Joël Champetier became a full-time writer after working in electrochemistry. His first published work, Le chemin des fleurs, appeared in Quebec science-fiction and fantasy magazine Solaris in 1981. After publishing many stories in various magazines and collections, some of which would be translated to English, he published his first youth novel, La mer au fond du monde, in 1990.
La taupe et le dragon, his first adult science-fiction novel, was published in 1991. This would be translated into English and published in the United States in 1999 by Tor Books. He has also been published in France, such as a collection of stories through Orion, and his fantasy novel Les sources de la magie was published by Bragelonne in 2005.
Joël Champetier also grew in status among the community of Quebec science-fiction and fantasy writers. In 1983, he helped organise the Boréal Congress, an annual Quebec science-fiction conference. He would serve on the conference's board of directors in 1984, and again from 1989 to 1999, becoming Vice-President from 1994 to 1999.
In 1987, he became a literary critic in the publication L'année de la science-fiction et du fantastique québécois (Quebec Science Fiction and Fantasy Annual).
At Solaris magazine, he became a member of the editorial committee, becoming literary director from 1990 to 1994, co-ordinator from 1992 to 1996 during which the magazine won three Aurora Awards. In 1995, he worked with Yves Meynard on the anthology Escales sur Solaris for the magazine's anniversary.
In 1996, he was honoured at the Salon du livre de l'Abitibi-Témiscaminque, for which he had been previously in charge of programming in 1991.
His works, primarily represented by the novels La mémoire du lac, La peau blanche and L'aile du papillon, were often compared to the style of Stephen King by various editors.
His 1997 novel La peau blanche was adapted into a 2004 film by Daniel Roby which was released in English as White Skin.
He is presently based in Saint-Séverin de Proulxville, Quebec and is the current managing editor of Solaris.
1995: Grand Prix de la science-fiction et du fantastique québécois (Grand Prize for Quebec Science Fiction and Fantasy), for La mémoire du lac, Le secret des sylvaneaux, Visite au comptoir dénébolien and Esclave du sable
He was also a finalist in 1984 and 1985 in a screenplay contest by Radio-Québec(today known as Télé-Québec), at Prix Québec/Wallonie-Bruxelles in 1992, and also at Prix Brive/Montréal in 1993 (for Le jour-de-trop).