About Jo-Anne Richards
Jo-Anne Richards is a South African novelist and journalist, whose work has been published internationally.
Her latest book is The Imagined Child, published by Picador Africa, which launches March 2013. My Brother’s Book, also published by Picador Africa, appeared in 2008.
Her second novel, Touching the Lighthouse was also published under the Headline Review imprint in the UK, and both were published in German by Droemer Knaur. Her third book, Sad at the Edges, launched in 2003, was published by Stephan Phillips.
She has been short-listed for the M-Net Book Prize and long-listed for the Impac International Dublin Literary Award. Her first book was chosen as a Dillon’s Debut in London, to be showcased as an “outstanding first novel”.
When the German translation of Lighthouse was launched, she was invited to speak at Bayreuth University in Germany on Writing in a Transitional Society.
Film rights for Innocence were sold to a British production company based at Pinewood Studios. Jo-Anne co-wrote the screenplay with award-winning screenplay writer Richard Beynon. South African-born director Ross Devenish agreed to direct the movie. Sufficient funds were not raised and rights have reverted.
Jo-Anne has published short stories in six collections. One was in a collection of women’s writing by Headline and Cosmopolitan UK and another in Laugh the Beloved Country, edited by Harvey Tyson and James Clarke and published by Double Storey Books. A third appeared in From Joburg to Jozi, published by Penguin. A piece was published in Something to Write Home About, by Jacana, a collection of behind-the-scenes stories by journalists around the world. A short story appeared in a collection entitled Twist, published by Oshun, late in 2006 and another in Home Away, published by Zebra Press.
She convened the judging panel for the Thomas Pringle Short Story Award in 2010.
She teaches writing skills in creative writing and narrative journalism. She is a partner in Allaboutwriting which runs a ten module Creative Writing Course and several other writing courses – face to face and online – with Richard Beynon.
She is academic co-ordinator of the Honours programme in Journalism and Media Studies at Wits University, where she has also supervised in the Masters programme in Creative Writing. She regularly acts as external examiner for the UCT Creative Writing Masters programme.
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. These include Fair Lady, Femina, Psychologies, Oprah, Real Simple, Leadership, Living, Elle, True Love, Quality Life, Sunday Times Magazine and Lifestyle, and the Mail & Guardian.
As national chair of the South African Inherited Disorders Association, she represented South Africa at the Biovision World Life Sciences Conference in Lyon in March in 2007, as part of the International Genetics Alliance delegation. She presented a paper on the Transformation of the Role of Support Groups in South Africa at the 4th International Conference on Birth Defects in Developing Countries in Delhi in 2009, A paper was presented on her behalf at the 5th International Conference in Poland in 2011.
Jo-Anne has two children. She lives with the writer Fred de Vries in Johannesburg. She was born and bred in Port Elizabeth. Her brother, Professor Guy Richards, is an internationally known respiratory physician, also at Wits University. He is head of respiratory ICU at the Johannesburg Hospital.