The Royal Palm Literary Awards Contest is open. Enter NOW!
Writing contests–reputable ones–are good for your development as a writer. And very few live up to that mantra as well as the Royal Palm Literary Awards contest. The RPLA recognizes “excellence in members’ published and unpublished works while providing objective and constructive written assessments for all entrants.” That’s a quote from the RPLA website, and it’s dead-on.
This year, the RPLA competition will recognize as many as three winners–first, second, and third place–in as many as 37 categories. Winners will be recognized at the RPLA awards banquet on Saturday night, October 19 at the Orlando Marriott Lake Mary. In addition to the awards, all entrants, winner or not, receive rubrics that contain the comments of the judges about their work. In other words, qualified judges won’t just evaluate your work, you’ll get to see their comments.
In that sense, everyone’s a winner, because everyone gets a dispassionate, third-party review of their work. It’s an opportunity to put your work out there and get back qualified opinions about where you’re strong and where you need work. What could be better.
This year, for the first time, in conjunction with the youth conference, taking place on October 19, young writers (ages 12 to 17) will be recognized for their work, as well. The Youth RPLA competition will feature awards for fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, with separate awards given to writers aged 12 to 15 and 16 to 17. The Youth RPLA will be presented at lunch on Saturday afternoon, marking an excellent opportunity to recognize young writes and nurture their passion as a part of the youth conference.
How much does it cost?
RPLA entries for adults are $30 per entry from now until March 31, $40 from April 1 to May 31, and $60 from June 1 to June 15. For youth writers, the cost is $15 from now until May 15 and $20 per entry from May 16 to June 15.
What’s the deadline?
Although the contest closes on June 15, prices increase as listed above. So get your entries ready now!
What do I get if I win?
If you win, you get a lovely RPLA trophy (pictured) suitable for display at a prominent location in your home. If you win first prize, you also get your bio and logline published in announcements available to members, agents, and publishers after the Banquet; posted on the FWA website; and used in FWA promotions as FWA deems appropriate (good PR for everyone). The loglines and bios of first-place winners will also be read at the Awards Banquet. You’ll also get some spiffy stickers to place on your work to show that you won.
And you get add your prize to your pitches and queries, which adds to your qualifications and gravitas with agents, editors, and publishers.
Where can I find more information?
Great question! Glad you asked! You can find everything you need, including guidelines, FAQs, and entry forms, at the RPLA page on the Florida Writers Association website.