Local writer wins Royal Palm Literary Award

(Caloosa Belle/Dale Conyers) Swea Nightingale with her winning entry, Shadows of the Chimney.

The Florida Writers Association, Inc., (FWA) has announced that Swea Nightingale of LaBelle, won a prestigious Royal Palm Literary Award (RPLA). Swea Nightingale’s winning entry, Shadows of the Chimney, won the Gold award for Unpublished Mainstream Fiction.

The award was announced at FWA’s recent four-day annual conference in Altamonte Springs, Florida. This annual competition, which received 513 qualified submissions, was RPLA’s eighteenth.

“This is the most competitive RPLA we’ve ever had,” said Chris Coward, RPLA chairperson. “The RPLA administrative team, judges, and entrants did an amazing job.”

In all, the competition covered 28 adult genres and 5 Youth genres, with published and unpublished entries considered separately. There were five grand awards, as well.

• Published Book of the Year: The Devil’s Bookkeepers Book 1: The Noose, Historical Fiction, by Mark H. Newhouse

• Unpublished Book of the Year: Hating Jesse Harmon, Young Adult OR New Adult, by Robin Mimna

• Best Children’s Book: Bluebirds in the Garden, Children’s Picture Book, by Rita M. Boehm

• The Dahris Clair Memorial Award for Plays: Murder at the Butcher’s, by Al Pessin.

• The Candice Coghill Memorial Award for the best youth entry: “Michael,” Poetry, by Samantha Leslie in the 12-15 age category

“A win at any level can help any writer market their manuscript or published book, and the detailed feedback from the judges is invaluable for all entrants,” Ms. Coward said.

The Florida Writers Association, 1,500 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.

The Royal Palm Literary Awards competition is a service of the Florida Writers Association established to recognize excellence in its members’ published and unpublished works while providing objective and constructive written assessments for all entrants.

For additional information, visit the FWA website: floridawriters.net, where you’ll also find more about RPLA and the complete list of 2019 winners.

The Caloosa Belle is published every Thursday.

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