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editor, editorial services :
Jennifer Pooley
Jennifer Pooley Literary Development

Welcome! I am an independent book editor who worked at HarperCollins Publishers in New York City for 12 years before moving west to Los Angeles in 2010 where I have my own literary development consultancy based in Manhattan Beach.

Some of the books that I acquired and published at William Morrow and Harper Perennial include: Willy Vlautin’s The Motel Life, Northline, and Lean on Pete, Marjorie Hart’s Summer at Tiffany; Daniel James Brown’s The Indifferent Stars Above and Under a Flaming Sky (reprint); Sara James and Ginger Mauney’s The Best of Friends; Catherine Hanrahan’s Lost Girls and Love Hotels, Jennifer Sey’s Chalked Up; Marina Palmer’s Kiss & Tango; Sarah Hall’s Daughters of the North and How to Paint a Dead Man; Lola Jaye’s By The Time You Read This; Lisa Jewell's Vince & Joy and 31 Dream Street; and Michael Zadoorian’s The Leisure Seeker.

A recent client project which released on 9.13.22 was Omolola Ijeoma Ogunyemi’s Jollof Rice and Other Revolutions (Amistad) which Roxane Gay chose as her October pick of the Audacious Book Club and The New Yorker named one of their "The Best Books of 2022 So Far." Some of my previous projects include: Janie Chang’s The Library of Legends, Dragon Springs Road, and Three Souls; Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford; Leila Rafei’s Spring, Ehsaneh Sadr’s A Door Between Us; Hindsight by Mindy Tarquini; and The Heart of War by Kathleen J. McInnis. Publisher clients I have worked with include: Kobe Bryant's Granity Studios; Blackstone Publishing; and Open Road Integrated Media.

Outside of book publishing and pandemics, I have volunteered with A Walk on Water, The Best Day Foundation, Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation, Life Rolls On, Surfers Healing, and THERAsurf, all heart-driven organizations that offer surf therapy. I’ve also been a wish granter with the Los Angeles chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and have mentored fifth graders writing their first screenplays with the Young Storytellers Foundation. During my years in New York City, I began to mentor a student when she was a sixteen-year-old student at Washington Irving High School. Nineteen years later, she’s still in my life and has created her own extraordinary organization, Queen Geniuses, to empower teenage girls from low-income communities. If you’d like to support the work of any of these groups with a miniphilanthropy donation, I would be so grateful.

years experience: 24
Writing, Line-editing, Developmental editing
Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction, Young Adult, Memoir, Licensed Publishing
“Jennifer Pooley is a joy to work with. Her talents are manifold, but above all she has that one sterling quality that all writers most hope for in an editor–she knows how to unveil the heart of a story, even when the writer has not yet seen it himself or herself.” ~ Daniel James Brown

“Jennifer Pooley is a careful, enthusiastic and insightful editor who has helped to shape my writing by raising crucial questions and opening my mind to new ways of seeing what’s on the page. I always look forward to receiving her feedback, because I know she will inspire me to make my characters more real and plot more gripping.” ~ John Searles

“Jennifer Pooley, the editor of THE LEISURE SEEKER, has to be about the hardest working woman in the literary world. I had never encountered, and don’t expect to ever again encounter, an editor who put as much thought, as much care, and as much love, as Jen put into my book. (And, I’m guessing, into all the titles she shepherded over the years at William Morrow.) From the inspired proposal she made to her colleagues at the beginning of the process, to the lovely and carefully chosen cover photos, all the way to the fine-tuned marketing at the end, Jen personally made sure that every aspect of the book was exactly right. Every detail, no matter how tiny, was overseen (and usually improved) by her. Boundless enthusiasm and a genuine love of books is what drives this woman to be such a fine editor. It was my absolute pleasure to work with her. Thank you, Jen. You rock.” ~ Michael Zadoorian

“As a neophyte at the San Diego State University Writers’ Conference, Jennifer Pooley discovered my early pages of SUMMER AT TIFFANY. Through her discerning eye, she shaped, polished and transformed my manuscript into a book, always insisting I keep my voice.  Her enthusiasm and understanding of the infinite possibilities in the publishing world impressed and inspired me. With insightful guidance and patience, she led me on a path that would grow from the publication of the hardcover, to becoming a trade paperback, and on to becoming a New York Times bestseller.  How fortunate to have Jen as my mentor and editor!  I am forever grateful.” ~ Marjorie Hart 

“Jennifer Pooley is a talented editor who works her magic on manuscripts, allowing both the pages and the author to reach new heights. I can’t wait to work with her again!” ~ Kathleen J. McInnis

“Jennifer showed incredible empathy for the world of my novel and always respected its vision. At the same time, her feedback helped refine the shape of the story and deepen the characters. Her instincts, combined with years of expertise, really elevated the quality of my manuscript. Proof of the value she provided? HarperCollins Canada made a pre-emptive offer for this debut novel. My agent recommended Jennifer; I would work with her again for my next book and the one after that. Why mess with a winning formula?” ~ Janie Chang

“As an author events coordinator, I can honestly say that I have never worked with an editor who is so energetic, so passionate, and so dedicated to her authors.  I have seen first hand the lengths she will go to to support her authors,  and we as readers and book loving professionals all reap the benefit of her talents and enthusiasm.” ~ Susan McBeth

I have been on guest faculty or have been a speaker for the following literary programs:

2019: The San Diego Union-Tribune Festival of Books
2006-2010, 2011, 2015, 2017: The San Diego State University Writers’ Conference
2014: The University of California Riverside | Palm Desert Low Residency MFA Program
2011, 2014: USC's Master of Professional Writing Program
2014: Writing Workshops LA: The Conference
2010: The Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference
2009: The James River Writers' Conference
2006-2010 The Colgate University Writers’ Conference
2009: Colgate University's "Living Writers" course
2007, 2008: The South Carolina Writers’ Conference
2006 The Asian American Writers Workshop: “Speed-dating with Editors”
2006: The Surrey International Writers’ Conference (Surrey, British Columbia)
2006: The Ohio State University Writers’ Conference
2005, 2006: Algonkian and New York Writers’ Workshops: “Pitch to the Editors”
2004: GrubStreet's “The Muse and the Marketplace”

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