James Powell

James Powell - Editor

Fort Collins, CO, USA

Developmental editor specializing in genre fiction; enjoys guiding new writers through the editorial process.

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Put simply: I love editing. I've always enjoyed helping writers find ways to improve their story.

Perhaps one of my biggest joys comes in helping new writers work through the editing process for the first time. Sending a manuscript to a stranger can be scary, so I work closely with my clients to ensure it's a smooth, easy, and enjoyable process.

When I edit, I focus my feedback on making the story as compelling and engaging as possible. I have a strong sense for pacing and have a knack for ensuring there's enough conflict/tension to keep the narrative moving. I also excel at helping writers add depth to their characters.

For me, an editor isn’t a critic who points out mistakes and leaves writers to figure out the feedback on their own. Instead, I work closely with my clients to make sure all of my comments are clear and that the feedback provides value for the revision process.

My goal is to help every author make their book the best it can be while remaining true to their voice and vision. I encourage writers to embrace their strengths, and I also help them learn to improve their weak spots too.

When working with me, you'll find an editor, writing coach, cheerleader, and teammate.

In addition to editing, I can also help you use crowdfunding to grow your audience. I’ve run eight successful Kickstarter campaigns and have been the editor on 10 others. If you're self-publishing and want to explore crowdfunding, I can help.

Request a quote to get a free sample edit.

English (CAN)
English (UK)
English (US)
Comics & Graphic Novels
Middle Grade
Mystery & Crime
Science Fiction
Young Adult


  • B.A. in English from the Colorado State University

Work experience


March, 2015 – Present (almost 8 years)

Full-time freelance fiction editor who regularly edits comic scripts, novels, publisher submissions, query letters, and Kickstarter pages.

Also the 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).


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


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 17 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Shad Moarif
James was OK to work with. But there's always that element of compatibility between editor-author that Reedsy still hasn't managed to solve institutionally. I find that editors (this is the 2nd one where we both failed each other) who seems to be under unbearable pressure when inquiries and clarifications are sought. It seems they don't have much time for them.

Shad Moarif, November 2022

Harrison Peck
James and I worked together previously on the same project. The last one involved him editing my graphic novel for me and this time, him helping with the query. James brought forth the same professionalism and helpful advice as he did previously, always willing to answer any question. It was always in a quick manner and with a wonderful attitude. I would definitely work with him again.

Harrison Peck, September 2022

Machak Machak
James did a great job helping me with my first editing project. His insights were well thought out and exactly what my writing project needed!

Machak Machak, August 2022

Emily Ironside
Before providing me with a quote, James took the time to ask questions about my writing, about the work that had already been done on other rounds of editing, and about other published novels I felt I could compare mine to, to ensure we would be a good fit together, and that he would be able to offer the feedback that I really needed. He did a wonderful job pointing out where the weaknesses in...
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Emily Ironside, July 2022

Rose V
Was thorough and professional. However, I do wish he agreed to go through a second pass to make sure we didn't miss anything the first time.

Rose V, July 2022

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