To encourage the pursuit of art, music and the written word

Winners Announced 

Week of April 1, 2020

Reception and Awards Ceremony

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

The NC Museum of History 

5 East Edenton Street

Raleigh, NC 27601 

Students arrive  4:00 PM

Workshop  4:30-5:50 PM

Reception  6:00-6:30 PM

Awards Ceremony (open to public):

6:30-8:00 PM

Book Signing: 8:00-8:30 PM

Click here for the Guidelines for Short Story Submissions

.Click here for the Judges' Criteria 

by which the stories are evaluated.

Click here to contact the 

Literary Contest Chair

Click here for previous winners: 

The 2020 RFAS Literary Contest

This spring marks the 42nd year of our short story competition for Wake County high school students in grades 10, 11, and 12.  RFAS welcomes all winning students, teachers, parents, and sponsors to join us on Wednesday,  April 22 at the NC Museum of History for a reception from 6:00 to 6:30. The Awards Ceremony, which begins in the auditorium at 6:30, is free and open to the general public. 

The 2019 Literary Contest is proud to announce that Etaf Rum as the guest speaker for the Awards Ceremony. 

Etaf Rum, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She has a masters of arts in American and British Literature as well as undergraduate degrees in philosophy and English composition, all from North Carolina State University. Etaf also runs the Instagram account @booksandbeans, and is a Book of the Month Club Ambassador, showcasing her favorite selections each month. In 2019, she opened Books and Beans in Rocky Mount, NC. A Woman is No Man,  her first novel, has received national acclaim, including selection as a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, a Marie Claire Best Women’s Fiction 2019, and a Buzzfeed News "4 Books We Couldn’t Put Down.”

Student, Teacher, and School Awards

The competition offers recognition for student writers, their teachers, and their schools with the following cash prizes:

The Patton Family Awards

Phil Patton Award for Overall Best Story $500

Mildred Dwyer Patton Award for Overall Second Place $300 

Dave Patton Award for Best Story by a Varsity Athlete $200 

First Place Awards for each grade level  $200 

Second Place Awards for each grade level $150 

Finalists $100

In addition to the cash prizes, all of the above winners will receive individual recognition on stage, a certificate, a signed book by our guest author, publication in the book of winning stories and online, and admission to the Writers’ Workshop during which our final judges lead discussion of the stories.

School Awards $100 

Schools whose students place among the top winners (everything above Finalist) will receive money for their English Department. A school representative is called to the stage to receive a certificate of merit with the check.


These students' stories  were selected by the preliminary judges to be read by the final judges. Semi-finalists are strongly encouraged to attend the Awards Ceremony where they sit in designated seats at the front. They receive a signed book by the guest author. As their names are read, they are invited to stand for a round of applause.

Final Judges

The final judges, all accomplished writers, read each story that passes the round of preliminary judging. The average of their three scores yields the number that determines each story's rank.

 SETTLE MONROE is an educator and writer who leads writing workshops in classroom settings as well as through small group instruction.  In 2012, she launched Raleigh Scribes, a company that offers writing instruction to middle school students. Settle is a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network and the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She also serves on the board of the North Carolina Council for Women and YouthInvolvement.  She was the recipient of the 2017 United Arts Council Regional Artist Grant for literature and a finalist for the 2019 Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition.  Settle lives in Raleigh with her husband and their three young children. 

ELEANOR SPICER RICE, PhD, is an entomologist senior science editor of Verdant Word, a science communications company in Raleigh. In addition to being the author of six books, including Dr. Eleanor's Book of Common Ants and Becoming Durham, she is a regular contributor to Our State Magazine and a regular commentator on television for the Discovery Channel, Netflix, and Science Channel as well as on numerous public radio shows. She is committed to sharing her passion for science, art, and the natural world. To do this, she cultivates citizen science projects to help spread the joys of nature, from spiders to stars, to all people.  

GIDEON YOUNG  is a member of the Carolina African American Writers’ Collective and the Carrboro Poets Council. His poetry has appeared in Backbone Press, Modern Haiku, Obsidian: Literature in the African Diaspora, Sons & Daughters Literary Journal, and The Elizabeth Keckley Reader: A Determined Life, Vol. II. Gideon is a co-author of One Window’s Light: A Collection of Haiku, published by Unicorn Press, 2017, winner of the Haiku Society of America Merit Award for Best Anthology. He is a Teaching Fellow for A+ Schools of North Carolina, a K-12 Literacy Specialist, and stay-at-home dad.

      The Raleigh Fine Arts Society, Inc.  |  P.O. Box 10614  |  Raleigh, NC 27605  
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