Thursday, October 25, 2012


FWA is a statewide nonprofit trade association with over 1,100 members. The awards were announced at the awards ceremony at FWA’s recent three-day annual conference in Orlando, Florida. The conference attracted more than 300 member-attendees and offered a mix of workshops and opportunities to network with a faculty of agents, acquisition editors, publishers, and industry professionals from across the United States.
The winner of Published Book of the Year is:
“Ordinary People: Extraordinary Heroes” by Will G. Merrill Jr. in the History genre.
Unpublished book of the year is:
“The Cold Season” by William C. Walker  in the Romance genre.
This competition was RPLA’s eleventh, and to date it is the largest. Some 319 entries were submitted for the categories of writing, including book-length nonfiction, short nonfiction, poetry, book-length fiction and short fiction. Awards were given separately for published and unpublished works.
“RPLA is special.” said Chrissy Jackson, FWA’s president. “Like all writing competitions, it recognizes excellence, but this competition also provides comprehensive, constructive feedback to all entrants. I don’t know of any other competition that guarantees that at least two judges will read and thoroughly comment on all entries.”
This year, RPLA had 55 active judges. The judges are current or retired teachers, librarians, professional editors, college professors, published authors, former RPLA winners, journalists, and leaders of writing and reading groups. A good percentage have advanced degrees. Most are Floridians, but others hail from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and New York. All entries were blind.
“The judging was first-rate,” said Jim Thompson, RPLA’s 2012 chairperson. “Collectively, the judges donated thousands of hours of time to this competition, and because they’re anonymous, they got absolutely no public recognition for it. They truly live the FWA motto, ‘Writers Helping Writers’.”
The Florida Writers Association, over 1,100 members strong and growing, is a nonprofit 501(c)(6) organization that supports the state’s established and emerging writers. Membership is open to the public, and membership forms are posted on FWA’s website,
The Royal Palm Literary Awards competition is a service of the Florida Writers Association established to recognize excellence in members’ published and unpublished works while providing blind, objective, and constructive written assessments for all entrants.
For additional information about FWA, visit the FWA website:
Attached is a full list of winners.

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