Bowie Author Wins Fiction Award
Chloe Jon Paul has been honored with a prize for her fiction novel "This Business of Children."
Bowie resident Chloe Jon Paul wasn’t always an award-winning author—first, she was a teacher.
For 35 years, Jon Paul taught everything from inmates at a prison to high school students in a psychiatric facility.
It was while on a leave of absence from teaching in the Prince George’s County Public School system that Jon Paul, now 75, wrote the novel This Business of Children. The novel was recently awarded the Bronze Award for Fiction by Readers Favorite, an online book review and book award website.
“I needed a year to pull myself together,” said Jon Paul, who after writing the book in 1991 during her teaching sabbatical, shelved it for about two decades.
She wanted to throw her manuscript in the trash, but a good friend convinced her not to so it sat gathering dust until a few years ago. Then one night, Jon Paul was watching the news and seeing stories about teachers and teachers unions and even a tragic teacher suicide.
“I said, ‘Oh my God, all this stuff is in my book,’” said Jon Paul.
This Business of Children follows the fictional stories of four elementary school teachers living and working in Maine in the mid-1980s. Their personal and professional lives change dramatically over the course of a school year.
Although her book is now an award-winner, Jon Paul says she’s not in it for fame and fortune.
“I want to celebrate good teachers everywhere,” she said.
Winning the award came as a complete surprise.
“I’m surprised I won this award. I’m honored by it, and humbled by it,” said Jon Paul.
The book has also recently been written into a screenplay by Don McNabb.
Jon Paul is the author of two other books, What Comes Next? A Family Guide to Nursing Home Visits...and More and Entering the Age of Elegance: A Rite of Passage & Practical Guide for the Modern Maturing Woman.
This Business of Children was Jon Paul’s first work of fiction, and she is nearing completion on her first children’s book titled The Girl Who Didn’t Like Her Name.
When not writing, Jon Paul works as a hospice volunteer for veterans at a facility in Baltimore, and runs her church parish’s Good Samaritan Project. She has lived in Bowie for 20 years.