Jennifer DeBell

Content Writer
Jennifer DeBell

My three favorite tools include a pencil, a sharpener, and a pocket to keep them handy.





  • Grew up in a bookish family, one foot rooted in Virginia, and the other in England. At 18, packed my books and my brushes and headed for art school in Richmond, VA, where I learned to look and listen and draw.
  • ‘90s : Jumped into the film business (aka the circus life) as a scenic artist, work that took me up and down the East Coast and introduced me to my wildly creative husband-to-be.
  • ’92 : Became a mom to little Rozalia.
  • ’97 : Became a mom again, this time to baby Pearl.
  • ’00 – ’06 : Draper and propmaker to the film industry, Local 481, but longed to write.
  • Studied 19th and 20th Century English Literature, where I discovered a love of Gothic fiction, past and present. Took in a teen-aged foster son.
  • ’08 : Fellowship Journal of Pluralism, Pedagogy, & Practice,Lesley University; reviewer & fiction manuscripts reader, Harvard Review; graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing; completed a book of stories.
  • ’08 : Itinerant teacher. Expository writing Instructor, University of Massachusetts; SAT tutor; instructor, Upward Bound for Teens. All in all, fantastic training in public speaking.
  • Discovered a love for editing. Ongoing freelance line editor, copy editor, proofreader.
  • ’11 : Left turn! Became a food illustrator and graphic production artist in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Drew pictures all day, every day. Lived in a beautiful cottage on the Narragansett Bay. Studied the landscape. Wrote about the landscape.
  • ’17 : Realized a dream: moved to Charlottesville, VA and bought a house. Dusted off my hand tools for a fine home renovation. Became a toy industry writer and blogger.
  • ’20 : Survived COVID, but my job did not. Landed fantastic internship with Brandylane Publishing; fiction and non-fiction reader for West Trade Review; freelance editor, freelance ecommerce blogger; submitted my first picture book manuscript. Just the beginning.