High School Writer Authors First Novel

Preston Pagel, Managing Editor

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There aren’t many jobs that pay a thousand dollars for about four hours of work, a 250 bucks an hour.

For Senior Charlie Moua, a student in Creative Writing II, this was a reality. Moua qualified for a scholarship worth a thousand dollars to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point after he submitted his work as part of the aforementioned class to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point High School Writers Workshop Nov. 29.

Moua said he had thought about writing the novel for about two to three months as he planned on submitting it to the Point of Convergence last spring. However, he waited to write and submit it until the upcoming winter edition, which is set to be released in January. He approaches all of his longer-form pieces of writing by pondering over the idea for at least a month before he begins putting pen to paper.

Moua’s novel, entitled “Numbers”, centers on a boy who has to live with the power of being able to see people’s favorability ratings of him.

““Numbers” is about a kid that can see numbers on people’s heads. They indicate how much a person likes him with one being the lowest and ten being the highest,” Moua said. “The basic plot is that he learned to live with it and one day he noticed that his dad’s number dropped from a ten, which it always was, to a nine after his mom got into some kind of an accident.”

Becoming an author is something that Moua aspires to, although he realizes it that may not be sensible.

“It’s not something I think I can do full-time, but it [becoming an author] is something I definitely want to continue on the side. If I could, I would want to make a living out of it, but I am pretty sure I can’t so I need a backup plan.”

According to Moua, that backup plan is something with computers.

He said that he would have written the novel even if he wasn’t in Creative Writing II, as it is something he enjoys doing.

English Teacher Mr. Matthew Cepress, can attest to that. “I think it is pretty cool that I have a student that writes long-form because he wants to not because he has to.”

The decision of whether or not he should claim the thousand dollar scholarship, and attend the only university where the scholarship is redeemable, UWSP, still lingers for Moua.

“Of course I applied to Point and it is on my list, I still am leaning toward my first choice of Madison.”

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