Joya Stevenson

Religion and Spirituality

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. Many clients engage Joya’s services for books about biblical and theological subjects because of her advanced expertise. Her editing encompasses assorted other subjects, too, in nonfiction (e.g. memoir) and mixed genres.

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

The Study of Religion: Scholar in biblical and religious studies (Ph.D Harvard University).* (see below)

Spiritual and Personal Development: Professional coach and Interfaith Chaplain.**(see below)

Editorial Approach:

Primarily, Joya assists authors to develop their manuscripts, whether they be final or first drafts, and to revise and rewrite them, addressing 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. Revision and rewriting may be involved.

Motivation: Since writing a book provokes growth, Joya coaches her clients during the creative process if desired, so that they may dissolve blocks to their productivity. She consults with her editorial clients by phone.

Input about the Bible, Religion, and Theological Matters: Joya evaluates the arguments and artistry of manuscripts based on her specialized knowledge of the Bible and religion.

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.

Having spent years in libraries, Joya loves words and books. A potent book can save people from every difficulty, grave or shallow. Books mediate between the past and the future. They preserve the legacy of our civilization, and they spark lasting change.

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 and Links

*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 below.

Articles: Biblical

The Female Jesus: Early Christian Visionaries

The Prophet Ezekiel: Visionary and Shaman

The Horoscope of Jesus

The Angel of Beauty: Gen 32:22-30

Articles: Publishing

Religion, Christianity, and Spirituality: Traditional and Self-Publishing Options

Recent Lecture Series (short descriptions): 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 upon 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 quite 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.


“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

“My best move in writing my historical fiction novel was to employ Joya Stevenson as my helper. Not only did she correct the inaccuracies in my content, but she guided me in the right directions for a better story altogether—including my proposed pitch to a publisher. She’s worth every penny I paid her.”

— Tom Rinkes

“It has been a wonderful experience. This process has really helped my writing come to life.”

(Name available upon request)

“In every aspect, Joya does a wonderful job. Her editing skills are excellent, in the mechanics of punctuation, grammar, fact checking, clarity, style and creativity. She has great insight. Joya enhances a book’s content, to bring out its best, without trying to change its meaning. She nudged me along when I needed it, and she taught me how to write more creatively. She is also very personable and easy to work with. My book is a polished product now, thanks to Joya. I highly recommend her to anyone who needs a spiritually open-minded editor and who does quality work. She is the best. I plan on using Joya again in the future.”

—Donna Joseph

“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

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