Media Kit

Short Biography

Author Jo Watson Hackl is the founder of outdoorosity.org and a lawyer with Wyche, PA. Her debut novel, Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe, was published by Random House Books for Young Readers in July 2018. She received her B.A. from Millsaps College and her J.D. from Yale Law School.

In her community, Jo works on a number of creative, educational, business, and philanthropic initiatives. She is a Liberty Fellow and a Riley Fellow and has been recognized as a “Woman of Achievement” by the Greenville YWCA. Jo’s writing has been published by The Pen and Palette, the Emrys Literary Journal, The Clearinghouse Review, and Greenville County Museum of Art’s Hearing Helen.

Jo lives in Greenville, SC with her husband and three children. They all take to the woods whenever they can.

 

Long Biography

Author Jo Watson Hackl is the founder of outdoorosity.org and a lawyer with Wyche, PA. Her debut novel, Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe, was published by Random House Books for Young Readers in July 2018. She received her B.A. from Millsaps College and her J.D. from Yale Law School.

Jo helped create Read Up Greenville, an annual celebration of young adult and middle grade books and authors, and continues her work with the festival. She also organized the conference “Realizing the Writer and Illustrator Within,” bringing teachers, writers, editors, and agents into the same space. She is past Assistant Regional Advisor of SCBWI, Carolinas and created a poetry mentoring collaboration between the Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities and students from a Title I school. As part of her Diversity Leadership Institute project, Jo developed a module to teach soft skills to at-risk high school students. She has guest-lectured at Clemson and Wofford Universities and also has taught on a variety of topics including Historical Fiction, Revision Techniques, and Writing a Novel.

Jo is working to revitalize the Village of West Greenville into a vibrant arts community and has developed a model set of “Community Friendly Business” lease terms for tenants in the project. She is working with community organizations to provide free job training for residents in the district.

Jo was the first woman to serve as Chair of the Greenville Area Development Corporation. She is Past President of the Greenville County Bar Association, Past President of the Greenville Professional Women’s Forum, and Past Chair of the Community Foundation of Greenville. She is a Liberty Fellow and a Riley Fellow. She is also a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. Jo has been recognized as a “Woman of Achievement” by the Greenville, SC YWCA, received the Community Foundation’s “Ruth Nicholson” Award, the Legal Service’s “Richard Riley Pro Bono Award,” and the Chamber’s ATHENA award. Jo serves on the board of The Hollingsworth Foundation, The Greenville Technical College Area Commission, The ETV Endowment of South Carolina Foundation, The Greenville Center for Creative Arts, Camperdown Academy, and The Millsaps College Board of Visitors. She is a past board member of the Greenville County Human Relations Commission, The United Way of Greenville County, A Child’s Haven, Legal Services, The Children’s Museum of the Upstate, Within Reach, and the Emrys Foundation. She also is a member of the ATHENA group at the Greenville Chamber, the Greenville Professional Women’s Forum, and an advisory member for the NEXT Accelerate Council and serves as a founding member of MIT NEXT Mentoring program, a mentor for the PULSE Leadership Development program, Greenville Women Giving members, and Yale Law School students.

Jo was featured in the American Bar Association’s American Barrister magazine and received a Service Award from the South Carolina Bar Association for her pro bono work. The Greenville County Bar awarded her the Tommy Thomason award, its highest honor.

For several years Jo served as Host and Producer of “Legal Aid, Justice for All,” a local cable television educational program sponsored by the Legal Services Agency of Western Carolina, Inc. to provide legal education to help at-risk populations avoid legal problems.

Jo’s columns have been published by The Pen and Palette, a publication of the Carolinas Chapter of the SCBWI, her nonfiction 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.

Jo is married, and she and her husband have three children, all of whom enjoy spending time outdoors. They take to the woods whenever they can.