About Joanne Fedler

I grew up in South Africa, the middle sister of three girls. Words were my friends, I grabbed them early and loved the shape they made on the page and the way they escorted me up a faraway tree and through space.

At six, I wrote and illustrated my first story, Goodbye Kitchen, which was thin on plot, but big on food – a theme that seems to have followed me into adulthood.

During a particularly lovelorn state, my dad (one of the pre-eminent political cartoonists in South Africa) painted me this poster of Superman, setting the bar high on my romantic expectations.

As a teenager my dad gave me a copy of Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood, a play for voices which made me giddy with longing. I knew I wanted to do that with words too.

But it seemed as if the only way to fix the broken world was for me to become a judge or politician. I got side tracked in studying law and went on to do a masters in law at Yale (where I went on hunger strike and posed nude for a photographer – not at the same time). 

After that I spent years fighting for women’s rights, counselling abused women and set up a not-for-profit advocacy centre to end violence against women.

In 2004, Hustler magazine made me ‘Asshole of the Month,’ for my view that violent pornography wasn’t so fabulous for women’s equality. And that, let me tell you, was a great honour.

But even as life was taking me down the bleak path of litigation and leading witnesses, I never stopped craving a life shaped by words – long before I knew what an advance or a character arc was.

I didn’t know anyone who was a published author.

It seemed as ludicrous as wanting to be a superhero.

But I knew if I didn’t grab my longing and run like hell, part of me would forever be lost in the ‘what-if’ haze of regret.

So after I had babies and moved countries, I ditched my Yale law degree and I aimed my heart. I committed everything to writing.

That’s when life met me halfway.

I finally finished the novel I’d been working on for ten years. My first novel The Dreamcloth was published in 2005. I then went on to write another nine books some of which have been published in the UK, Australia, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Croatia and South Africa. In Germany, Weiberabend (Secret Mothers’ Business) made it onto Der Spiegel’s bestseller list in 2008, the sort of lucky break you always think will never happen to you.

My books have been translated into different languages and have sold over 700,000 copies worldwide.

I’ve been teaching writing for ten years now.

In 2014 I enrolled in a business course because I realised the publishing industry was changing so rapidly and I needed to understand how to survive. The idea of the starving artist has truthfully never appealed to me.

Each year I take groups of aspiring women authors on writing retreats (to Fiji, Bali and Tuscany) to help them find their voices. Everyone has something they want to say, a legend about who they are. Writing helps us belong – to ourselves, our life’s purpose and to this beautiful, battered world.

I now run free 7 day writing challenges, an 8 week online writing programme The Author Awakening Adventure and have many other courses in development. Alumnae of my retreats become part of my Author Liftoff programme where I nurture aspiring authors towards publication. 

I’ve just set up my own publishing company Joanne Fedler Media to bring books into the world that have WINGS (words that inspire, nourish and grow the spirit).

My book, Your Story: how to write it so others will want to read it, is published by Hay House.

I live in Sydney, close to a beach with my husband Zed, and two young adult kids.

I prefer coffee, cats and kombucha to tea, dogs and beer.

I dream of having my own vegetable garden and enough space to have an Australian sheepdog and a colony of rescue cats.

The world needs great writers. Why shouldn’t YOU be one of them?

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The Joanne Fedler Team

Magic is inevitable when people work together.

We know it takes a village to raise a child; a community to support a marriage; and a team to execute a vision.

Everything Joanne Fedler Media brings into the world is the synergy of many talents, hearts and spirits.

Scroll the photos below to meet our peeps.


Want to join our team?

Are you an editor? Graphic designer? Social media expert? Project manager? Sales expert?

We are always looking for new people to come on board to support our writers in different capacities.

The best way to find out if you are a good fit is to become an affiliate. By promoting our writing programmes and courses to your friends and community, you will earn 25% commission whenever anyone signs up through your special link. You’ll be invited on team trainings with Joanne and get access to special events too.

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