Dalton Middle Teacher Wins Author’s Award

Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Mitch Doxsee
Mitch Doxsee

Dalton Middle is now home to an award-winning author. 

Dismal Key, the novel written by Mitch Doxsee, a seventh-grade literacy teacher at DMS, recently won the 2013 Florida Authors and Publishers Association (FAPA) President’s Award. The book is also in the process of being published.

Mr. Doxsee, 40, started his teaching career in 2001 at the Center for Creative Arts in Chattanooga. There, he taught AP English, Journalism, and Creative Writing.

In 2005, he made the transfer to Dalton Middle.

Mr. Doxsee began writing Dismal Key three years ago when his homeland of Florida began tugging at him.

“The first reason I wrote that book is that I’m from Florida, and I grew up around the Ten Thousands Islands,” Mr. Doxsee said. “I just started writing the book, and it grew from that.”

Mr. Doxsee said he really wanted to capture the natural beauty of the area.

“It started from glimpses and visions in my head, and it wrote itself from there,” Mr. Doxsee said.

The book is set in the Ten Thousands Islands in Florida and focuses on human trafficking in the islands.

“I worked in Amsterdam,” Mr. Doxsee said, “which is known for its prostitution, and you see all these women get stuck in the Red Light District. What if these girls that disappear are being trafficked?”

Mr. Doxsee said writing the book itself has not been the hardest part of the process—the hardest is getting the book published.

“Thirty-five percent of writing is the actual writing. The other is trying to get it published. It’s a hard process. You have to find someone who’s interested in the book, and you have to try to get people to read the book.”

In March, Mr. Doxsee made his novel into an eBook and put it on Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

In June, Mr. Doxsee entered Dismal Key into the eBook category for FAPA. On Sept. 14, he found out that he had won gold for his work.

Mr. Doxsee then attended a banquet in Daytona, Fl., where the awards were presented. At the banquet, a publisher also approached Mr. Doxsee.

Mr. Doxsee signed a contract with Southern Yellow Pine Publishing, and the company is in the process of publishing Dismal Key.

The novel has been taken down from the two sites as of now, but will be available once the book is published.

Mr. Doxsee is writing the follow-up to Dismal Key, and he says he sees the book ending there.

“I write in any spare moment,” he said. “Whether I pour out 1,000 words or 500.”

He also said he sees other novels in his future, but wants to stay with the Dismal Key route while there is promise and interest in the content.

“It’s such a thrill knowing your book will be in print,” Mr. Doxsee said. “It will be properly edited and published. It’s wonderful.”


MatCounts Cancelled This Week

The e-week MathCounts event scheduled for  this Saturday  has been cancelled due to unforeseen schedule conflicts among the competing teams. Jeff Parris, organizer for this event, regrets any inconvenience this may cause those who had planned to help with the event. Jeff can be reached at  423-503-8766 . (click for more)

Lee University YAPD Grant Recipients Announced

The Office of Alumni Relations at Lee University has announced the winners of the second annual Young Alumni Professional Development Grant.  The YAPD Grant program supports alumni participating in initiatives, events, trainings and projects related to professional development. The grant is open to all Lee University alumni, regardless of academic major or professional experience, ... (click for more)

Arrests Made In Connection With Fire At Brainerd Trophy Shop

Fire investigators Captain Moore and Captain McElvain made two arrests Friday night in connection with the fire at the Brainerd Trophy Shop that occurred  on Friday  morning. Gene Wegg and Pamela McNabb, have been arrested and charged with arson by the Chattanooga Fire Department. The two allegedly broke into the Brainerd Trophy Shop and set fire to the building, ... (click for more)

TBI Case Leads To Charges For Woman In Death Of Whitwell Boy

A joint investigation by special agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Whitwell Police Department has resulted in charges for a Whitwell woman in connection to the death of her boyfriend’s son. At the request of 12 th  District Attorney J. Michael Taylor, TBI apecial agents began investigating the death of six-year-old Lucas Michael Dillon on March 29, ... (click for more)

The City I Used To Know

“They Dead”, the innocent young voice said as tears began streaming from my eyes.  Foolishness that didn’t involve him snatched away his childhood in the blink of an eye.  Why?  Why has my city become known more for gangs and violence than the River Front, Lookout Mountain, and a fun little theme park?  What happened to hot summers at Lake Winnie, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Stick Of Dynamite

You may have seen the Tennessee Legislature jumped on the bandwagon to send “an atomic bomb” to Washington this week. The “bomb” makes Tennessee the fifth state to adopt a Convention of the States Project that will hopefully limit the power and the jurisdiction of federal government. The official wording is “to impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power ... (click for more)