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Story Tellers Corner: Retired teacher earns author of year honor

Rhonda Gatlin was recently named author of the year at Path to Publishing’s third annual Excellence in Publishing awards.

“It was pretty exciting,” Gatlin said about receiving the honor.

The group’s awards, which recognize those with “outstanding vision, dedication and contribution to the literary industry,” were presented at Path to Publishing’s “Act Like an Author, Think Like a Business” conference for writers, traditionally and self-published authors, and small/independent publishers.

Because of COVID-19, the conference was split between in-person and virtual sessions during a three-day period. Gatlin said she wasn’t able to “attend” all of the conference and started receiving congratulatory messages about her award before she even knew she received it.

When she started watching the awards ceremony, Gatlin said she was surprised when the group’s founder, Joylynn Ross, started talking about her.

The Las Vegas-based Path to Publishing helps writers get their works published and costs $119 a year to belong. Its members include those whose works have been traditionally or self-published, as well as those whose works have yet to be published.

In addition to offering information about getting published, it offers courses to help people better their writing and learn how to focus on their literary business.

Gatlin said she has learned a great deal about the industry from the organization and by researching other children’s authors.

The retired Boulder City teacher has written and published several children’s books, as well as several short stories.

Ross has been serving as Gatlin’s consultant for publishing projects and edited several of her books.

Among Gatlin’s newest projects are two additional books in her “Aggie” series, which are about a young girl and based upon the author’s childhood memories of time spent at her grandparents’ home in Alabama.

She also has had three poems and a short story published on a local blog and has written four picture books for children.

Gatlin said she is waiting to hear from publishers about getting her latest projects out to the public and hopes to secure a literary agent soon.

In the meantime, she meets regularly on Zoom with fellow authors from around the country who critique each other’s works and is involved with the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

More information about Gatlin and her work can be found on her website, https://gatlinslegacyoflove.com.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

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