by Evonne Agnello

Evonne Agnello wrote newspaper stories about other people for thirty years before retiring to write her own story and first book, Shaking Shame from Mental Illness. Her memoir is a message of hope for anyone who has suffered depression or trauma or known someone who has.

Evonne grew up in a weekly newspaper in Seward, Nebraska where her family owned The Seward County Independent from 1949-1977. After graduating from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, in 1970, she bought a one-way ticket to London, packed a seventeen-pound suitcase, and ended up living and working in Germany for the next eighteen months.

She returned to Seward in 1972 to publish her family’s weekly for three years before moving west to work for The Bulletin in Bend, Oregon and later The Columbian in Vancouver, Washington. From 1978-1985, she published The Aitkin Independent Age which her family owned from 1963-1996. The last fifteen years of her newspaper career were with Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association, first as Assistant Director, and from 1992-2000 as Executive Director. PNNA is a non-profit trade association of daily newspapers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Alaska, Montana and British Columbia.

After retiring, she honed her writing skills in classes at Field’s End, Richard Hugo House, Pacific Northwest Writers Association, Tacoma Community College, and Cloud Mountain Retreat Center, and heard scores of authors at programs by the Northwest Bookfest, Seattle Arts and Lectures, Elliott Bay Bookstore, and the Seattle 7 Writers.

As an advocate of mental illness awareness, she is a member of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and is available for talks, interviews, book readings and signings. She has traveled in every U.S. state and over thirty foreign countries. Her son, Adam, is a woodworker in Putnam, Connecticut, and also restores and sells woodworking tools.


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