OHS teen author dives under the sea in her new book


photo courtesy of Emma Rushing

Emma Rushing (10) has published her first book, “Sea of Atlantis,” at the young age of 15.

Oakville has had not one, but two students become published authors within the last 10 years. 

First, OHS alum Hannah Hoffmiester published all five books of her “Dream Ring” series before graduating in 2016. 

And now, Oakville has a new prodigy on their hands with Emma Rushing. The sophomore has just published her book, “Sea of Atlantis,” on March 30, almost four years after finishing the first draft in 2017.

I started writing the first draft in sixth grade when I was eleven. I just kinda got a small idea, and it blossomed from there,” said Rushing. “Many changes have been made from the first draft, and it took a lot of hard work and planning, but I did it.” 

Starting at 11 years old may seem young, but Rushing has been writing for even longer. 

“I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write. I’ve been a storyteller since I could talk. Even when I was in Kindergarten I would write little books and use my limited writing skills to create stories,” said Rushing. 

“Sea of Atlantis” follows the story of Coral, a foster child who discovers she’s meant to be in the lost city of Atlantis. 

“Funnily enough, I came up with the idea after I thought of combining Disney’s ‘The Little Match Girl’ and ‘Atlantis: The Lost Empire,’” said Rushing. “The story has certainly grown a lot from there, and I get a lot of inspiration from the works of literature around me.”

I want to be someone who helps others escape and enter worlds they could have never imagined and make them feel as though they are a part of my story.

— Emma Rushing

When she’s not writing her own stories, Rushing can also be found reading copious amounts of books. 

“I adore literature and use it as a way to escape from the real world, and I would like to help others like me do the same,” said Rushing. “I want to be someone who helps others escape and enter worlds they could have never imagined and make them feel as though they are a part of my story.”

While there is still more work to come as a teen author, the process of publication also took a while. 

First we had to do a lot of legal stuff, especially since I’m not eighteen,” said Rushing. “They can’t talk to me directly and can only speak with my parents to give information or ask questions who in turn relay the message to me. 

“Then I had to edit my book and make sure that everything relating to the story was exactly the way I wanted it. I was given no professional help with this so turned to the adults and other people in my life to help. 

“Then we moved on to grammatical editing where we fixed any grammatical errors. Next up was page design, and then cover design.”

Her book is currently available for purchase from Amazon and Barnes and Noble Online

“It feels like a dream come true,” said Rushing. “I am so proud of myself, and I am excited to live as a teen author. It’ll be a lot of hard work but I’m ready!”