Ruddick won the Pen/O. Henry award for the story “Leak”, which deals with relationships and adultery. The story revolves around a man who is having an affair with a married woman.
Writing “Leak” took several days for Ruddick. After being told by a professor that his original story was uninteresting, he began revising it to add more detail to the story. He also re-wrote the first paragraph several times.
“You kind of just have to do it, because you have to do it. And if you don’t write you go a little nuts, so you just write and whatever comes out is whatever comes out,” Ruddick said.
“Leak” takes place in an efficiency apartment on the eighth floor of a high rise, which resembles an apartment that Ruddick lived in.
Ruddick says that he draws inspiration for his writing from personal experiences.
“I do take inspiration from my personal life, but it’s from the emotions not the events,” Ruddick said. “So, I change the events to better get at whatever the emotions might be.”
Ruddick will read his piece Tuesday at 7:45 p.m. in Johnson Hall.