testimonials and portfolio

Here are some testimonials from students, parents and book clients.

“You helped Christopher with his college essay to help him apply to colleges. Chris had a few choices but chose to go to SUNY Albany. We appreciate all your help. The essay was great and it showed his character in a true light.” Thank you
Tracy, mom
New York
We were very pleased with MJ Goff as an essay coach for our daughter. For what potentially could have been a very stressful time it was a breeze with MJ.
The Siracusas
New York
I would highly recommend MJ as a college essay coach. She is knowledgeable, supportive, and easily accessible and receptive.
Rhonda Suzzan
Monroe, NY
My story is about my life journey as the only child of parents who escaped the Holocaust, in Germany by immigrating to the USA. The story line could be from the headlines of today. The struggle my parents had in adjusting to a different culture that was foreign to them; and how all these issues affected me growing up. Some years ago a friend suggested that I write a book based on historical documentation and my personal experiences. It took some time for me to take this suggestion seriously. The idea grew to be a true possibility. The work would be dedicated to the courage of my Parents; the memory of my Grandparents; and the 6,000,000 victims of the Holocaust, and the book is dedicated to my children, grandchildren and future generations. It is a difficult task to think, write and research all at the same time. The first draft was finally written. The local library offered a seminar on how to write a book. I took the seminar, MJ ran the program. After the first session; we spoke privately about my goals and feelings and reservations. I now had an editor. After many soul searching sessions and rewrites and the endless searches for typos the final electronic file for the book was finally completed. MJ was there supporting me; correcting me and encouraging me during the entire process. Within a week I had digitally printed, perfect bound books in my hands. Wow, it is a great feeling to have achieved my goal!
Robert D. Cohen
When we met at the diner I was very apprehensive about proceeding with the book. I had never written anything before and I didn't think a book with no ending would go very far. That entire morning you kept prodding and, in a very polite way, would not allow any excuses to get in the way. You understood my reservations and insecurities and kept insisting that I go forward with the work. You explained the realities and difficulties of publishing and recommended that self-publishing would be the best way to go. I took that advice. More than anything else, you provided reassurance and made it clear that the writer is his own worst enemy. Nothing will be accomplished if you let your insecurities about the quality of your writing or doubts about other people liking or buying your book, get in the way. Put it out there, try it, you won't know how it will do if you don't make the attempt.
Ron Hughes
Orange County, NY
I am the managing editor of The Photo News, a weekly newspaper in southern Orange County, NY which covers local and community news in the towns of Monroe, Woodbury and Tuxedo. I have known MJ Goff for more than a half dozen years as a freelance contributor for The Photo News and as a writer who supplies press releases and photos from a variety of community organizations, ranging from Girl Scouts, a municipal recreational group and church and school groups to a foundation created to help people and their families when illness and disease strikes. My comments speak largely about MJ as a reporter and writer for newspapers. Her writing style is clear, clean and to the point. She knows when to get out of the way of a person’s story and when it needs a hand in the telling. She is able to write about emotional issues without being maudlin or overreaching to make the point. She understands that a writer must show through details, not simply tell the reader the facts. She brings other elements to her writing that I find important: You can tell she listens to the people she’s interviewing because of the quality of the quotes or paraphrases. There are complete thoughts; not simply sound bites. The leads to the second element about her writing: She simply does not parrot what someone says; more times that not she shows what the speaker means by those words. I hope this is helpful. I can be reached at editor.pn@strausnews.com and by telephone at 845-469-9000 ext. 307.
Bob Quinn
Managing Editor of The Photo News
With a clear and honest voice, MJ Hanley-Goff writes the stories of our lives. Since profiling “Houses of the Week” for me at the Times Herald-Record, she has worked on several blogs, and written stories on everything from getting up-close-and-personal with wild animals in Africa, to interviewing Diane Keaton. From chronicling her adventures on raising a puppy, to describing the healing waters of the World Trade Center Memorial and the insights of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, MJ covers it all. She is nothing short of fearless. And now in her new blog “Joyful Writing,” she tackles the therapeutic power of writing and the joy it brings to those who share her love of this creative art. There is no doubt in my mind that more great stories are on the way.
Carol Montana
Editor, Sullivan County Democrat, The Catskill Chronicle
MJ Hanley-Goff helped my husband, Dom, write a book about his true life experiences, here in America and when he was going up in Scotland. For years, he would tell me and our kids all his stories and swore that he was going to write it all down. We met MJ when she was doing a short story on Dom, and she immediately agreed to his request to help him with a book, once and for all. For nearly three years, MJ came to our home to collect Dom's handwritten notes and then she went to work putting everything in chronological order, making corrections, and even finding pictures of the places and events he spoke about. She created the book's back and front cover, helped us to self-publish it, and had it all ready for Dom's big book signing party. She made the process easy and stress-free. I must say that if it wasn't for MJ's commitment to the book, Dom would not have had his dream come true. The book has also been sent to Dom's hometown library in Scotland where it is now part of its historical collection, which made us all so proud. To MJ: we all can't thank you enough.
