Local author and educator Helen Wilder has stories featured in two of the latest Chicken Soup for the Soul collections.
Wilder’s first publication was, “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope & Miracles: 101 Inspirational Stories of Faith, Answered Prayers, and Divine Intervention.” Released in February nationwide, her story is called “The Textbook.” Her second publication in the series was soon to follow. “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Nurses: 101 Stories of Appreciation and Wisdom” was released in July, and her story is called “A Great Life If You Don’t Weaken.” Both books are available online at amazon and at most bookstores.
Wilder is a lifelong resident of Middlesboro. She taught kindergarten and first-grade for 37 years at West End Elementary School, now called Middlesboro Elementary School. As a teacher, Wilder saw the importance of the written word early on. She incorporated storytelling into her curriculum and read to the children often. She was the first in her family to attend college and she believes the difference was made for her because of reading.
“When I was teaching my goal was to get the children interested in literature so they would be lifelong readers. I believe there is a lot of competition these days in Appalachia for children’s attention,” said Wilder. “With their exposure to television and video games and those types of activities books and reading can be pushed out of the picture.”
Wilder retired in 2004 but she still substitutes and teaches developmental writing occasionally at Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College when needed and she works with the friends of the library — fundraising for children programs in the summer.
“I was very surprised when Chicken Soup wanted to publish my first story and again when they wanted the second,” said Wilder. “I have written other stories and several children’s books also and this has encouraged me to pursue further publication.”
The Friends of the Library hosted a meet the author event on July 28 at the Middlesboro-Bell Public Library featuring Wilder. She read her stories from both books, shared an unreleased story and further addressed the audience, briefly discussing the writing.publishing process. Wilder will also be apart of this years local authors event, held by the library ever year in November.
To join the Friends of the Library, or to find out more about their coming events in Bell County, visit their website at bellcolib.org
Reach William Tribell at 606 302-9100 or on Twitter @wtribellmdn