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Mission Statement

GDRW is dedicated to promoting the romance and women's fiction genres, and to supporting and developing the writing goals of all its members.

As the Greater Detroit Romance Writers, it is our mission to provide a positive and constructive forum for the nurturing, development, enhancement and promotion of the creativity, professionalism and productivity of all members. It is our goal to empower all members in the exploration of the art and business of writing, and to encourage members to maintain high standards of integrity, sensitivity, camaraderie and excellence. We strive to achieve these goals by sponsoring, providing and/or encouraging participation in meetings, workshops, networking, conferences, contests and newsletters.

We respect and welcome all authors, regardless of gender, age, gender identity, race, health status, national origin, relationship status, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and religion. We are committed to providing a diverse, inclusive environment where all authors can learn, grow, and have access to resources intended to aid them in their pursuit of literary excellence.

GDRW MEMBERSHIP is open to anyone writing romance or women's fiction, published or unpublished. 

Board of Directors

GDRW is a non-profit organization led by dedicated members who volunteer their time to serve on the Board of Directors. The board is comprised of five individuals whose service assists GDRW in achieving its stated mission. The Board is also responsible for managing the business of the organization, setting policy, and approving procedures to implement policy. The Board deliberates and acts only by vote. The current members of the board for 2022 - 2023 are as follows:


Deby Henneman



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The president leads all board meetings and the monthly program meetings.


Donna Kanso


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The secretary takes minutes at meetings and sends welcome packets to our new members.


A.J. Norris


Contact A.J

The treasurer prepares the annual budget and oversees all financial matters.


Tana Jenkins

V.P. of Programming


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The VP of Programming schedules the monthly speakers and chairs the conference.


Cynthia Anne Hurt

V.P. of Communications


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The VP of Communications publishes our newsletters and oversees our social media sites.

2022 Joan Shapiro Service Award Recipient

Heather Novak


Each year GDRW honors one member with the Joan Shapiro Service Award for their exemplary dedication and service to our chapter. In 2022, this award was presented to Heather Novak for her dedication and support to GDRW and our members.

Joan Shapiro was a long-standing member of GDRWA and dedicated years to the development and betterment of our chapter.



2022 - Heather Novak

2021 - Reem Fransis

2020 - Celia Mulder

2019 - Deby Henneman

2018 - Aliza Mann

2017 - Tracy Bilen

2016 - A.J. Norris

2015 - Elizabeth Heiter

2014 - Dana Nussio

Committee Chairs


Librarian: Tracy Bilen


Newsletter Editor: Cynthia Anne Hurt


Booksellers' Best Award: Cynthia Anne Hurt


Historian: Cynthia Anne Hurt


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