Mary Kelly
Chester, NY
MJ Hanley-Goff puts her heart and soul into writing, and it shows. She’s an editor’s dream: a pleasure to work with and a joy to read. Her words have a way of taking us on journeys of reflection, emotion and imagination, and each time, I’ve loved the trip.
Fina Bruce
Health/special sections editor The Times-Herald Record
MJ thinks creatively and uses that skill to keep her readers interested in the topic.
Terrie Goldstein
Publisher Hudson Valley Parent * HV Baby Guide NY Parent Travel Guide * HV Kids
MJ came highly recommended by a friend who had used her services to revise and edit a self-help book she wrote. I employed MJ’s services and we worked via email to revise and publish my book, 11 Simply Brilliant Ideas for a Life of Love, Joy and Abundance. I had a great idea for my book, but MJ pushed me to develop my thoughts with details and explanations. MJ helped me organize the chapters, and made suggestions that had me digging deeper into my own personal experiences, which made the book all the more personal. I giggle when people say, “Your book is so well-written.” They have no idea how much work it took to get it to a finished product. With MJ’s meticulous expertise, my dream has come true. The book is self-published, well-received, and I speak at author events. It was a thrilling experience to see my book in hand, and I thank MJ for her help and guidance.
Georgette Van Vliet
Author, Love, Joy and Abundance
MJ helped me write two books on starting and running small businesses. She was great. I tend to be to left brain and she is fantastic at bringing writers down to earth. Specifically, she is great at helping writers be understandable, checks grammar and spelling, and writes my thoughts in a more interesting way. She also understands that she needs to edit with the writer’s interests as a first priority rather than the larger companies that simply implement programmed solutions. She also pushes writers like myself to fix problems or unclear sections. For example, I tend to get long, and divert from topics. She does a great job keeping writers on track and eliminating unnecessary information.
Dr. Bert Shlensky
Business Consultant, Owner Of Startupconnection.net
My lady, Roanne, had wonderful stories to share, and when she received the news that she had stage 4 pancreatic cancer, she called upon MJ to help write her memoir. MJ didn’t blink an eye and for 5 months, would come regularly to sit with Roanne. MJ asked questions, made sure that Roanne covered the topics she wanted included. Most of all, it was a great relief to Roanne during those very trying times that her family would have this keepsake. And, I know that Roanne greatly enjoyed the time spent with MJ reminiscing about her life, and sharing her advice for those left behind…and who will cherish Roanne’s words for years to come. Thank you, MJ.
Joey Brideau
Brooklyn, NY
I met MJ via an ad I placed looking for a writer to help me write a self-help book. We met in my office and after we spoke, I knew that MJ would be the one who could translate my thinking into easy to follow instructions. ‘Born Perfect’ is about using some of the successful exercises I’ve used with my clients to ease stress and anxiety and to help them work through negative habits and thoughts. We sat in my office over iced coffees for many months as I spoke aloud, just as if I was in one of my counselling sessions while MJ typed along on her laptop. She kept my voice throughout as she tweaked my words just a bit just for clarity. Plus, I enjoyed MJ’s take on the exercises, and occasionally she pointed out when something didn’t make sense. If she had a question about it, so would my readers. The book has been of great help to those who looking for handy self-help tools they can easily put into place. I am forever grateful to you, MJ. It would not be a real book without you! Thank you for bringing my dreams to reality.
Cheryl Grogin
LCSW New Jersey
While I want to write a recommendation that would tell people how incredible a writer MJ, is I constantly agonize over finding the right written words. MJ is just the opposite. She not only writes clearly what needs to be said, she is able to adapt to write whatever the situation calls for. I have watched MJ over the years get writing assignment for articles published in various newspaper and magazines, I have also seen her write for online articles, blogs, and provide social media presence. She has also attained the well-deserved status of being an editor of a printed and online magazine, and all I can say is when MJ is writing she is in her element, her zone, she knows her stuff.
Alicia D’Amico
When we met at the diner I was very apprehensive about proceeding with the book. I had never written anything before and I didn't think a book with no ending would go very far. That entire morning you kept prodding and, in a very polite way, would not allow any excuses to get in the way. You understood my reservations and insecurities and kept insisting that I go forward with the work. You explained the realities and difficulties of publishing and recommended that self-publishing would be the best way to go. I took that advice. More than anything else, you provided reassurance and made it clear that the writer is his own worst enemy. Nothing will be accomplished if you let your insecurities about the quality of your writing or doubts about other people liking or buying your book, get in the way. Put it out there, try it, you won't know how it will do if you don't make the attempt.
Ron Hughes
Orange County, NY