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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

City College Express editor shares her story

Meg and John Masterson visited a local Barnes & Noble to see copies of “Chicken Soup for the Soul” on shelves. Photo by Meg Masterson

Most college writers polish their essays for professors’ eyes. Even most published writers toil over their words, sometime for years, in hopes of producing work that will touch readers in a meaningful way. One City College student’s homework for a journalism class has achieved both goals.

City College Express Managing Editor Meg Masterson will sign copies of “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Inner Strength” Thursday, Nov. 13, in Sacramento.

Masterson’s personal essay, “John,” is featured in the latest installment of the popular anthology series, which, according to the book’s website, collects 101 uplifting and empowering stories by “people who overcome challenges, solved problems, or changed their lives.”

“I submitted the piece to Chicken Soup in the spring of 2013,” said Masterson. “After I didn’t hear back from them for a few months, I figured they weren’t interested in the story. Then, over the summer, I got an email from the publisher saying they wanted it, and I had completely forgotten that I’d sent it! It was a bit surreal.”

In “John,” Masterson wrote about her 28-year-old brother, John, who has Down syndrome. Her story challenges the perception of intellectual disability as a weakness, and through the telling of John’s numerous accomplishments, she writes about how he is a source for inspiration.

The 26-year-old journalism major first wrote the personal essay as an assignment for her Writing for Publication class.

“[Professor Jan Haag] was the one who encouraged me to send the story to a bunch of magazines and anthologies,” said Masterson.

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“I will be there,” said John, “and we’re going to have fun. I am going to sign everybody’s [book]. My sister, she’s the best, and she loves me.”

Copies of “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Inner Strength” will be available for purchase at the book-signing event for $15. All proceeds will be donated to Best Buddies International, a nonprofit support organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The event will run from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at 1020 16th St., Suite 20, Sacramento.

“John and I went to a Barnes & Noble to visit the book on the shelves,” said Masterson. “It’s so hard to describe that feeling. I always wanted to visit a book that I’d written in a bookstore, and I got to do it.”

For more information, contact

Meg Masterson at [email protected].

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