Background

Religion Editor, Proofreader and Trainer

For those who write about spirituality and religion, in a manner that engages the intellect and opens the heart, Joya Stevenson offers extensive editorial experience, as well as a capacity to motivate her clients so that they achieve their best results. Her editing encompasses assorted other subjects, too, in nonfiction and mixed genres.

Training

In addition to editing, Joya is engaged in scholarship, teaching, and coaching in the following fields.

  • The Study of Religion: Scholar in biblical and religious studies (Ph.D, Harvard University).* (see below)
  • Spiritual and Personal Development: Professional coach; Interfaith Chaplain.**(see below)

Editorial Approach

As a writing mentor, Joya helps authors develop their manuscripts, revising and rewriting them. She addresses the following factors:

  • Themes and Structure: Joya offers editorial input about voice, point of view, genre, word choice, phrasing, overarching design, flow, dramatic pacing, research methodology, rhetorical crafting, and topical organization.
  • Motivation: Since writing a book provokes growth, Joya coaches her clients during the creative process to help dissolve blocks to their productivity.
  • Book Proposals: A book proposal may be compared to a business plan. To enhance the marketability and influence of a book, Joya edits book proposals, which may be joined with selected chapters of manuscripts.

Religion, Spirituality, the Bible

Joya is knowledgeable about both classical matters and innovative approaches, as illustrated by the following authorial profiles.

  • Original Thinkers: Joya works harmoniously with authors who make new fusions of opposite beliefs or things (e.g., orthodox believers who write about heretics and outsiders, without dogmatic bias), “spiritual but not religious” writers who take the Bible seriously, the Zen Buddhist who studies Jesus, or the Jew who recovers lost prayer techniques for contemporary audiences.
  • Inspired Visionaries and Mystics: Joya has an affinity for books that aim not merely to inform readers but also to transform souls. Whether an inspirational narrative, a mystical treatise, a biography of an exemplary figure (e.g., a prophet), a series of interviews, or a report about extraordinary experiences, such works add mystery and meaning to the mundane.
  • Theologians and Biblical Interpreters: Joya is well versed in traditional questions raised by Christians and Jews. Innovative methods (e.g., feminist, interfaith, multicultural), equally, earn her dedicated attention.
  • Researchers and Academics: Joya’s specialized expertise, which includes languages (ancient and modern) and research modalities, qualifies her to assist scholars to write nonfiction books for niche or mainstream audiences.

General Nonfiction

  • Business: Joya assists people in business to develop short books (or ebooks) about their craft. By articulating business principles, victories over adversity, and their vocational motivations, a short book sets these professionals apart from their competitors in the marketplace. Non-native English speakers may enlist Joy to polish the English on their websites and in other professional materials.
  • Humanities and Social Sciences: Some authors work with Joya on projects that involve research, factual analysis, and new intellectual discoveries (e.g., in history, psychology, philosophy, women’s studies, or literature).
  • Memoir and Personal Development: Others write personal memoir (e.g., about the experience of being a refugee) or inspirational self-help.
  • Having spent years in libraries, Joya loves words and books. A potent book can save people from difficulties, grave or shallow. Books mediate between the past and the future. They preserve the legacy of our civilization, and they spark lasting change.

Notes

*Joya’s biblical scholarship: In her research about the trial of Jesus, Joya argues against anti-Semitic interpretations that blame “the Jews,” collectively, for the crucifixion of Jesus. Instead, the trial of Jesus in the Gospels reflects accusations of false prophecy and magic, which were brought against Jesus in the early Church. These accusations put Jesus in league, allegedly, with groups of religious professionals, in the early Roman empire, who were deemed illicit or seditious (e.g., prophets, holy men and women, astrologers, magicians, and the like).

Please find samples of Joya’s articles and lectures below.

**Joya’s work in personal and spiritual development: Here are just a few books of value to writers as they develop their productivity, social influence, support systems, motivation, creativity, and spirituality.

Book for Writers: (Productivity) The 7 Habits of Highly Prolific Writers, by Hillary Rettig; (Social Influence) Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change, Kerry Patterson, et al.; (Support Groups) The Power of Eight, by Lynn McTaggert; (Motivational) Creating the Impossible,by Michael Neil; (Creativity and Spirituality) Writing Spiritual Books: A Bestselling Writer’s Guide to Successful Publication, by Hal Zina Bennett.

Please find samples of Joya’s articles and lectures below.

Articles: Biblical

The Female Jesus: Early Christian Visionaries

The Prophet Ezekiel: Visionary and Shaman

The Horoscope of Jesus

Biblical Authority: 1 Cor. 14:33b-36, Should Women Be Silent in Church?

The Significance of 153 in John 21:11

Transformed by Love: Lazarus Raised from the Dead

The Angel of Beauty (Part 1): Gen 32: 22-30

The Angel of Beauty (Part II): Gen 32: 22-30

Articles: Spiritual and Personal Development

How do We Love? (Part I): Our Creative/Spiritual Profile

How do We Love? (Part II): Our Creative/Spiritual Profile

How do We Love? (Part III): Our Creative/Spiritual Profile

Miracles and Peak Performance: Jesus and Flow

Recent Lecture Series: FEMALE PROPHETS

Two Faces of Biblical Female Prophets Part, I

Many of us equate prophecy with the classical (male) prophets of Israel (e.g., Jeremiah, Isaiah). In this two-part series, we will dig out evidence about female prophets of the Bible, whose legacies are sometimes buried underneath discrediting stereotypes (e.g., a reputation for ecstasy or witchcraft). Miriam, Huldah, the Witch of Endor, and the unnamed “soul catchers” in Ezekiel will all be considered. Not only will we excavate historical facts about these prophetic women, we will also reflect upon literary and theological methods for assessing their impact on our lives of faith as Christians.

Two Faces of Biblical Female Prophets, Part 2

In this two-part continuation of our four-part series on female prophets in the Bible and early Christianity, we will investigate the Corinthian women prophets (in 1 Corinthians), the Pythian slave girl (in the Book of Acts), the ecstatic female seers of the 2nd century Montanist movement (as described in selected church texts), and the prophetic legacy of Perpetua, an early Christian female martyr (in the Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicitas–a work probably based on the original diaries of Perpetua herself). Not only will we excavate historical facts about these prophetic women, we will also reflect upon literary and theological methods for assessing their impact upon our spiritual lives, as Christians and allied friends.

   

Testimonials

“Joya Stevenson’s insight and skill as an editor, honed over years of editorial work, are incomparable. Not only is she adept at catching all the grammatical and stylistic problems a text may involve, but she has an ability that few editors have: namely, a sensitivity to what you as an author are trying to say and a gift for helping you say that in the clearest and most convincing way. Hiring her is an investment in your best voice.” – Allen Speight, Boston, MA

“Joya Stevenson assisted me with writing projects as I made a career switch from a corporate environment to the beauty business. She helped me to craft my vision and to communicate my passion for serving others. Through my written materials, potential clients and colleagues now get a picture of who I am – in addition to my skills. Joy is a fun person to work with. She is creative and responsible, with top-notch skills as an editor and writer.” – Karen Lurie, Boston MA

“Joya Stevenson has edited numerous scholarly papers of mine. She has helped me in many areas, including research methods, fact-checking, and the structure and flow of my writing. Joy is an excellent editor. She is thorough, detailed, and perceptive, with a great deal of knowledge. Joya is also a great coach. She encourages the best in me, and keeps me motivated, as I make progress in new fields.” – Linda Richardson, Pasadena, CA