Flamingo Awards


The Flamingo Award is the top service award given by the Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of America (Chapter). It is given annually and is to be treated with dignity and respect. The Flamingo Award is presented at a spotlight time at SleuthFest. NOTE: Nominations are open to Members Only. The following procedures will be followed in the selection of the Flamingo winner:

  1. The Board of Directors (Board) of the Chapter will select a Flamingo Award Committee (FAC) to oversee nominations and voting and a board member to be the liaison between the FAC and the board. The Committee will consist of no more than three (3) members. However, only the FAC will be privy to the final vote and will hold that vote in confidence until the presentation ceremony. Whenever possible, the Chairperson will be a past winner of the award.
  2. The FAC will announce the opening of the nominating process in October. The announcement will appear in THE RAP SHEET and be sent to each Chapter member. In the announcement, the value of the Flamingo will be emphasized and nomination procedures spelled out. Nominations will close on December 1, and the FAC will begin consolidating them.
  3. Procedures:
    Any member of the Chapter in good standing is eligible to make a nomination or to be nominated.
    Nominations will consist of the full name of the member and a justification for the nomination. The justification should contain years of service to the Chapter, positions held in the Chapter, Chapter achievements directly related to the nominee, and other information for the Board’s consideration. Service to the National Board of MWA should also be included, if applicable. Justifications must be no longer than 250 words.
    The FAC will evaluate the accuracy of the nominations. If there is doubt about the veracity, the FAC will verify the information and notify the member who submitted the nomination. If there is a conflict, the FAC will brief the Chapter President.
  4. At the January meeting of the Board, after the Board has been called into executive session and only elected Directors are present, the Chairperson of the FAC will present names of the nominees with justifications, and a ballot for each Director. Any Director who has been nominated will be asked to leave the room so a fair and neutral discussion can take place. A nominated Director does not lose his/her right to vote, and the Chairperson of the FAC will retrieve his/her ballot before leaving for the day.
    The ballot will carry the names of all nominees.
    Only duly elected Directors of the Board are permitted to vote on the award. Each can vote for up to three nominees, listing them in numerical preference: First, Second, and Third. The ballot will be clearly marked with the choices.
  5. Directors should consider the following points when determining their votes:
    Years of service to the chapter
    Variety of positions held in the chapter or on the board
    Significant achievements that benefit the board/chapter
    Variety of other responsibilities
    Willingness to pitch in and help when needed
    Willingness to forego self-promotion while conducting chapter business.
  6. The Chairperson will collect the ballots and secret them. The FAC will count the votes, awarding five (5) points to the number one choice, three (3) to the second choice, and one (1) to the third. Then points will be tabulated for the nominees. The person with the most points will be the Flamingo Award winner.
  7. In case of a tie, the Chairperson of the FAC will email the Board Directors with the fact there is a tie and ask for a vote among those who tied. The Chairperson need only present the names of those tied for the Award.
  8. The Board will vote, using the same procedure as before, listing their preferences in numerical order, up to three—if that many have tied—and return the vote to the Chairperson within 72 hours of the time stamp on the email. Any Board Director not voting within 72 hours will be counted as abstaining.
  9. The FAC will again tally the points. If one nominee has the most points, he/she is the Flamingo Award winner. If there is still a tie, the Chairperson will alert the Chapter President and Chapter Vice-President. The three will choose a convenient time and place to meet. When they meet, the Chapter President will place the tied names in a hat and, under the observation of the Chapter President and Vice-President, the Chairperson will do a blind draw. The name drawn will be the winner of the Flamingo Award.
  10. In any case, the name of the winner will be held in secrecy by the FAC until the Award is presented at SleuthFest. At the appropriate time, the Chairperson will present the Chapter President with a sealed envelope containing the name of the winner, and the winner will be announced.

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