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BC teacher pens story for Chicken Soup for the Soul

By Dawn Burleigh

There is more to a Bridge City English teacher than meets the eye. Not only does she teach High School English, and Adjunct Professor Freshman for Seniors, she is also a published author.

Sylvia Ney submitted a story to Chicken Soup for the Soul and it is now in its third publication in a newly formatted Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive for Preteens.

Ney’s story, “Feeding the Soul” first appeared in a previous version of Chicken Soup for the Soul, and now, it’s being shared with a whole new generation. Today’s parents grew up with Chicken Soup for the Soul 15 to 20 years ago, buying 20 million copies of the publisher’s various books for children, preteens and teens. Talk to any millennial mom and she’ll tell you how important the books were as a source of comfort and peer counseling as she navigated her way through adolescence.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive for Preteens is a new smaller format and at a lower retail price as well. These 5×7-inch books, at $10.95, offer kids a less daunting reading experience, with pages that are formatted more like magazines. They are fast-paced and graphically interesting, with pull quotes, fun quizzes, journaling, and other activities.

“It is a wonderful company,” Ney said during a phone interview. “It was a total surprise when they reached out to me. I was super excited.”

Ney describes the latest version as different from previous Chicken Soup for the Soup publications.

“This book has quizzes and doodle pages,” Ney said. “It allows for the artistic side and gets away from the mundane.”

Her story, Feeding the Soul, also causes one to stop and reflect. As the words flow across the page, one is transformed into the life of a teenager unhappy with having to give up a Saturday to help her father with serving the community. As she meets the people her dad is visiting with, she learns there is more than just handing a homeless person a sandwich.

Ney said she has always been a writer and has worked for a newspaper and a magazine.

“I like the positive message of Chicken Soup for the Soul,” Ney said. “There is too much negative in this world and no enough pushing positive.”

Ney has served as a Board Member of both the Texas Gulf Coast Writers and Bayou Writers Group in Louisiana since 2012.

“There is a multitude of information and contradictory advice out there. Weed through and find what works for you,” Ney said when answering what tips she would give a new writer. “Our minds don’t work the same and we all have different interests and strengths. Be willing to learn and find your own process for success.”

To learn more about Ney and other stories she has written, visit www.sylviacney.com