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Gatewood School sends Yellow Watermelon author Ted Dunagan 70 letters of thanks

Ted Dunagan is no stranger to fan mail. But the students of Gatewood School surprised the author of A Yellow Watermelon, winner of the 2009 Georgia Author of the Year in the young adult category, with not five or ten but a whopping 70 letters of thanks for the presentation he recently gave at the school.

Ted read from his award-winning book and talked about the proces of becoming a published author. He shared stories of his own childhood in the rural South of the 1940s, episodes of which form the basis of his semi-autobiographical novels.

Ted Dunagan poses with students from Gatewood School
Ted Dunagan poses with students from Gatewood School

The school’s Gator Tales Newsletter enthused, “In an inspiring and candid discussion, he encouraged the students to overcome their adversities and live up to their potential. Mr. Dunagan’s advice to students who aspire to become writers was to read daily, to read all genres of books, and to set personal goals for themselves.”

Ted savored his time with the “awesome” kids. Clearly the students also enjoyed the visit, as one of the letters reveals:

Dear Mr. D,

Thank you for coming to my school. It was real fun. I was thinking of the secret question but you did not call on me. Also, thank you for giving me your signature. Now you have mine.

Charlie Ruhl

A Yellow Watermelon is available from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite retail or online bookseller.