Julie Fewster

Julie Fewster

In her memoir What Are You Going to Do With Your Life? Finding Myself in Marriage, Motherhood and Ministry, Julie Fewster tells the story of her quest over a lifetime to find out what she was going to do with her life. When she first confronted this question as a teenager in Kansas, Julie realized she had no idea how a woman could combine a career with being a mother, let alone a minister. Nevertheless, she took on the challenge and in her book she describes how her well-lived life as a wife, mother and minister. Julie says of working with writing coach Susan Omilian in this process. “Susan’s course From Memory to Memoir: Writing Your Life Story inspired me to dig into my strong resistance to entering seminary as a Kansas woman growing up as a girl in the 40’s and 50’s with no role models for ministry.” Inspired by Susan’s clear instructions, Julie began by writing about a specific moment in her life, then describing what came before and after. “Once I started with a defining moment, I could happily recall my years of marriage, motherhood and ministry. I added a section about the amazing, strong people who influenced me and concluded with a focus on these, my retirement years.”

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Lowell Fewster

Lowell Fewster

In his 2019 memoir, Journey Without Maps: Discovering My Way through the Peace Corps, the Church, Social Justice Ministry & Photography, author Lowell Fewster tells how he was one of the first U.S. Peace Corps contingents in Nigeria in the early 1960 and how that experienced shaped his life. As an American Baptist minister, Lowell has been a pastor, campus minister, seminary administrator and regional church leader.  He and his wife, Julie, attended Susan Omilian’s “From Memory to Memoir” class in Windsor, Connecticut and both produced memoirs.  Lowell wrote of working with Susan:  “Essential help in the creation and writing of this memoir came from Susan — teacher, writing coach and editor. I took her memoir-writing class three times.  (I hope I finally got it right!) Susan has encouraged me, shown me the way and enabled this memoir to become a reality.”


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Set a vision for the NEW YEAR for your “Thriver” writing journal

susan-transparentFrom Susan Omilian

Thriver Tip of the YEAR!

Instead of a list of New Year’s resolutions that you quickly forget,  write about where you want to be at the end of  the year.
 Before you write, close your eyes, if you are comfortable doing that, and imagine you’re moving from the present moment to another one at the end of  the year.  Keep going into next week,  next month to end of the year.

See yourself in that place when all that you wanted to accomplish this next year is complete and you are happy, healthy and feeling good!

Let yourself be in the moment, noticing where you are,
who you are with and how it all feels. 

When you are ready, open your eyes and write in your journal or notebook describing the vision you have for that moment at the end of the year. Write as if you are in the present… “I am sitting now on the deck of my new home overlooking the ocean.”  Whatever!



Read this “vision” piece aloud or to yourself
at various times throughout the year!
You’ll be surprised where you are at the end of the year!  

* Taken from an exercise in Entering the Thriver Zone. See below.

 Purchase  Entering the Thriver Zone: A Seven-Step Guide to Thriving After Abuse

With interactive writing exercises & inspirational
success stories, Entering the Thriver Zone
gives women a “road map” to break
the cycle of abuse in their lives.
VISIT THE STORE for ALL Susan’s books at www.ThriverZone.com/shop
 Contact Susan about
discounts on bulk purchases!
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Paige Lawrence

Paige Lawrence


First-time Connecticut author, Paige Lawrence, self-published a children’s book called Gluten-Free Ghouls that is now available on Amazon.com.  The inspiration for her book came from when she developed an intolerance to gluten as an adult. It was – and still is – very difficult for her to maintain a gluten-free lifestyle and she thought that it must be difficult being a child with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, so her goal was to build awareness with her book.

Gluten-Free Ghouls is about six hungry green ghouls who dive into dumpsters and tip over trash cans in search of their favorite junk-food treats only to discover that their not-so-healthy eating habits can create some frustrating and itchy symptoms. Their only solution is to eat a gluten-free diet.

Gluten-Free Ghouls is a light-hearted book that’s perfect for children with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivities, but also great for children of all ages regardless of whether they have a gluten intolerance or not. The colorful illustrations, fun ghoul characters and a message that focuses on good health and nutrition makes this book fun, as well as, educational.

Paige self-published her book and her experience was a positive one. Self-publishing was the best route for her because she has worked over twenty years as a graphic designer and illustrator, so she was able to create most of the book herself. One service that Paige used was editing. It is a paid service, but the feedback was excellent, and she will happily use them again. When asked what she would do differently next time, the answer was that she’d pursue the self-publishing route again, but with no fear. While the process does take work and dedication, if you have the desire to self-publish your book, you can get help you with any part of the process of creating a book that you need. Now that Gluten-Free Ghouls is available on Amazon.com, Paige knows that anything is possible if you just believe!

Paige would be a great guest speaker. She can be reached at Paige@glutenfreeghouls.com. For more information, please visit glutenfreeghouls.com and follow “Gluten-Free Ghouls” on Twitter and Facebook.

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Janina B. Nawarskas

Janina B. Nawarskas
2013 November Janina's Lost Child book signing event 11 14 012 cropped

Janina Nawarskas, Author

Janina has self-published her memoir, A Child Lost: My Life’s Journey from War Torn Europe to Proud American.  It is an inspiring story of how Janina, born in 1936 in Lithuania, had her comfortable life with her parents and brothers shattered by World War II, leaving her an orphan child attempting to survive in the hellish ruins of war torn Europe.

2013 November Janina's Lost Child book signing event 11 14 022cropped

Janina’s memoir

Janina was a student in Susan Omilian’s From Memory to Memoir: Writing Your Life Story classes over the period of several years.  She has written an inspiring story of her courageous journey to survive not only World War II and be reunited with her family, but also other struggles and trials while living in the United States after the war.






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