Vojin Jelić was born on 27 November 1921 in Knin. He completed his high school education in Šibenik and studied in Prague, Belgrade and Zagreb where he graduated at the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry.  Jelić belongs to a group of prominent storytellers of post-war Yugoslav prose. In his novels and stories he portrayed rural life of the people from the Dalmatian hinterland. In almost every of his works, Jelić quoted sayings from the heritage and culture of Croatian Serbs, their legends, myths and customs, which are passed from one generation to another, in the hope that this will save them from disappearing. The psychological and social multi-faceted character of his stories is based on true events and part of his literary opus is dedicated to Chetniks and Ustasha, which made him a target of the then social political elite.

He was a prolific writer with authentic artistic expression. His opus includes 23 literary works. The first of his collections of stories called Đuka’s đerdan was followed by a novel from 1953,  Anđeli lijepo pjevaju (Angels Sing Beautifully), and a collection of novellas: Ljudi kamenjara (People of Rocky Counrty), Kirvaj, Limeni pijetao (Tin Rooster), Doživotnigrešnici (LIfetime Sinners) and Gorki bajami (Bitter Almonds).  He considered his last book, Pogledaj svoje ruke (Look at your hands), written in 1966, as his own amulet, because this is where he included all the memories he had, which were connected to his birthplace of Knin.

At the beginning of the last war, his works were removed from textbooks and school reading in Croatia. When Nedjeljko Mihanović, who later became Speaker of Parliament, singled him out and accused him for all that his fellow members of the same nationality did in the war, Jelić withdrew from public and cultural life of Croatia.

Jelić worked as a journalist and as a teacher, and for a long time he was the secretary of the Serb cultural society Prosvjeta. He died in Zagreb on 19 December 2004.