Sporty’s Announces Third Annual Richard Collins Writing Prize for Young Pilots

Richard Collins was known for giving writers their first opportunity to tell a good aviation story. Flying

To most of the aviation industry, the name Richard Collins is known for quality journalism accented with a passion for telling stories about nearly aspect of general aviation with a special knack for telling it like it is. Richard Collins’ career as an aviation journalist spanned 60 years, including more than 10 years as editor-in-chief of Flying.

The contest, jointly sponsored by the Richard Collins family and Sporty’s offers a new pilot—student pilots included—and writer age 24 or younger, an opportunity to tell a great story about the most memorable lesson they’ve learned in their flying career, whether they were flying alone or with an instructor. The article, submitted in Microsoft Word format, must be original, not previously published, and no longer than 1,500 words. The winning story will be published in Air Facts Journal, the publication started in 1938 by Richard Collins’ dad, Leighton Collins. Air Facts Journal was relaunched eight years ago by Sporty’s as an online magazine for the company. The winner will also take home a check for $2,500. All entries will be judged by a panel of three: Richard Collins, Jr., former Flying Editor-in-Chief J. Mac McClellan, and Flying contributor, Amy Laboda.

“Richard Collins left a rich legacy in aviation, including the many young writers he encouraged or hired,” says Sporty’s Vice President, Air Facts Journal Editor and Flying contributor John Zimmerman. “This prize is a great way to continue that important work and honor a great writer, and we’re thrilled that this has become an annual event.”

Articles as well as a 100-word bio should be submitted now through March 4, 2021, and sent to Last year’s winning story is available here.

Rob MarkAuthor
Rob Mark is an award-winning journalist, business jet pilot, flight instructor, and blogger.

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