity, keeping track of our chapter funds and paying our chapter bills. But I’m eager to trade in the checkbook and spreadsheets for the more people-oriented work required of a chapter President.

I still keep several toes in academia. I am currently serving as the Chair of the Children’s Literature Association’s Publications Advisory Board, which reviews potential scholarly books for publication. And I also write about the intersections of romance and gender on my blog, Romance Novels for Feminists. But the bulk of my time is committed to writing and publishing historical romance. Since joining NEC, I have self-published two novels under my pen name, Bliss Bennet: A Rebel without a Rogue and A Man without a Mistress. A Lady without a Lord is due out this coming fall. Those books would still just be visions in my imagination without all the support and encouragement I’ve received from my fellow NEC members.

Publishing, particularly romance publishing, is in the midst of a great period of upheaval. As President of NEC, I would encourage our organization to find ways to support the careers of all romance writers, whether they are traditionally published, self-published, or some combination of the two.

Treasurer – Stephanie Kay

I joined NECRWA in 2008 after typing “THE END” on my first romance novel. We won’t discuss that book, it’s very comfortable lining the bottom of my desk drawer. Over the years I’ve learned so much and I love being a member of this chapter. As an avid reader for years and a newbie writer, I’d finally found a group of people that understood that having voices inside your head wasn’t a bad thing. After years of volunteering at conferences and a two-year stint as the program chair for Rhode Island Romance Writers, I’m ready to take on a larger role in NECRWA. I’ve been a mortgage underwriter for multiple national banks for the last decade, and I was a tax preparer for a year. I’m very organized and detail oriented. I think I would be a great fit for chapter treasurer.

Board Candidate Bios

The Nominating Committee has received nominations for all board posts other than PAN Liaison (could this be you? If you are interested, e-mail Mary Reiber at [email protected])

Candidate bios will be in the next newsletter and are also right here:

President – Myretta Robens

I have been writing most of my life, but began pursuing publication in the late 90s. I have been a member of RWA and NEC since 2002. I had two traditional regency romances published by Zebra in 2005 (the last year they published this genre). My second book, Just Say Yes, was a RITA finalist. As part of NEC, I have served on the board as PAN Liaison and was acting president for two months during a difficult period. I was on two conference committees as Workshop and Book Fair chair. I was NECRWA webmaster for several years and am again after a hiatus of a couple of years. I hope to be able to continue in this capacity. I am currently working on single title historical romance. I blog at my website,, and at Heroes and Heartbreakers. You can find on Twitter as @myretta and on Facebook. I am indebted to NECRWA for its help with my career and for the friendships I have found within it. I hope my service can help the chapter to continue to thrive.


Vice President – Bobbi Ruggiero

My journey to NECRWA has been a fortuitous one. In March of 2010, I began reviewing romance novels for, a website started by a friend with a love for the genre and a desire to review these books in the professional manner they deserved. I met some wonderful authors through RNN and quickly discovered that the romance community was a truly special place. Many of these authors happily offered advice and wisdom, and this gave me the courage to start my own romance novel. 

 I joined NECRWA in May of 2011 and from the first meeting knew I had made the right decision. Members were welcoming and more than willing to help out a “rookie.” In a very short period of time, I felt like I had found my tribe. Becoming a chapter member was an important step that took my writing to an even higher level. I’m well on my way to finishing my first novel, Encore, and was thrilled to place 2nd in the NECRWA First Kiss contest.

 I want to give back to NECRWA by serving on the board as Vice President. I’m looking forward to hearing what topics our chapter would like to discuss in the upcoming year and assisting in whatever way possible to ensure our chapter continues to thrive and be a welcoming place for all romance authors.


Secretary – Andrea Martucci

Andrea Martucci is an aspiring romance novelist who hopes to one day write compelling novels like those by her favorite authors Lisa Kleypas, Jennifer Crusie, and Linda Howard. In the meantime, she is the managing editor of a literary magazine in Boston, and her duties include nonprofit administration, editorial direction of the blog, website maintenance, managing print and digital production, and marketing. She has previously worked at a newspaper and as a screenplay editor, and co-founded a lifestyle magazine at Emerson College. She has a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing, and will receive a MA in Integrated Marketing Communication in August 2012. You can follow her on Twitter @AndrejaJean


Treasurer – Jackie Horne

I was raised by two parents who were both accountants, but somehow I always dreamed of growing up to be a writer. After graduating from college, I got to exercise both my math and literature skills working in the Children’s Book department of Little, Brown and Company. Most of my nine years at L,B were spent as Managing Editor of the department, a position that required me to oversee the budget of every book we published, as well as to work with the Publisher on the department’s overall yearly budget. I also tracked  the status of every book we published (up to 250+ books per year at times), a task that required a detail-oriented approach as well as strong organizational skills.

After leaving L,B, I went back to school to earn an MA in Children’s Literature, had a baby, then went on to earn a Ph.D. in 18th and 19th century British lit. I then taught for several years at Simmons College, but the college ran into financial difficulties and cut back on contract workers. Tenure-track jobs for a Children’s Literature specialist being about as rare as first editions of Jane Austen’s novels, I decided to switch careers yet again, returning to my original dream: to write. I’ve spent the last three and a half years working both on academic writing (1 book and 2 edited essay collections published) and fiction writing (one manuscript, still being revised, and the outlines for a second). I’ve also been serving on the Board of, and as the Chair of the Publicity Committee for, the Children’s Literature Association, as well as Clerking the 50th Anniversary Committee at my daughter’s school. Both of these volunteer positions are due to end soon, and I would love to have the chance to volunteer for a service position that will pull me away from the computer and put me in touch with actual people.

I’m quite handy with a spreadsheet, and my parents and husband (a computer researcher) have promised to act in an advisory capacity if any financial or computer issues related to being Treasurer for NECRWA pop up. But if you elect me Treasurer, you have to promise not to tell my daughter, a thirteen-year-old who firmly believes that anything and everything to do with romance is decidedly “gross.”


Pro Liaison – Jean Viola Ryan

Jean Viola Ryan has been an active member of PRO since November 2009. She finished her first novel during the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapter’s “Push to PRO” in October of that year. That novel is now contracted for December release with MuseItUp Publishing. She is fortunate to write full-time and has tons of ideas to help our non-PRO members achieve this status, such as our own Push To PRO, forming crit groups to get our novels into shape and creating a support group for those who are in the pre-query and query stages to help keep spirits up. Her main goal is to help everyone become more confident in reaching for their next step, whether that is finishing their novel, submitting it, or putting yourself out there and doing publicity to turn PRO into PAN.