Joyce Henderson Contest Past Winners

Southwest Florida Romance Writers

The Joyce Henderson Contest




Many thanks to all who have made our contest a success over the years.
Our members, final judges, and most of all our entrants – we could not do it without you!

* The final editor judge requested the full manuscript
** The final agent/editor judge requested a partial or full manuscript
+ The final editor judge requested other manuscripts from this author


Contemporary (including Women’s Fiction)
Final Judges:
Editor: Lexi Smail, Grand Central Publishing
Agent: Jill Marsal, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

1st: Fighter by Sarah Morgenthaler
2nd: Hills Are Alive by Kate Mackenzie
3rd: Pictures of You by M.C. Vaughn


Final Judges:
Editor: Robin Haseltine, Entangled Publishing
Agent: Julie Gwinn, The Seymour Agency

1st: Chasing Scandal by Leslie Knowles**
2nd: Merely Players by Meg McNulty
3rd: Secrets and Smoke by Esme Rose Cooper**


Young Adult
Final Judges:
Editor: Jennie Conway, St. Martin’s Press
Agent: Andrea Somberg, Harvey Klinger Literary Agency

1st: Mouthful by Christine Grissom**
2nd: Don’t Say a Word by Tracy Bilen
3rd: Me, Too by Courtney Berman


Romantic Suspense
Final Judges:
Editor: Georgia Woods, Hartwood Publishing
Agent: Erin Niumata, Folio Literary Management

1st: Beyond Paradise by Barbara Forlenza**
2nd: Stay Hidden by Leigh Fleming**
2nd: Written in the Scroll by Caroline Rhame


Paranormal/Science Fiction/Fantasy
Final Judges:
Editor: Nancy Schumacher, Melange Books
Agent: Michelle Grajkowski, 3 Seas Literary Agency

Mystic Rapture by Penelope Jiuditta
Survival by Laurie Ryan
 Three Days to Love by Celeste Deveney**


Final Judges:
Editor- Sue Grimshaw, Random House/Loveswept
Agent- Nalini Akolekar, Spenser Hill Agency

1st: Running From A Rock Star ~ Jami Albright**
2nd (tie): EX, EX, OH ~ Kelli Newby
Homecoming ~ Jo Anne Banker


Final Judges:
Editor- Lee Lawless, Tor/Forge Publishing
Agent- Dawn Dowdle, BlueRidge Literary Agency

1st: Scandalous ~ Sha Laviolette**
2nd: The Red Parrot ~ Lisa Marie Wilkinson**
3rd: Dangerous Moonlight ~ Sha Laviolette


Young Adult
Final Judges:
Editor- Mary Altman, Sourcebooks
Agent- Sara Megibow, KT Literary

1st: The Girl with the Sun on Her Heart ~ Denise Trowbridge**
2nd: Covenant Park ~ Christine Gunderson
3rd: An Exchange Student’s Guide to Love & Legends ~ JoAnn Sky


Romantic Suspense
Final Judges:
Editor- Junessa Viloria, Random House Publishing
Agent- Jessica Waterson, Dijkstra Agency

1st: Blood Like Mercury ~ Jacqueline Jayne
2nd: The Bone House ~ Liah Penn
3rd: Steele Justice ~ Michele Dunaway
Hon Men: Voice for the Dead ~ Stacy Woodson


Paranormal/Science Fiction/Fantasy
Final Judges:
Editor- Georgia Woods, Hartwood Publishing
Agent- Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agency

1st: Rule Breakers Soul Takers ~ Jacqueline Jayne**
2nd: The Story-Teller ~ Diana Admire
3rd: The Twenty-Eighth Kiss ~ Michelle Joyce Bond


Final Judges:
Editor- Susan Brower, Gilead Publishing
Agent- Julie Gwinn, Seymour Agency

1st: Fair Haven ~ Laura Kestner**
2nd: Judgment Between the Rivers ~ Marie Coutu**
3rd: 15 Days ~ Rebekah Millet**


Contemporary – Dawn Dowdle, Blue Ridge Literary Agency
1) The Portrait by Diana Welker**
2) Between Nowhere and Lost by Alexandra Christle
3) A Work In Progress by Jennifer Barlament

Historical – Isabel Farhi, Editor at Penguin-Random House
1) My Lord Mercenary by Tracey Amey
2) The Apothecary’s Niece by Linda Saether
2) A Wild Colonial Girl by Jean Harrington

Paranormal/Science Fiction/Fantasy – Susan Brower, Agent for Natasha Kern Literary Agency
1) Legend: Brotherhood of Shadows by Teresa Ramin
2) Work Log by Jennifer Collins
3) The Mercy Killers by Jessica Kelly

Romantic Suspense – Junessa Viloria, Editor for Random House Publishing
1) Semper Fi by Meta Carroll
2) Lucky Beach by JoAnn Haberer
3) Sconnie by Michelle Caffrey

Young Adult – Lee Lawless, Editor for Tor/Forge Publishing
1) Soren’s Resistance by Christine Gunderson*
2) Conflicted by Lori Freeland
3) The Snake and the Darkness by Mari Clark


Contemporary – Sue Grimshaw, Penguin-Random House
1) Left of the Left Bank, Victoria DeGette
2) Belong to Me, Alison Pion
3) Branded, Robin Delany

Historical – Laura Fazio, Penguin-Random House
1) Lessons in Scandal, Crystal Elliot
2) How to Train Your Knight, Susan Hammond
3) A Duchess Is Always Right, Bess Gilmartin

Paranormal – Mary Altman, Sourcebooks
1) The Nascent Bloom, Janet Halpin
2) Wicked Thorn, Kristina Wright
3) Watcher Untethered, Jennifer Madore


Contemporary – Sue Grimshaw, Random House
1) Unforgettable, Carrie Christie+
2) Roping the Cowboy, Bree Roberts
3) Rules for Burning, Chloe Carson

Historical – Alicia Condon, Kensington
1)Beauford’s Run, Pat Eckoff
2) To Feel Special, Sandra Cutting
3) The Saffron Crocus, Alison McMahan

Paranormal/Science Fiction/Fantasy – Leslie Wainger, Harlequin
1) Blood, Pain and Pleasure, Nadine Mutas*
2) The Hidden One, Adrienne Trent*
3) Queen of Hearts, Harris Fischer

Young Adult – Annette Pollert, Simon & Schuster
1) The Harbinger, Meg Kassel*
2) Coming Alive, Jennifer Norwood
3)SlipSync, Eileen Shick

2012 Hold Me, Thrill Me Contest
(Contest name changed in 2013)

Contemporary – JhanteighKupihea, New American Library
1) Return to Love, Kerri Carpenter*
2) Synchrony’s Call, Susan J. Bickford*
3) Short Fortune, Annie Rains

Historical – Leah Hultenschmidt, Sourcebooks
1) The Promise of Dawn, Lisa Baker
2) Love and Madness, Margaret A. Swan
3) Sea Charm, Laura Connors

Paranormal – Whitney Ross, Tor
1) Empress Game, Rhonda Mason*
2) Probie, Regan Loyd
3) Divide and Conquer, Carmen Fox

Romantic Suspense – Leslie Wainger, Harlequin
1) The Duel, Catherine Lawrence
2) Chemical Attraction, Mary Oldham
3) Once in a Lifetime, Karen E. Papandrew

Young Adult – Leis Pederson, Berkley
1) Nightmare of Truth, Tracy Sprayberry
2) Forces of Nature, Denise R. Cychosz
3) Adventures in English Quantum, Charlotte E. Hunter