Joy's bio



Joy's essays, columns, and articles have appeared in numerous publications, including the Star Tribune, Minnesota Parent, Minnesota Monthly, Minnesota Good Age, StoryNews, BLUNTmoms, Grown and FlownTopology Magazine, Peacock Journal, Mamalode, Great Moments in Parenting, AAA Living, Viking Magazine, the Carleton College Voice, Minnesota Law & Politics, the Des Moines Register, the Indianapolis News, and the Better Homes and Gardens publications Beautiful New Homes and Building Ideas.


Past and present clients include: • SERC, The Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College • the Northfield Historical Society • the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative • the Carleton College Voice • the Vintage Band Festival • NorthfieldHistorical • the Northfield Youth Choirs

Radio/podcast appearances

ArtZany! Radio with Paula Granquist, KYMN, Writers Joy Riggs and Rob Hardy, January 20, 2017
Deep in Bear Country; a Berenstain Bearcast, Episode 57: the Week at Grandma’s, July 2, 2016
This Northfield Life with Brad Ness and Corey Butler, Joy Riggs interview, October 14, 2015

PRofessional Memberships

Society of Professional Journalists the Minnesota SPJ Pro Chapter the Association of Writers and Writing Programs the Loft Literary Center

Volunteer work

Joy serves on the board of the Vintage Band Festival, a nonprofit group that organizes a four-day international vintage music festival in Northfield every three years. The next one is set for August 1-4, 2019.
Joy serves on the board of the Northfield Historical Society.
Joy is a past president of the Northfield Fine Arts Boosters, a nonprofit volunteer group that works to promote and support fine arts programs in the Northfield Public Schools. She served on the Northfield Youth Choirs board from 2008-2014 and on the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative board from 2003-2013.

Upcoming appearances

July 16, 2019 (Northfield, Minn.): Launch party for Joy’s nonfiction book, Crackerjack Bands and Hometown Boosters, 7-9 p.m. at the Grand Event Center, 316 Washington St., Northfield. The event is open to the public.

July 20, 2019 (Park Rapids, Minn.): Joy will sign books from 1-3 p.m. at Beagle and Wolf Books and Bindery, 112 3rd St. W., Park Rapids.

Aug. 4, 2019 (Northfield, Minn.): Joy will present a talk at the 2019 Early Brass Festival of the Historic Brass Society, 9-9:30 a.m. at Carleton College’s Weitz Center for Creativity. The talk is about an Iowa regimental band’s 1906 trip to the South to dedicate Civil War memorials to Iowa veterans.

Aug.10, 2019 (Alexandria, Minn.): Joy will sign books from 2-4 p.m. at Cherry Street Books, 503 Broadway St., Alexandria.

Oct.9, 2019 (St. Cloud, Minn.): Joy will discuss her new book and her research process at the Stearns History Museum, 9-10 a.m. The Breakfast Club event is free for museum members and $7 for non-members.

Oct. 12, 2019 (La Crosse, Wis.): Joy will discuss her book and the importance of music education, 2-3 p.m. at Leithold Music in downtown La Crosse.


Joy received numerous awards for the teen and tween column she wrote for Minnesota Parent magazine for five years: First place, Best Magazine Column, 2013 Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists Page One Awards Gold award, Family Matters Column, Parenting Media Association's 2013 Editorial Competition • Second place, Family Matters Column, Parenting Media Association’s 2011 Editorial Competition Silver award, Best Magazine Column, Minnesota Magazine & Publishing Association’s Excellence Awards, 2013 Second place, Best Magazine Column, 2010 Minnesota SPJ Page One Awards Bronze award, Best Magazine Column, Minnesota Magazine & Publishing Association’s Excellence Awards, 2011 and 2010 Third place, Best Magazine Column, 2014 Minnesota SPJ Page One Awards • Finalist, Family Matters Column, Parenting Media Association's 2012 Editorial Competition

This column plays to the writer’s strengths as a storyteller. It felt more like a conversation over coffee among some moms instead of something more structured and formal, like some parenting columns can be. The writer has developed a strong voice and uses it effectively in her work.
— Parenting Media Association judge, 2013 PMA editoral awards