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.”


Financial Lunch And Learn Held At GPS

Four local experts in the field of financial and estate planning were on the panel for “Empowering Women for their Financial Future,” a no-cost lunch and learn program for GPS alumnae and parents at the Chattanooga Golf & Country Club. The opportunity was provided for the broader GPS constituency to hear advice and learn financial and estate planning tips that will benefit them, ... (click for more)

GPS Students Receive Field Trip Inspiration

One summer reading book for GPS ninth graders is the NY Times bestseller Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier. The story is of a young woman who is imagined to be the inspiration behind Vermeer’s most famous painting that has the same name as the book title.  Ms. Chevalier’s historical portrait of the girl is fiction, but springs from her study of and appreciation ... (click for more)

Trustee To Be Appointed To Oversee Hutcheson Medical Center Bankruptcy With Focus On Sale Of Fort Oglethorpe Hospital

A trustee will be appointed to oversee the bankruptcy case of Hutcheson Medical Center with a focus on getting the financially-strapped Fort Oglethorpe hospital sold. The U.S. Trustee's Office had filed a motion asking that the bankruptcy be dissolved due to the debt rising to $6.3 million since the bankruptcy was filed last November. However, all parties finally agreed it was ... (click for more)

Civic, Political Leader Mai Bell Hurley Dies At 87

Civic and political leader Mai Bell Hurley has died at age 87. She was the first woman to serve on the Chattanooga City Council. Ms. Hurley was also a longtime advocate for the arts and a leader in United Way. She was a leader in Chattanooga Venture that led to the redevelopment of downtown and the riverfront.  She most recently served on the Library Board. ... (click for more)

Does The Signal Mountain Town Council Take Its Constituents As Fools?

You've got to hand it to the Signal Mountain Town Council. In their scheme to change the zoning on Signal Mountain from 1/2 an acre to 1/4 an acre they get more creative by the day in coming up with justifications for doing something a majority of their constituents are squarely against.   They started off by hiding behind a poor widow who had fallen on hard times. She had ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We Ain’t A Whirlygust

I have lived in and around the State of Tennessee my entire life and I have spent that last 50 years writing words in stories every day. I love clever words, words that fit perfectly in a sentence. I also like funny words, clever phrases and all sorts of “slang” words. This week the Slate website came out with “The United Slang of America” and, naturally, I was eager to see what ... (click for more)