Cape teen’s poem published in ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ book
A 19-year-old Cape Coral resident recently had a poem of hers published in the newest “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Just for Teenagers” book due to her determination of becoming a published writer.
Just when Korina Chilcoat started to become discouraged after every one of her submissions was accompanied by a rejection letter, an email promised some good news.
“It is a message to never give up on your dreams,” Chilcoat said about the email. “You never know which is the last failure before you succeed. You get everything you want if you just persevere.”
Being a fan of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books since she was a young girl, she decided to submit a poem after she discovered that she could submit stories of her own for publication.
She said she submitted a piece that she wrote specifically for the book while she was a senior in high school to see if it would be published. She was 18 at the time.
After losing track of when she submitted her poem, “Are the Golden Years Gone?,” online she found an email in her inbox from one of the editors of the book.
“It shocked me so much,” Chilcoat said about the wonderful moment of opening the email and finding out her poem was going to be published. “I have never been paid for my work, it was a monumental stepping stone.”
She said the greatest feeling in the world for her was walking into Barnes and Noble and seeing the book on the shelf that contained her poem.
Although her first poem was published, Chilcoat said it only touched one toe into the huge ocean of opportunities out there.
“I would love to send more submissions into ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul,'” she said.
The poem, Chilcoat said, is about the growth and prosperity beyond the realm of the high school world.
“I was hoping my glory days woudn’t be just in high school … I would become more and do bigger and better things,” she said, adding that the poem “questions whether or not the best years of my life had already been expired.”
The flow of writing poems did not always come easy for her, due to the writing struggles she experienced during her home-schooled years. It improved when she later discovered that writing could serve as an outlet to express herself.
“Writing opened up a whole new window to express how I feel … what I wanted to say to the world,” Chilcoat said.
Now she carries a notebook wherever she goes to make sure every idea that strikes her is recorded on paper before she forgets. She said the well of inspiration is endless due to the different topics that she can write about.
“I am writing all the time,” Chilcoat said.
She also had an article “Acing Your SAT Essay” published in Teen Inc. Magazine in April 2010, a national magazine for teenagers. The essay, she hoped, helped one person with their SAT.
After 16 submissions, she said lucky number 17 got in the magazine and on the cover.
“It shows that you can do it as long as you keep going,” she said, adding that “it is about honoring your idea and inspiration.”
She said before her poem was published in “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Just for Teenagers,” that was her biggest accomplishment to date.
Chilcoat said she hopes everyone will follow their dreams and never give up.
“The impossible can be achieved,” she said.
Chilcoat currently attends Edison State College, where she hopes to earn her associates of arts degree before transferring to another school to further her education.