Jennifer Oliver O’Connell caught the writing bug at 15. While still in high school, she was accepted into the Urban Writers Program of Youth Communications, publisher of New Expression newspaper. Her piece “Teens Juggle Careers and School” was published in the September 1982 edition, and was entered into a nationwide contest for a journalism scholarship. Mrs. O’Connell went on to become the College/Careers Editor for the paper, incorporating her organizational and compositional touches to the February 1983 College/Careers Issue of New Expression, as well as writing and producing the piece “If I Were Seventeen Again…”
Mrs. O’Connell attended Columbia College Chicago, and within that program, she wrote a number of short stories, including “The Foot,” which was published in the fiction anthology Hairtrigger 9 & 10. Mrs. O’Connell graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree and went on to use her writing and editing skills to produce newsletters and marketing materials for several companies. In 1988, she moved to Los Angeles after being accepted into the Master of Professional Writing program (MPW) at the University of Southern California (USC). Mrs. O’Connell continued to hone her talents in fiction, poetry, and screenplay writing.
Mrs. O’Connell graduated from USC’s program with a Master of Professional Writing in 1993, and in 1994 she completed her own anthology of short stories entitled, The Foot And Other Things To Put In Your Mouth. In 2009, she completed her first memoir, Fried Chicken and Sympathy, and plans to produce it as an interactive e-Book. Jennifer is also a contributor to the first of its kind women’s encyclopedia: Women in American History, A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia and Document Collection. She is currently working on The Girl's Guide to Reinvention, for publication in 2017.
Mrs. O’Connell writes at As The Girl Turns, is an opinion/editorial columnist and senior political writer for Communities Digital News and has been a featured panelist on radio programs and on CNN's Erin Burnett Outfront.
To keep her life in balance, Ms. O’Connell coaches others on careers and reinvention, and teaches Yoga. As an RYT-500 Yoga instructor, Mrs. O'Connell has been featured in Yoga publications Yoga Journal and Mantra Yoga + Health. She is actively involved in the positive body image movement, and has been featured in the Yoga and Body Image Coalition campaign, "What A Yogi Looks Like".
Mrs. O’Connell resides in Los Angeles with the loves of her life: Her husband Lynn, and her three puppies: Panda, a Tibetan Terrier, Puppet, a Malti-Poo, and Maddie, a Chinese Crested Powder Puff.