A Nanaimo high school student is now a published poet.
Victoria Hathfield, a Grade 10 student at Dover Bay Secondary School, grew up reading Chicken Soup for the Soul books, and when she learned the long-running anthology series was seeking submissions for its latest seasonal collection, she sent in a few short stories and poems.
Hathfield said she was excited when she got the news that one of those poems, Dear Santa, was selected for the anthology Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas is in the Air, noting that “I never really imagined that my writing could be published in an actual book.”
“When I was younger I used to love reading Chicken Soup books so it’s inspiring for me to have one of my own stories published in one of the books,” she said.
Dear Santa is a poetic letter to Santa Claus in which the author insists that she has everything she needs and implores St. Nick to instead bring gifts and happiness to sick children. Hathfield suspects that the work was chosen for its message about bettering the lives of others. She said it’s a message suited for the season.
“I think especially around Christmastime we generally like to share these stories about kindness and giving because it’s a great opportunity where many people are willing to give,” Hathfield said. “And I think we need more opportunities for everyone to know that even if it’s a small contribution, they can create a symbol of hope in other people’s lives.”
Now that she’s had her first poem published, Hathfield said she’s motivated to continue writing and she hopes to have more of her work published in the future. She said she sees writing as a way to express and share her emotions and thoughts.
“Right now with the internet and everything it’s really easy to have a piece of your writing be shared among a large number of people,” Hathfield said. “And I think that’s really important if you’re trying to spread a nice message and you’re trying to teach someone something that they could do to help improve the world and the environment and the people around them.”
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas is in the Air is available here.