About Joy

Joy A. J. Howard, Ph.D.

COACH & Editor


Joy grew up in southern Michigan, a writer & storyteller from a young age. She wrote stories on construction paper,  tying up the pages with yellow & orange yarn. Her heart for hearing the voices of all people was especially shaped at Lewton Elementary School. She sat in classrooms with diverse peers from all over the world and was taught by teachers who believed urban students of all races and all socioeconomic backgrounds possessed great potential. One of her teachers was a survivor of the American WWII Internment of Japanese peoples. Mrs. Diana Sablan impressed upon her students the love and justice all people deserve regardless of gender, race, or any other difference.     

Joy majored in English & Secondary Education at Michigan State University in East Lansing. She was a writing tutor at MSU in the Writing Center, training under Dr. Janet Swenson and Dr. Patricia Stock. She became an English teacher and taught American Literature in urban high schools and middle schools in Michigan. (She even taught elementary school one summer.)

She moved to New Hampshire and completed a Master's degree in English at the University of New Hampshire. She did her Master's thesis on the writings of the 19th century Holiness preacher, Julia Foote. Her thesis was directed by Dr. John Ernest and his mentorship emphasized that one could do scholarship and seek justice. Joy was a writing center tutor and a liaison for the Writing Across the Curriculum Program to the Biology Department under the direction of Dr. Dot Kasik.   

While at UNH, she fell head over heels for a plant community ecologist finishing his Ph.D. on fire ecology. She finished her thesis, they got married and then they moved to Indiana. They missed the snow, the ocean, & especially missed Boston, but they made lifelong friends. She completed her Ph.D. in early American literary studies from Purdue University under the superb direction of Dr. Kristina Bross

Joy has been a visiting professor of early American literature at West Point and at Saint Joseph's University. She was a tenure track assistant professor at New Jersey City University before moving into freelance coaching and editing full time.   

Joy passionately believes all voices deserve to be heard. That little girl who wrote stories on construction paper and tied them together with yarn now researches and writes about women's lives in the 18th century. (Interested in Joy's research and publications? Go here.) 

Joy offers coaching to academics at all stages, but she specializes in working with clients who have been/and are marginalized, oppressed, and underrepresented in academia and publishing. 



Philadelphia has been home for the past 12 years. She loves West Philly and its people with all of her heart. 

Joy also loves coffee and is an avid letter writer, just like her Grandma was. Handwriting letters is her love language. 

Along with her sister, Joy is the co-owner of an artisan broom & basket company called Sistercraft. She crochets, knits, and quilts.