About Bonnie Jean

I grew up in Northern Kentucky, where just across the Ohio River, the Cincinnati skyline was always a sight to behold. At fifteen, I got a job at Riverfront Stadium where I worked concessions until graduating high school in 1993. If you know your sports, then you know how cool that was. As a teenager, I got to work the 1990 World Series games.

Between working concessions and playing in the High School Marching Band (Pit Percussion), that’s about as close to sports I ever got. As an adult, I pursued a career in writing and nonprofit public relations. I was the executive director for the Child Wellness Community Fund in Cincinnati and then the Richland Area Community Center in Michigan. Even when holding a “day job” I moonlighted as a freelance writer.

In 2010, I faced a medical crisis. I was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis. Swelling and crippling pain forced me to retire from the community center at age 35. I was bedridden and heartbroken for nearly a year. Thanks to the amazing expertise in autoimmune arthritis at Northwestern University in Chicago and the patient advocacy of Dr. Eric Ruderman (he is a rock star!) I won the fight with my insurance company so I could begin biologic treatment. Biologics were fairly new and very expensive.

My quality-of-life slowly returned and so I returned to freelance writing. My health still requires maintenance but quality of life has returned and I know how to manage it. I do not allow it to consume my identity. From my home office, I’ve built an award-winning career for which I’m proud and extremely grateful. I enjoy boiling down big concepts and articulating solutions for readers specifically in health, social justice and environmental concerns. I love that writing doesn’t mean you have all the answers; it means you know how to ask questions, listen, and communicate what you’ve learned in a way that’s understandable and hopefully enjoyable.

I’m back in Northern Kentucky these days living between Fort Thomas and Louisville with my husband and son. My two adult daughters live on their own. One, in Louisville, KY and the other attending graduate school at the University of Michigan. That’s right, I had my son at age 40 when my youngest daughter was fifteen. The fact that he is here and my body could grow him despite its challenges leaves me awestruck daily.

As of September of 2021, I am no longer freelancing. I’m now the opinion editor for The Pulitzer Prize-winning Louisville Courier Journal. I manage the Community Forum opinion section of the newspaper. That means letters to the editor and guest submissions about Kentucky or from Kentuckians come to me.

As a writer, wife, and mother, the importance of strong community resources speaks to me both personally and professionally.

Journalism is a vital community resource to which I am honored to contribute. If you have assignments or leads for me, please do not hesitate to email me at Bonnie at WriterBonnie dot com.

1 thought on “About Bonnie Jean

  1. I was also a voracious reader child. Your daughter might enjoy the James Herriot books starting with All creatures great and small. Keep it up and best of luck. If all else fails, try banning a book, like Tom Sawyer.

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