Richard L. Collins
3 min read

Today, Sporty’s issued the following news release to the aviation media. The official rules for entering an article follows the news release.


Call for Entries: The Second Annual Richard Collins Writing Prize for Young Pilots

$2,500 award for a pilot up to age 24

The Richard Collins family has once again partnered with Sporty’s to offer The Richard Collins Writing Prize for Young Pilots. To qualify, the writer must be a pilot (including student pilot) who is 24 years of age or younger. The article must be original, not previously published, and no longer than 1,500 words. The topic should be an event that changed or shaped the author’s flying.

Richard L. Collins

The Richard Collins Prize is offered in memory of a great pilot, mentor, and writer.

The winning article will be published in Air Facts, the publication Richard’s father, Leighton, founded in 1938 and which was relaunched eight years ago by Sporty’s as an online magazine. The articles will be judged by a panel of three: Richard Collins, Jr., J. Mac McClellan, and Amy Laboda.

“Richard Collins left a rich legacy in aviation, including the many young writers he encouraged or hired,” says Sporty’s Vice President and Air Facts Editor John Zimmerman. “This prize is a great way to continue that important work and honor a great writer.”

The winning article will be published in Air Facts, while its writer will receive a check for $2,500. The prize will be announced during the 2020 Sun ’n Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, FL.

Articles may be submitted now through March 3, 2020, and sent in as a Word document to [email protected]. In addition, young pilots are required to submit a 100-word bio to accompany their articles.

Read the 2019 winning article here.


Official Rules for the Richard Collins Writing Prize for Young Pilots

  1. To submit an article, the author must be no older than 24 years of age as of March 3, 2020. The author must be a student pilot or higher.
  2. The article be on an event that changed or shaped the author’s flying and be no longer than 1500 words.
  3. The article must be original and have not been previously published.
  4. The submission must include a 100-word biography of the author written in the first person (I, me vs. He, her).
  5. The article must be submitted on a Word document and emailed no later than March 3, 2020 to [email protected]. Only emailed submissions are accepted. Please put “Young Pilot” in the subject line of your email.
  6. Once a submission is received, no corrections or editing are allowed.
  7. Photographs to illustrate the article are accepted but not required.
  8. The one winner will be notified by email no later than April 1, 2020 and awarded the $2500 check.
  9. The winning article will be published in Air Facts. Although there is only one prize, Air Facts reserves the right to publish any article submitted.


Checklist for Young Pilot Authors

  • Does my article have a title?
  • Have I included my byline (by John Smith) below the title?
  • Is my article 1500 words or less?
  • Is my article about general aviation flying, specifically an event that changed or shaped my flying?
  • Have I carefully proofread my article and/or asked a pilot-friend to proofread it as well? (Remember that once your article is submitted, no changes will be accepted.)
  • Have I included a 100-word bio of myself at the conclusion of my article and labeled it as such?
  • Have I typed “Young Pilot” in the subject line of my email?
  • Am I ready to email this article to [email protected]?

If you answered yes to all these questions, you are ready to press SEND! Good luck to all young pilots.

John Zimmerman
1 reply
  1. Michelle
    Michelle says:

    I’m not sure anyone could ever come close to last year’s winning essay. It touched my heart and soul. My prayers are being offered up to this young lady. May all of her dreams come true and yes, I truly believe her grandfather is still her co pilot.


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