Alumni Update: Donna Remmert

There are many ways to spend one’s retirement. Some buy a timeshare in Palm Springs, some sign up for weekly bridge games, but if you are UW-Madison graduate Donna Remmert, you self-publish a trilogy of coming-of-age novels instead. Author of “The Littlest Big Kid,” “The Jitterbug Girl,” and “Head Over Heels,” Donna Remmert has found a new career as a memoirist, drawing on memories of her time here at UW-Madison. Ms. Remmert recalls her college days in the 50’s as “particularly intriguing because our culture was on the cusp of major changes in regards to civil rights and women’s rights.” 

Although Ms. Remmert’s novels relied heavily on her memories of the past, she has advice to share on the decidedly modern landscape of publishing “I never even entertained the idea of trying to find an agent or a publisher for my memoirs,” she declares, saying she had seen young and gifted women in her writing group try and struggle. “So, I did what so many other writers are choosing to do today—self publish. It offered so many more opportunities for me, along with the freedom to say exactly what I wanted to say.”

On her books, she warmly declares, “I loved writing my coming-of-age trilogy and I think it’s a good read for women who grew up when I did and also for young women who need to know that we women of the 50s paved the way for them, with our feisty discontent.” Ms. Remmert has blazed trails her entire life. From her days as a college co-ed experiencing America’s first surges of feminism to her current career as a successfully self-published author, Ms. Remmert has never waited for opportunity to come to her—she has created opportunities for herself. And today, because of her memoirs’ popularity, she has gotten back in touch with the girls she lived with back at UW’s Zoe Bayless dormitory. They will be having a reunion in November, to share stories of where their lives have taken them since college. We are sure they will have much to discuss.  You can learn more about Donna’s life and books at