New England Awards

Writing Awards

The New England Chapter is proud to sponsor the Will Solimene Awards for Excellence in Medical Communication. A competition for these writing awards is held every other year and is open to all New England writers. The Solimene awards recognize outstanding work in medical, biomedical, and health communication published during the previous two years.

This independent, regional recognition program was initiated in 1990 to honor the memory of Wilfred G. Solimene, an esteemed colleague who died of cancer in 1989 at age 59. From its inception, this writing awards program has reflected and embraced both the diversity and the breadth of the field of medical communication. Award-winning publications—books, articles, brochures, training manuals, AV production scripts, and more—have appeared in print, in electronic media, and in audiovisual media. Some have been of general interest. Others have been written for professional audiences or for healthcare consumers. The winning entries in the two most recent competitions are listed in the 2010 Awards Banquet Program, the 2012 Awards Luncheon Program, and the 2014 Awards Luncheon Program.

At the discretion of the Writing Awards Committee, one or more of the winners of Will Solimene Awards may receive additional recognition: the Neil Duane Award for Distinction in Medical Communication. The Duane award is reserved for “the best of the best”—a winning entry that has received an exceptionally high score from the judges. This special recognition is named in memory of a long-time AMWA member, who developed the chapter’s writing awards program and served as its director from 1990 until 2004, when he died at the age of 63 from complications of polycystic kidney disease.

Works published in 2014 and 2015 will be eligible for the 2016 competition. Submission guidelines will be similar to the 2014 competition and may be downloaded here for informational purposes.

Honors Awards

In conjunction with the biennial Writing Awards program, the chapter selects an exemplary communicator, who is not a member of AMWA, to receive the Honors Award and give the featured talk at our special writing awards event. The first recipient of this award, in 1995, was Perri Klass, MD, a well-known pediatrician-writer. Among the recipients since then have been such notables as trial lawyer Barry Reed, LLB, author of The Verdict and other best-selling medically based novels; oncologist and New Yorker columnist Jerome Groopman, MD; health and fitness advocate Miriam Nelson, PhD; cardiologist and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Bernard Lown, MD; and the TV medical editor and commentator, Timothy Johnson, MD, who was also the founding editor of the Harvard Health Letter.

Judy Linn Membership Awards

The New England Chapter of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) awards a one-year free membership in AMWA (which includes chapter membership) to qualified newcomers to the field. The chapter may give as many as three membership awards annually.

Created in 2001, the awards honor Judy Linn for her long-term service to the chapter, especially as membership director and chapter mentor. Recipients have the opportunity to:
• Attend regular chapter meetings featuring informative presentations at no charge
• Network with professional medical and health communicators
• Receive guidance from designated chapter members throughout the year
• Qualify for a reduced member rate at the AMWA national conference
• Receive the AMWA Journal, AMWA Update, and other AMWA communications

Candidate Criteria

To be eligible for the award, candidates must:
• Live and work in New England
• Have no more than three years of full-time experience as a medical writer
• Not be an existing AMWA member for more than six months or a previous AMWA member

Candidates may be nominated by a chapter member, or they may apply on their own. There is no application fee, and you may submit an online application at any time.

Good Sport Key Chain Awards

From time to time, the chapter gives special recognition to a member who has been “a warm and guiding light and general good sport.” This award—a key chain with the official AMWA seal—was initiated in 1994 as a light-hearted but heartfelt way of thanking members who have not only worked exceptionally hard on behalf of the chapter, but have done so with exceptional grace and good humor.

National Awards

Writing Awards

AMWA sponsors two annual competitive writing awards: the Eric W. Martin Award and the Medical Book Awards.

The Eric W. Martin Award is open only to AMWA members. Two awards for excellence are given each year, one for an article written for healthcare consumers and one for an article for a professional audience. For information, go to

The Medical Book Awards, established in 1973, are presented to the author(s) of the best English-language medical book published each year in each of three categories: books for the public or healthcare consumers, books for physicians, and books for other (non-physician) healthcare professionals. Anyone, AMWA member or not, may submit a book for consideration. For information, go to

Annual Conference Student Scholarship

Each year AMWA offers a scholarship to attend the Annual Conference. Applicants must be enrolled full time in an accredited institution of higher learning, preferably in a medical writing, technical writing, or journalism program. For information, go to

Upcoming Events