Jessica Powers

Jessica Powers - Editor

Pacifica, CA, USA

Award-winning author of 9 books for all ages. Publicist and editor at traditional publisher for 17 years, editing books across genres.

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Hi! I love books and I love a killer essay or short story or poem. To me, story is one of the best ways to connect people together and engage hearts, minds, and spirits.

I have been an editor and publicist in the publishing industry for seventeen years. Both as a full-time employee for an independent publisher focused on multicultural and bilingual (Spanish-English) titles for children and adults, and as owner of my own independent publishing company that publishes literary novels, short story collections, memoir, crime fiction, and children's and young adult titles, I bring to the table a deep and wide experience in both editing and marketing. All in all, I have edited and marketed well over a hundred books in all genres and for all ages. I have been a part of almost all aspects of the book and magazine publishing business and love to help authors and potential authors bring their work to the next level. I can offer not only developmental and assessment editorial services, copyediting and proofreading, but also marketing and publicity services, self-publishing and publishing consulting advice, and editorial/marketing assessments that include a comparative analysis of your book based on a great source of marketing and book sales data. I was one of six Publishers Weekly's Most Valuable Players (MVPs) in the publishing industry for 2019.

I'm an award-winning author of nine published books for children, young adults, and adults. These include A Bark In the Park: The 55 Best Places To Hike With Your Dog in the El Paso/Las Cruces Region; The Confessional (Knopf, 2007); Labor Pains and Birth Stories: Essays on Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Becoming a Parent (Catalyst Book Press, 2009); This Thing Called the Future (Cinco Puntos Press, 2011); That Mad Game: Growing Up in a Warzone (Cinco Puntos Press, 2012); Amina: Through My Eyes (Allen & Unwin, 2013); Colors of the Wind: The Story of Blind Artist and Champion Runner George Mendoza (Purple House Press, 2014); Broken Circle (Akashic Books, 2017); and Under Water (Cinco Puntos Press, 2019). I have also written and published hundreds of articles, essays, short stories, poems, and book reviews as a freelance writer.

No matter where writers begin, or what level of accomplishment they have already achieved or wish to achieve, I love the mentoring process. I would love to work with you.

Quotes From Writers

“Jessica has edited four of my book-length manuscripts over the past decade, and I couldn't be happier or more appreciate of her input and guidance. She has a sharp and intuitive editorial eye that she applies at both the global and line-editing levels. Jessica perceptively critiques and agilely advises, addressing the full gamut of story arc, character development, setting, pacing, tension, and clarity. Each time I work with her, I become a better writer, and my manuscripts reflect that. Run, don't walk, to her editorial services!” Shirley Vernick, author of The Blood Lie, Remember Dippy, The Black Butterfly, and the forthcoming Falling Stars

“Notes from Jessica Powers are a precious, aha moment-filled gift from a wise mentor. Her discerning eye and pointed yet encouraging comments cut to the chase about what works and what doesn’t—from big picture themes, character development, and plot progression to all the fine point details. I'm grateful for her critiques that've been integral in refining my three published novels and fourth in progress. I highly recommend her services.” Sonia Patel, author of Rani Patel In Full Effect; Jaya and Rasa; and Bloody Seoul.

“Jessica Powers has worked as an editor of my fantasy novels for the past ten years. She is very thorough, commenting at both the sentence level (if needed) as well as offering big picture suggestions for revisions. I completely trust her intuition and guidance and love working with her.” George Mendoza, author of the Spirit Man trilogy

English (CAN)
English (UK)
English (US)
Coming of Age
Literary Fiction
Mystery & Crime
Women's Fiction
Young Adult


  • Copyediting from UC-San Diego
  • Picture Book Writing-Vermont College

Work experience

Founder and Publisher

January, 2016 – Present (over 5 years)

Managing all aspects of the book production, marketing, editing, and sales process. We publish 5-8 titles/year.

Director of Editorial and Foreign Rights

Cinco Puntos Press
January, 2002 – Present (over 19 years)

Directing and overseeing Cinco Puntos Press’s editorial processes and foreign rights sales and acquisitions. Informing the public about books published by Cinco Puntos Press; writing press releases; analyzing market forces; sales; arranging author tours; researching, writing, and editing books to be published. We publish 8-12 books a year.


Skyline College
August, 2007 – August, 2018 (about 11 years)

I was the instructor on record for 9 courses a year, primarily Creative Writing but also Composition and INtro to Literature, both online and in-person.

Portfolio (34 selected works)

Bloody Seoul

Patel, Sonia

Dark Video

Church, Peter


Church, Peter, Noble, Peter

Outside the Lines

Patel, Ameera

Hooray for Lolo

Daly, Niki

Here Comes Lolo

Daly, Niki

You Throw Like a Girl: The Blind Spot of Masculinity

Don McPherson, Leon Nixon, Tantor Audio

The Lion's Binding Oath and Other Stories

Yusuf, Ahmed Ismail, Yusuf, Ahmed Ismail

Small Mercies

Krone, Bridget, Vermeulen, Karen

We Kiss Them With Rain

Ntshingila, Futhi

Bom Boy

Omotoso, Yewande

Unmaking Grace

Boswell, Barbara

King Shaka: Zulu Legend (African Graphic Novel Series)

Molver, Luke W., Mkhize PhD, Dr. Sibongiseni

The Farm (African Crime Reads Series)

Annas, Max, Reynolds, Rachel Hildebrandt

The Wall

Annas, Max, Reynolds, Rachel Hildebrandt

Bitter Pill

Church, Peter

Love Interrupted

Malatji, Reneilwe

The Shark Curtain

Scofield, Chris

Under Water

Powers, JL

Broken Circle

Powers, J.L., Powers, M.A.

Amina: Through My Eyes

Powers, J. L., White, Lyn

The Confessional

Powers, J.L.

Jessica has 53 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Vanessa Lopez
I loved working with Jessica. It was my first time on reedsy, and I was very nervous but so glad I picked her. Very professional and knowledgeable.

Vanessa Lopez, September 2021

Jessica Powers
Thanks, Vanessa, it was so fun to work with you on your picture book!

Reply from Jessica Powers

Edie Goodwin
Jessica has been extremely helpful to me, as a first-time novelist. She has guided me through plot decisions, story tension, and character development. She answers my questions thoughtfully and completely. Her suggestions have helped me to become a better writer and self-editor. I am thoroughly enjoying my work relationship with Jessica.

Edie Goodwin, September 2021

Jessica Powers
It's been great, Edie, and I look forward to continuing to work with you.

Reply from Jessica Powers

Sylvia Woodham
Jessica is always hard working, and someone who respects and appreciates storytelling and literary value across cultural backgrounds.

Sylvia Woodham, September 2021

Daniel Fettinger
Working with Jessica has been fantastic. Her insights into the series and constructive feedback were both helpful and discerning. I am especially grateful for the personal energy brought to the (virtual) face to face conversation following the development letter. Her professional eye was evident throughout the process, and I'm looking forward to continuing to work with her in the future.

Daniel Fettinger, September 2021

Jessica Powers
Thanks, Daniel! I've enjoyed this process with you too! :) What a pleasure.

Reply from Jessica Powers

Holly G
Jessica was really helpful and efficient with her edits, would highly recommend her!

Holly G, August 2021

Jessica Powers
Thanks, Holly! I enjoyed working with you and would be happy to work with you anytime Good luck and keep in touch!

Reply from Jessica Powers

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