Local woman authors chapter in Chicken Soup


A local woman has written a chapter in a new edition of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series called The Power of Yes!. Jo-Anne Barton and her husband, Ian Davies, have lived in Oxford Mills for twelve years. They moved to North Grenville from their home in Barrhaven for the clean air and slower pace of the country. After living in big cities like Edmonton and Ottawa her whole life, Jo-Anne says she adjusted quite well to living in the country. Her husband is also a city-boy, but quickly made sure he fitted in to his new surroundings. “He bought himself a truck, dog and plaid jacket,” Jo-Anne says.

Jo-Anne has always enjoyed writing and participated in a writing workshop put on by local writer Molly O’Connor at the North Grenville Public Library. Jo-Anne says it was Molly who told her about how Chicken Soup accepts submissions for their books which they publish several times a year. “I checked the website and saw they were going to be publishing a book on the power of yes,” Jo-Anne says.

She had several stories from her own life that she felt would be relevant for the book, but finally settled on a story about the first time she ever went skiing. She was in her mid-twenties and was terrified of falling, being laughed at, and not fitting in. She felt like skiing was for the “cool kids” and the elite, “not for normal people like me.”

Jo-Anne wrote the story and submitted it in May of last year. Chicken Soup receives thousands of submissions for every edition, and only publishes 101 stories. “I didn’t think my chances were very good,” she says.

After getting through several rounds of cuts, Jo-Anne heard in March that her story was going to be included in the book. “I was delighted. I really doubted that anyone was going to want to read what I wrote.”

She says her experience skiing taught her that it pays to have a positive attitude and not to shy away from trying new things. “I’m often amazed at what happens when I step outside of my comfort zone. From tackling small home improvements, to travelling to places I’ve barely heard of, I’ve learned that stretching myself and giving things a shot has led to great new experiences.”

Jo-Anne’s story is one of 101 stories about the power of positive thinking in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Yes! Jo-Anne will be retiring from a job in sales at the end of August, and hopes volunteer in the community and do more writing in her free time. “I enjoy reading and writing short stories, and I plan to do more of both,” she says.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here