About Mary Jo

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved books—reading, collecting, sharing, discussing, and ultimately writing and editing books. Forty-nine bookcases in my home bear testimony to my bibliophilia.

In 30 years as a professional editor and book coach, I’ve discovered that most writers share similar challenges and struggles. In this blog I’ll be sharing some of the best strategies for writing a great book.

My education includes a B.A. in English and philosophy from the University of Mississippi and an M.A. in English from the University of South Carolina, as well as many seminars on writing, publishing, and marketing.

My publications include Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms (Apologia, 2014); Critical Companion to F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Literary Reference to His Life and Work (Facts on File, 2007; revised and expanded edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald A to Z, 1998); articles on F. Scott Fitzgerald, Eudora Welty, William Faulkner, bibliophilia, writing, homeschooling, and single parenting; and home study courses on getting started as a freelance editor and balancing family and home business.

My first professional experience was editing doctoral dissertations for international seminary students. In graduate school, I was blessed to be mentored by a great editor and leading Fitzgerald scholar, Matthew J. Bruccoli, with whom I worked on the Cambridge University Press edition of The Great Gatsby.

I served as Copy Editor for Homeschooling Today magazine and Managing Editor for Family Reformation magazine. My clients include the University of South Carolina Press, University Press of Mississippi, Carroll and Graf, Trivium Pursuit, Apologia Educational Ministries, Bright Ideas Press, Morgan James Publishing, and Facts on File.