Photo by Polly Donohue

Photo by Polly Donohue

Jo Watson Hackl grew up just outside a ghost town in the middle of the Mississippi piney woods in a county where storytelling is a major form of entertainment. This tradition inspired her passion for writing. She spent her childhood inventing characters, roaming the woods, and picking way more than her share of butterbeans.

She received a BA from Millsaps College and a J.D. from Yale Law School.

She is founder of, a web site devoted to providing inspiration and information about the outdoors. Jo has served as Assistant Regional Advisor for SCBWI Carolinas. Her writing columns have been published by The Pen and Palette, a publication of the Carolinas Chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, her non-fiction is included in the Emrys Literary Journal, and her poetry is included in Hearing Helen, published by the Greenville County Museum of Art. Her work has also been featured in The Clearinghouse Review. Her novel, Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe, is forthcoming from Random House Children’s Books in July 2018.

She lives with her chef husband and three children in Greenville, South Carolina, where she writes every day and takes to the woods whenever she can. 

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