James Powell

James Powell - Editor

Fort Collins, CO, USA

Editor who specializes in genre fiction and graphic novels. I enjoy helping guide new writers through the editorial process.

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Overview

Editing has always been one of my super powers.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a capable writer. I've enjoyed writing since I was a kid, when I first tried to mimic the style of Edgar Rice Burroughs. And while my stories received solid feedback from teachers, editing was where I truly excelled.

I've always had a knack for helping others make their stories better. And for me, all writing is a story, whether it be an email, a technical manual, a novel, or a comic script. Perhaps even more importantly, I don't just point out errors. Instead, like a good teacher or coach, I enjoy helping writers improve their skills.

While I provide quality copyediting and proofreading, my strongest skills are found in developmental editing. I excel at pointing out where the pacing falters, pinpointing themes that might make the story more engaging, and noting inconsistencies in tone or characterization.

As a freelance editor, I'm passionate about genre fiction, such as horror, sword and sorcery, pulp fiction, and crime. I also enjoy writing comics for middle grade readers, and I'm immersed in that area of the publishing world.

I've been a professional writer and editor since college, first working on small-town newspapers, then moving over to the corporate world where I edited technical manuals for business such as HP and Boeing. Through it all, I've maintained strong connections to my one true love: editing fiction.

As a freelance editor, I've edited 100s of novels, short stories, and comic scripts. I've worked with seasoned veterans and aspiring writers just starting out on their journey. And I look forward to helping you deliver the best story you've ever written.

Here are a few comments from previous clients:

“James Powell is one of the best editors I’ve ever worked with. He is insightful and has a talent for pin-pointing issues you may be too close to see yourself. He’ll make you work for it, but by the time you’re done, he’ll have helped you craft the best version of your manuscript.”
—Brandon Barrows, author of The Castle-Town Tragedy (Dunhams Manor Press)

“James is the sort of editor who can catch those structural problems you overlook because you’ve been down in the weeds too long and you’re too familiar with the material, but more importantly, like the best editors, he understands that the editorial process is a conversation between the writer and editor to make the work the best it can be. You can’t ask for more than that.”
—Charles Barnitz, author of The Deepest Sea (Roc Books)

“James understands, from the get-go, what I’m trying to express—oft times before I truly do. His down to earth approach, conjoined with an eagle-eye for detail, is an ideal combination. He listens to what I say and write then manages to find the idyllic middle ground. My writing has unquestionably benefited greatly from his expertise.”
—Charles Filius, author of Selections from on a Wing and a Prayer
Languages
English (CAN)
English (UK)
English (US)
Fiction
Action & Adventure
Anthologies
Comics & Graphic Novels
Horror
Mystery & Crime

Work experience

Writer/Editor

Self-employed
March, 2015 – Present (over 7 years)

Writer/creator of House of Fear, a series that introduces middle grade readers to the thrills of scary comics (it's Goosebumps meets Tales from the Crypt). Also regularly edit comic scripts, novels, publisher submissions, query letters, and Kickstarter pages.

Editor

Jeppesen/Boeing
March, 2001 – October, 2020 (over 19 years)

Created and maintained editorial style guide; edited and wrote user documentation for aircraft software; managed 15+ writers during the development of multiple aviation textbooks, training programs, and videos.

Portfolio (12 selected works)

House of Fear: Attack of the Killer Snowmen and Other Stories

Powell, James, Morales, Jethro, Jensen, Josh

Kill All Monsters Omnibus Volume 1

May, Michael, Copland, Jason

Once Upon a Time Machine

Nordling, Lee, Various

This Rough Old World

Barrows, Brandon

Selections from On A Wing and A Prayer

Charles A. Filius, James Powell

The Peace Weaver

Barnitz, Charles

Beweddian

Barnitz, Charles

The Wicked West Volume 2: Abomination & Other Tales

Livingston, Todd, Tinnell, Robert, Vokes, Neil, Others

America Jr. Volume 1

Capetanakis, Nick, Livingston, Todd, Fraim, Brendon, Fraim, Brian

James has 12 reviews

Professionalism
Professionalism
Quality
Quality
Value
Value
Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Mark Harchar
This is the first time I’ve looked for an editorial assessment. James was very professional and a joy to work with. He was punctual in his communication and very supportive and easy to work with. The information he provided was spot on and will inevitably make my manuscript a better piece of writing. I would highly recommend him to anyone looking for this type of work.

Mark Harchar, June 2022


Megan Allen
James had great communication and good feedback.

Megan Allen, May 2022


Ronald Bruce
James provided clear, concise, honest and informative feedback on my project. He answered all my questions and gave me the professional direction I needed.

Ronald Bruce, May 2022


Jacob Gefell
Before we agreed to work together, James and I parleyed extensively to determine if we were right for one another. He was very transparent and extremely helpful from the start, taking time to educate me (an aspiring author) about the ins and outs of the industry -- all before I hired him. Immediately, I felt he cared deeply about helping me, the author, as much as his responsibility to fulfil...
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Jacob Gefell, April 2022


Andrew Nelson
James was punctual, insightful, and thorough. He provided many thoughtful corrections and ideas that helped me think about my story in a whole new way. Would highly recommend!

Andrew Nelson, April 2022

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