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Sue Grimshaw Awarded the 2008 Vivian Stephens Industry Award from RWA

Sue Grimshaw, buyer for romances at Borders for the past 7 years, was awarded the 2008 Vivian Stephens Industry Award from RWA. This was announced a week or so ago when the RITA nominations were announced.

Grimshaw is a voracious reader of romance as well as general fiction and mystery. She devours a minimum of three to five romance books per week, most days enjoying an hour of reading before arriving at work in the morning and then reads a few hours more each night during the week and several hours on the weekend.

Sue stated "I was very honored to be chosen as this year’s recipient of the Vivian Stephens award. As you know, I really enjoy the genre & it is a wonderful feeling to be recognized for doing what you love to do."

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Angela James
    Apr 09, 2008 @ 10:56:44

    I think we’re all very lucky to have Sue in the position she’s in, at Borders. She’s a pretty wonderful advocate for romance, the authors and also for small press. One of the things I worried about, when hearing about a possible Borders sellout, was not having someone like Sue in that position any longer, because she does a pretty excellent job (my involvement with small press aside, I would say that just from a romance reader’s perspective). Congratulations to her!

  2. (Jān)
    Apr 09, 2008 @ 11:07:02

    That’s great! Borders always has the best selection of romances around here. And the best selection of manga but that’s another story. Thank God they got a new loan.

  3. calliope
    Apr 09, 2008 @ 11:13:53

    That’s great. I’d wondered why Borders does so well with romance. In both cities I shop in, Borders has the smartest, most varied romance section and I’m really impressed that they carry everything from sweet to erotic, and large and small publishers.

  4. Sherry Thomas
    Apr 09, 2008 @ 12:39:18

    Congratulations to Sue, an impressive and classy lady.

  5. Janine
    Apr 09, 2008 @ 16:07:38

    Congratulations to Ms. Grimshaw!

  6. Claudia Dain
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 13:30:55

    This couldn’t have been awarded to more lovely woman. I’m so happy for her!

  7. Black romance
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 19:42:09

    Borders tolerates and puts forth some of the most racist industry practices towards black romance authors with no reason or rhyme for it coming from Grimshaw who has been directly queried about it by black romance authors.

    Although we understand racism in romance towards blacks only is tolerated almost everywhere in the genre, Vivian Stephens worked tirelessly for black romance authors and held them in the same respect and esteem as any other authors unlike almost every other romance site and venue out there. In no way would she laud Border’s racist romance practices or tolerate them. Another huge slap in the face to her from RWA. It’s business as usual in the racist romance cesspool.

  8. Barbara B.
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 12:21:39

    Calliope said-
    “In both cities I shop in, Borders has the smartest, most varied romance section and I'm really impressed that they carry everything from sweet to erotic, and large and small publishers.”

    I guess variety is a matter of perspective. I can’t say that I find a racially segregated romance section particularly laudable.

  9. Michelle
    Apr 14, 2008 @ 16:11:57

    So, what are the racist practices? I haven’t picked up on them. The Borders I go to most frequently (D.C.) seems to carry a lot of African-American romances.

  10. Nora Roberts
    Apr 15, 2008 @ 07:54:34

    Congratulations, Sue. So totally deserved!

  11. AA response
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 13:50:46

    Borders treats black romance authors as Southern black bus riders were treated several decades ago. Plenty of folks said blacks shouldn’t complain because lots of blacks got to ride buses down South. Lots of folks didn’t notice blacks had to sit in the back. Some could rationalize it that black bus riders didn’t want to sit up front with the other riders anyway. And what was the black’s problem? They were on the bus too (carry a lot of segregated AA romance).

    Black authors writing romance aren’t considered romance authors by Borders, but put in a racial category of fiction. The romance specialists don’t deal with the black romance authors. Blacks are not a part of Border’s romance initiatives.

    Black authors writing romance are segregated from the other romance authors by policy, much like the South’s Jim Crow laws.

    Since this is happening to blacks only, it is fine with the majority. Romance readers are happy with Borders as they would have been happy with the old South, and are with racism and segregation. They are happy because they are oblivious and it doesn’t affect them. The blacks are at the back of the bus. Can you imagine the uproar if any other race was treated this way?

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