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Local Author wins Prestigious Award

By Florida's Original NatureCoaster™ Posted on November 7, 2017

The Florida Writers Association, Inc., (FWA) has announced that Robin Thomas of Citrus Springs, FL won a prestigious Royal Palm Literary Award (RPLA). Robin Thomas’s winning entry, A Country Heart, won Third Place for Published Novella.

The award was announced at FWA’s recent four-day annual conference in Altamonte Springs, Florida. This annual competition, which received 431 submissions, was RPLA’s sixteenth.

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

In all, the competition covered 26 adult genres and 15 Youth genres, with published and unpublished entries considered separately. There were four grand awards, as well.

The Published Book of the Year is Hard Core Love: Sex, Football and Rock and Roll in The Kingdom of God, Autobiography/Memoir, by Jim Pons.

The Unpublished Book of the Year is On a Winter Shore, Historical Fiction, by Karen Dillon.

The Best Children’s Book is This is Not the Abby Show, Middle-Grade Fiction, by Debbie Reed Fischer.

The top award for Youth, the Candice Coghill Memorial Award, is for “Cease,” Short Fiction, by Keven Lacayo, 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is a service of the Florida Writers Association established to recognize excellence in members’ published and unpublished works while providing objective and constructive written assessments for all entrants.

For additional information, visit the FWA website:, where you’ll also find more about RPLA and the complete list of 2017 winners. Or, contact for details about Robin Thomas.