Jo-Anne Richards is an internationally published novelist with a PhD in Creative Writing from Wits University. After fifteen years running the Honours programme in Journalism & Media Studies, she left Wits to concentrate on the business she founded with Richard Beynon, All About Writing.
She has published five novels, her latest being The Imagined Child, published by Picador. Her first novel, The Innocence of Roast Chicken, was originally published by Headline Review in the UK, but has recently been rereleased as one of the prestigious Picador Africa Heritage Series.
Both Innocence and Touching the Lighthouse were published in German by Droemer Knaur.
She has been short-listed for the M-Net Book Prize and nominated for the International Impac Dublin Literary Award. Her first book was chosen as a Dillon’s Debut in London, and showcased as an “outstanding first novel”.
Film rights for Innocence were sold to a UK production company and Jo-Anne co-wrote the screenplay with award-winning screenplay writer Richard Beynon. When the German translation of Lighthouse was launched, she was invited to speak at Bayreuth University in Germany on Writing in a Transitional Society.
Jo-Anne has published short stories in six collections: a collection of women’s writing produced by Headline and Cosmopolitan UK; in Laugh the Beloved Country, Double Storey Books; From Joburg to Jozi, Penguin; Something to Write Home About, Jacana; Twist, Oshun; and Home Away, published by Zebra Press.
She convened the judging panel for the Thomas Pringle Short Story Award in 2010.
Through All About Writing, she teaches creative writing, mentors other writers through their writing projects, and produces structural edits and manuscript reports. She has acted as examiner and external examiner for the Creative Writing Masters programmes at Wits University and the University of Cape Town, and supervises Masters students. She teaches creative writing at UCT’s Summer School and produces reader’s reports and manuscript reports for a number of local publishers.
She has worked full-time for four South African newspapers – The Star, the Sunday Express, the Cape Times and Evening Post. She has written features and supplements for South African magazines and newspapers, including Fair Lady, Femina, Psychologies, Oprah, Real Simple, Leadership, Living, Elle, True Love, Quality Life, Sunday Times Magazine and Lifestyle, and the Mail & Guardian.
She has also contributed to international titles such as The Guardian in London,Vanity Fair and Talk in New York.
She received a B Journ (Hons) from Rhodes University in 1979.