I am a kind-hearted, down-to-earth, Jersey girl who geeks out over writing. I earned my joint-doctorates in English and Media Studies in 2020 from Vanderbilt University, five years after completing my M.A. in English. In 2011, I received my MFA in Creative Writing from Rutgers University. I earned my B.A. in Communications in 2008 from Temple University.
I love traveling and understand it as one of the best ways to learn and grow. In 2012, I spent the year living in Johannesburg, South Africa teaching at the University of Witwatersrand as a Fulbright Scholar. Overall, I have taught for 5+ years at the university level and enjoyed every second of it.
Founding MJ VanDevere Editing Services in 2020 served as a natural extension of the work I was already doing. As a developmental editor, I use my sense of humor, kindness, and penchant for specificity to support my clients in realizing their writing goals. Not only do I make suggestions and offer fixes, but I empower my clients to become better writers by teaching them how to identify their gaps and provide them with the tools to address them.
When selecting an editor, a writer needs a professional who is honest, understanding, and intuitive. MJ is able to assess not only the content of the original piece but walk the client through the steps needed for a work that will evolve. She understands that when we bring her our projects, there is an attachment that we have. However, she guides us in applying a new vision for stagnant aspects that weigh down the work, allowing us to truly soar and captivate our audiences.
Podcaster & Content Creator
MJ has come through for me at several crucial points throughout my academic and professional career. Whether she’s helping me to present myself to potential employers through persuasive cover letters or assembling my dissertation chapters, MJ has an eye for clarity, concision, and engaging narrative structure. She knows what resonates with academics and general audiences. On top of all of that, she’s down-to-earth and fun to work with. I highly recommend her services!
DR. MAGANA K.
Director of Institutional Research
at Fisk Univ.
MJ worked on my very first book project with so much patience, compassion, and vision to help it come alive when it was in just its very first stage. I could tell how much she became personally invested in the book and me as a writer when she started reading more about the topic, taking its messages to heart, and sending me publishing opportunities as they came up. MJ made very insightful questions and comments that helped me consolidate the book's theme and expand on certain concepts to make the story so much richer. Her critical understanding of racial dynamics also helped me weave sociological theory through my story and convey my message in an accessible way. Her sense of humor is also impeccable, and all credit goes to her for making the corny jokes I was reaching at actually funny. She was a pleasure to work with on both a professional and personal level. I am so thankful to have connected with her.
Creative Writer & Lawyer