Catherine Onyemelukwe

Author, Blogger, Speaker

Crowdsourcing My Title; Ebola and Philanthropy

Crowdsourcing My Title

Peace Corps Writer

Peace Corps Writer imprint will be on my book (without the CLICK HERE)

My husband gave me an article from yesterday’s NYTimes, “Publishers Turn to the Crowd to Find the Next Best Seller.” I read about the author Sandy Hall whose novel was chosen through the votes of online fans. Swoon Reads, an imprint at Macmillan Publishing, is using crowdsourcing to select which books to publish. Brilliant!

This gave me the idea to turn to you for help, not to decide whether to publish my memoir (I’m publishing with CreateSpace, a part of Amazon), but to select the title. I’m not satisfied with the working title I’ve been using.

I’ll have the Peace Corps Writers imprint on the cover, so I don’t need the words Peace Corps. Do I need Nigeria? What other words? A title and subtitle? What will capture a potential reader’s attention?

I like the tagline for the book given to me by the copy writer at CreateSpace: Experience the remarkable journey of a Midwestern American woman who joined the newly formed Peace Corps to teach in Nigeria for two years—and stayed for two decades.

And I’ll give you the description of the book, which you’ll see shortly on my website. The Nigerian people hold strong ties to family, clan, tribe, and country, and it doesn’t take long for foreign residents to develop a similar bond. So in 1962, when twenty-one-year-old Catherine Onyemelukwe launches her two-year adventure with the brand-new Peace Corps, she has no idea what the African country has in store.

Wedding pic

Ready for my wedding December 26, 1964, Lagos, Nigeria

Catherine’s heartfelt memoir revisits her two years overseas that become twenty-four, during which her experiences brim with friendships, students, travels around the country, and love. It recalls how her future Nigerian husband contrives to meet her, their falling in love, and their controversial wedding that becomes world news with their photo in Life Magazine.

This story of adapting to a new culture, taking risks, surviving, and embracing differences will inspire the reader to venture beyond perceived horizons and see the world in a whole new light.

With this background, do you have an idea for a title for me? Maybe the photo of me in my wedding dress will help!

If you need a little more prompting, you can go to the Other Publications page and click on one of the links to read something I’ve written. Or go back to earlier blog posts where I’ve included sections from the memoir. The story about the Dibia is serialized over five posts.

And here’s one more section from the CreateSpace materials. When Catherine Onyemelukwe joins the Peace Corps in 1962, it’s a new organization, and Nigeria, where she is assigned, is a newly independent country. Full of excitement, anticipation, and curiosity about the unknown, this young Midwestern woman sets out to do her part in making the world a better place. But what she doesn’t realize is that Nigeria is instead about to make her a better person.

If you’re able to suggest a title that I finally use, I’ll be very grateful and I’ll send you a copy of the book as soon as it comes out. Even if you don’t have a final winner, your ideas will certainly help me reach a decision.

Ebola and Philanthropy

Mark Ewert is a fundraising coach who helps donors become better at their philanthropy. He suggests ways to structure one’s philanthropy for the greatest result, or for the most satisfaction. He also works with Unitarian  and other congregations on their own stewardship and giving.

I saw an article he’d written on the Ebola virus. He encouraged people to get informed and consider helping. He named a few organizations, including Global Giving, that are working in the affected areas of Africa.

I blogged about his article at GrandmaCharityChallenge, my other blog, where I write about introducing children to charitable giving. I hadn’t posted there since May, because I’ve been concentrating on this blog and connecting with you, my readers. I hope you’ll visit the other blog, maybe even subscribe, and I’ll try to post there more frequently.

Author: Catherine Onyemelukwe

Author, blogger, speaker. Born in New York, grew up in mid west United States, lived in Nigeria for 24 years, back in U.S. since 1986. Advocate for racial justice.


  1. Catherine,

    What about having something about ” A Nigerian Welcome To My Life” as a title? Intriguing to think about……

    I’m enjoying reading your blog and hope to begin one. You are an inspiration on getting writing accomplished and getting your work out there for others by publishing your memoir. I am now getting back to writing work after 6 weeks of grandchildren-focused activity. (Besides the Hawaiian trip I had visits from all four since we returned.)

  2. Suggested Title: “LOVE WITHOUT BORDER”.

  3. “Things Join Together”

    A bit tongue in check: substitute “Mt. Holyoke woman” for “midwestern.” This comes out of my respect for the leadership of women from Mt. Holyoke and it connotes a bit for me some kind of world changing or ‘missionary’ commitment!

    • Hmm, I didn’t get the reference to Achebe right away; interesting take on Things Fall Apart. And I love the substitution of Mount Holyoke for midwestern. In my marketing pitches to certain groups, I will change that! Thanks for the suggestion.

  4. “Falling in love with Africa”?