Fredericktown resident W. H. “Chip” Gross was named the 2014 Writer of the Year at The University of Akron Wayne College’s Writing Awards ceremony on Saturday, April 5. The ceremony was held during the College’s annual Writers Workshop.
Gross is an award-winning Ohio outdoors writer/photographer who is also a speaker and editor. He earned a B.S. degree in wildlife management from The Ohio State University in 1974, then went to work for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife.
While with ODNR, Gross was editor of that state agency’s two wildlife magazines: Wild Ohio and Wild Ohio for Kids. Since taking an early retirement option from the Division of Wildlife 12 years ago, Gross has had hundreds of articles and photos published in regional and national magazines. He has also written six books: Home, at Last, is the Hunter; Pro Tactics: Steelhead & Salmon; Ohio Wildlife Viewing Guide; Young Beginner’s Guide to Shooting & Archery; Poachers Were My Prey; and Trolling Big-Water Walleyes.
Chip and his wife of 41 years, Jan, have two grown sons and seven grandchildren. They live at the end of a one-lane gravel road surrounded by 13 wooded acres where Gross says they like to "sit on our front porch and listen to wild turkeys gobble."
The Writer of the Year award recognizes excellence and achievement by a published writer whose work has appeared in the Wayne, Holmes or Medina County areas. The achievement is for a lifetime of work or for a recent success. The honor includes a plaque and $500 cash prize. Previous Writer of the Year award recipients are Bob Adamov of Wooster, Joanne Lehman of Apple Creek, David Kline of Fredericksburg, Paul Gaus of Wooster, Mary Ellis of Medina County, and Raymond Buckland of Holmes County.