Joelle Berger came out screaming.
Raised as an only child (and grandchild) in the suburbs of Philadelphia, she threw tantrums by squeezing her facial muscles as hard as she could until it appeared her head would pop - a tactic later known as "the face." A chunky girl without detectable athleticism, Berger enjoyed classical piano, tap dancing, musical theater, and chocolate-chip pancakes.
Her father always said she was reared like veal - sheltered in close captivity to reach maximum potential. Breaking out of her box, she attended the University of Florida, where she earned her bachelor's degree, magna cum laude, in journalism (and college football). In 2006, she was selected for the Florida FlyIns International Journalism Practicum, with which she traveled to Ecuador to report on indigenous life in the Imbabura province. Berger also wrote for multiple publications, including The Gainesville Sun and Women's Health. She still loves Tim Tebow and isn’t afraid to say so.
As if journalism was not stressful enough for Berger, she abandoned her collegiate dreams and decided to attend Cardozo School of Law in New York City. She was a teaching assistant and then research assistant for the legal writing program, as well as a notes editor for the Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal. Her legal thesis, assessing the media's liability for outrageous newsgathering techniques, was published in the fall of 2009 and has since been cited in federal court opinions and legal resources. A self-proclaimed dark horse, she never participated in class but wrote a mean final exam. She graduated with honors.
With two degrees and six figures of debt, Berger lawyered. And lawyered. And lawyered. In early 2013, she left the grip of private firm practice to pursue a more sustainable existence and, most importantly, her writing. Her work has since appeared in Hippocampus Magazine, Mr. Beller's Neighborhood, West Side Rag, Outside In Literary & Travel Magazine, Gravel magazine, and Paper Tape magazine. She also contributed to the creative super-site Brit + Co. Yes, she still has a day job, but she finally has a voice that screams once again.
She lives in New York City with her college-boyfriend-turned-husband, Douglas, who graciously tolerated her quarter-life crisis and now frequently appears in her stories. He has only seen "the face" a few times.