Stephanie Stokes Oliver 

Bios and photo for promotional use​


STEPHANIE STOKES OLIVER is the author of four books of nonfiction: The popular DAILY CORNBREAD: 365 Secrets for a Healthy Mind, Body, and Spirit; SEVEN SOULFUL SECRETS for Finding Your Purpose and Minding Your Mission; SONG FOR MY FATHER: Memoir of an All-American Family; and most recently BLACK INK: Literary Legends on the Peril, Power, and Pleasure of Reading and Writing. Formerly the editor of Essence magazine, and founding editor-in-chief of Heart & Soul, she started her magazine career at Glamour. Stephanie is currently a featured author of the Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau.


STEPHANIE STOKES OLIVER heads SSO Media, an international consulting firm that specializes in book, magazine, and digital publishing. She serves as a literary scout for Simon & Schuster's Atria Book Group, and as author curator for the Anguilla Lit Fest. Formerly the VP of publishing of Unity Publishing, a division of the Unity spiritual organization, she also worked as the editor of Unity Books. 

Following a childhood aspiration to become an author, Stephanie has written four books: DAILY CORNBREAD: 365 Secrets for a Healthy Mind, Body, and Spirit (Doubleday), SEVEN SOULFUL SECRETS For Finding Your Purpose and Minding Your Mission (Doubleday), and SONG FOR MY FATHER: Memoir of an All-American Family (Atria/Simon & Schuster). BLACK INK: Literary Legends on the Peril, Power, and Pleasure of Reading and Writing (37 Ink/Atria Books) was recently released to critical acclaim in O, The Oprah Magazine, Essence, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, among others.

In 2004, Stephanie served as editor-in-chief of  She was asked to assist in the merger of Essence Communications with Time Inc. in the capacity of deputy editor, returning to the magazine for the second time.  Stephanie originally joined Essence as senior editor of the lifestyle section. During her 16 years at Essence, when the magazine reached the milestone circulation of 1 million, she rose to West Coast Editor to the second-in-command position of editor of the magazine. 

In 1994, Stephanie was recruited by Rodale Press, the health-and-fitness publisher of Men's Health and Prevention, to become the founding editor-in-chief of Heart & Soul magazine. During her four years at the helm the magazine won numerous awards, including a Best New Magazine nomination from FOLIO.

In 1998, she formed SSO Media, Inc., a publishing and digital content consulting firm in the New York area, contributing as guest beauty editor to O, The Oprah Magazine, as consulting editor to start-up Lifetime magazine, writing for SpaFinder, and producing the  website for the New York Women in Communications. In 2000, she became the founding editor-in-chief of NiaOnline, a popular digital magazine for Black women where she served for two years and wrote a monthly blog for six years.

Upon graduation from Howard University with honors in journalism, she won Glamour magazine's Top Ten College Student Contest and began her career at Glamour as beauty and fashion merchandising editor, traveling the country producing retail-store promotions.

Pursuing post-graduate studies, Stephanie completed the magazine publishing program at New York University. In 2008, she completed the Stanford University Professional Publishing Course for Executives with a concentration in magazine, book and digital publishing.

Currently, Stephanie works "location independent," living between Anguilla in the Caribbean, where she moved from the New York City area in 2007, and Seattle, her high-tech hometown.  She also serves as author curator for the annual Anguilla Lit Fest, held each May for readers, writers, and thinkers.