Dr. Rick Wilber named 2021 FPES Friend of NIE

Florida Press Educational Services presented the 2021 Friend of NIE award to Dr. Rick Wilber at the 2021 Florida Media Convention July 16, 2021 in Sarasota.

Wilber is an award-winning writer, editor and teacher who has published more than 50 short stories, several novels and short-story collections, three edited anthologies, a memoir, and a half-dozen college textbooks on writing and the mass media.

His most recent novel is Alien Day, the second of a trilogy based on his long-running S’hudonni Empire series of stories. The first book in the trilogy, Alien Morning, was a finalist for the 2016 John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction novel of 2016.

Other recent publications include The Wandering Warriors (New Word City, 2020) co-authored with Alan Smale; the short-story collection Rambunctious: Nine Tales of Determination (WordFire Press 2020); Making History: Classic Alternate History Stories (Ed.) (New Word City, 2019); and the collection The Moe Berg Episodes (New Word City, 2018).

Wilber is a Visiting Professor in the low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Western Colorado University. In addition, he is co-founder and co-judge of the Dell Magazines Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing.

The Friend of NIE award recognizes individuals and organizations that have shown extraordinary commitment to increasing literacy by supporting the mission of Newspaper in Education programs throughout the state of Florida.

Wilber, a long-time supporter of journalism and newspaper in education programs, was chosen as the 2021 Friend of NIE for his tireless generosity in helping to found the Tampa Bay Times Newspaper in Education Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing Contest. This contest seeks to nurture and recognize the creativity and talent of high school students in the Tampa Bay area. It was established to encourage aspiring young authors to explore the genres of science fiction and fantasy and to experiment with the short story format.

Florida Press Educational Services, Inc. (FPES) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization of newspaper professionals that promotes reading, particularly for young people. The primary objective for NIE programs is to build future newspaper readers and to expose young people to quality journalism. For more information about FPES, visit fpesnie.org.