Enter your e-mail address below to subscribe or unsubscribe from the mailing list.

privacy policy


Dr. Joan Steinau Lester


"You are a gem. You have a fine eye, a good sharp hand, and totally get what I'm writing about. What a pleasure to work with you."
-Joan K. Peters, author: When Mothers Work and Not Your Mother's Life.

"Not only is Joan Lester a skilled, inspired and successful writer herself, she's equally expert in the process of collaborating with other writers as they polish their own prose into perfectly elegant and marketable finished pieces. I have learned so much from Joan, as a writer and a person: she is kind and honest, energetic and always optimistic, clear and encouraging. These qualities bring out the very best in all of us who are lucky enough to work with her. I can't recommend her coaching and editing services highly enough."
--Lesley Quinn, essayist: The New York Times, Skirt! and Sand in My Bra and Other Misadventures.



Dr. Joan Lester is a compassionate and wise editor, skilled in multiple genres, from academic prose to fiction, memoir, essay, and narrative non-fiction. She's worked with many first-time authors as well as those who've published widely.

Her specialties are organizing and trimming material. Vigorous pruning, she finds, improves most manuscripts. Clarify yours by contacting JoanLester@​JoanLester.com

"Working with Joan has helped me tremendously, both personally and professionally. It has boosted my self-esteem more than years of therapy and helped me realize my lifelong goal of getting a book accepted for publication!"
--Marti Kheel, Ph.D., author of Nature Ethics: An Ecofeminist Perspective (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008).

"Joan is simply the best! She provides warmth, encouragement, and a killer editorial eye, not to mention her vast knowledge of the writer’s path, which she generously shares. Joan helped me turn years of ruminating about law and equality into published articles that have created a national audience for my ideas. What a gift!"
--Charlotte Fishman, attorney and Director, Pick up the Pace

"Joan is one of the best editors I've had. She's able to see big picture issues, helps with structural problems and is just as wonderful when it comes to fine-tuning sentences. Her uncanny ear has untangled many of my knottier paragraphs."
--Marissa Moss, best-selling author of the "Amelia's Notebook" "series and publisher of Creston Books.

"Joan Lester guided me through the exuberant underbrush of my early drafts, helping my voice, point of view and subject matter to emerge with clarity and skill. She is a painstaking and sensitive guide, companion and teacher."
--Sandra Butler, author: Conspiracy of Silence, and Cancer in Two Voices

"I feel so fortunate to have connected with Joan Lester and to have her support and insights as I work on my writing. Joan's coaching and editing have been invaluable as I've developed both my skills and my confidence. Since I have been working with her, I've gone from getting published occasionally to being a regular columnist."
--Sandy Blaine, columnist: Yoga International Magazine

Selected Works

"A powerful story brilliantly capturing the complications of the mother-daughter relationship from both sides." --Marissa Moss, author of the bestselling Amelia's Notebook series
Selected as Teen Read of the Year by "Coming Together in Skokie," 2015. ***************************************** "In a fast-paced novel-within-a-novel, Nina's great-great-grandmother runs from slavery to freedom, her courage an inspiration to Nina. This multi-layered novel--part contemporary, part historical--is impossible to put down." --Elizabeth Partridge, award winning author of Dogtag Summer
Showcases the many facets of a woman--Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton--who remains an iconic torch-bearer for the Civil Rights and Women's Movements.
Diversity Classic Reissued, July, 2016 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * "This refreshing book captures what most miss--insightful lessons from personal encounters with diversity. Lester is a talented storyteller who shares her learning in an unpretentious way." Ann M. Morrison, author of The New Leaders. ******************************************* "Lester's generous voice sheds keen insight, humor and practical advice on the polarizing dilemmas of living with diversity." Urvashi Vaid
Offers proven, effective strategies for every woman, whether secretary or CEO. Provides encouragement and goal-setting guidelines. "Lucid...poignant."-- MS.