Washington Court House City Schools recently congratulated student Claudia Fuller for earning the “Gold Key Award” in the novel writing category for her manuscript, “Tommy.”
According to Washington Court House City Schools Director of Marketing and Communication Trevor Patton, Fuller — who is a Washington High School sophomore — received the award from the Art Academy of Cincinnati.
“The Gold Key is a regional scholastic art and writing award of southwest Ohio, northern Kentucky, and southeast Indiana,” Patton said via email. “The nation’s most prestigious recognition initiative for creative students in grades 7-12, the Gold Key is the largest source of scholarships for young artists and writers in the nation. Claudia and, ‘Tommy,’ will now be considered for adjudication at the national level, with winners to be announced in mid-March.”
As part of the congratulations, Washington High School Principal Tracy Rose interviewed Fuller to help highlight her work with the manuscript and see how she is feeling following the award announcement.
“I had a couple friends at my old school — before I transferred to the district — and they were brother and sister and they had gone through child abuse,” Fuller said during the interview. “That is a very serious subject that I think is hard for people to talk about and I started writing the story. I didn’t know where it was going to go and I touched on child abuse, which is difficult, I think it is a difficult subject for anyone to discuss and talk about. I think they were the biggest inspiration, if you want to call it inspiration, and it really impacted me and I used that (impact) I think.”
Fuller said she had been working on the manuscript for about five months, writing a good bit using her cellular device. It was something she worked on daily and said she loved to do.
“The manuscript is about 80,000-90,000 words,” Fuller said. “The requirement for a novel is 40,000, the ones we read in school are usually around 70,000 and some of the larger ones reach around 90,000 to 120,000 words. My mom helped a lot (with the editing), that was probably the biggest help. Thank you mom and I also had my cousin edit it as well. I love to write, it is like my happy place.”
Fuller said she is already busy writing her next novel and she will know if ‘Tommy’ reached the national level in March, but in the meantime gave some advice to others with a talent.
“Listen,” Fuller said. “I think that is the big one. It sucks sometimes when you have an adult come up to you and they really harp on what you have written or what you have done and it can suck, but sometimes that advice is professional advice or it is advice they have gotten from experience and they have learned. That advice can really change everything. So I would say listen and heed when you hear someone.”
The information in this article was provided by Washington Court House City Schools.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 463-9684 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy.