Joanna Marsden is a freelance writer, copywriter, and an independent maker of radio documentaries. She writes for magazines & newspapers, including The Irish Times, and co-wrote the memoir of activist Martin Naughton, Never Know Your Place: Memoir of a Rulebreaker (O’Brien Press, March 2024).

An excerpt from Never Know Your Place features in the publication of the TULCA Visual Arts Festival in Galway (November 2023).

Joanna is interested in social history and is drawn to the experiences of marginalised people and the emotional & artistic trajectories of individual lives. She often uses unpublished memoirs & papers to build the backbone of a compelling script or story.

She is currently writing and producing a radio documentary for RTE Lyric FM on the women behind a forgotten Irish ballet company .

She partnered with producer Susan Dennehy to write and make the 50-minute radio docu-drama, ‘A Boy from the North West – The Jack Kerrigan Story’, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) Sound and Vision Scheme. This documentary won Silver for Best Documentary at the 2016 PPI Radio Awards.

She also script-edited & researched for ‘Letters from Midwinter’, a recent radio documentary with producer/narrator Susan Dennehy, based around women’s private letters 1970-2020, and funded by BAI with support from An Post. This documentary won Silver at the New York Festival Awards 2021.

For many years she earned her living as a Communications & Publications Manager in the not-for-profit sector and as editor of Ireland’s most widely ready disability/health magazine. She has also written for homes magazines such as Renovate, House & Home and Real Homes.

Joanna has a M. Phil in Irish Writing in English from Trinity College Dublin and a BA in English & Related Literature from the University of York. Her post-graduate dissertation was on Beckett’s Trilogy and twenty plus years later, Beckett remains one of her favourite writers.