It is known that Jacqueline received Bachelor of Arts in English.
After college, Woodson went to work for Kirchoff/Wohlberg, a children's packaging company. She helped to write the California standardized reading tests and caught the attention of Liza Pulitzer-Voges, a children's book agent at the same company. Although the partnership did not work out, it did get Woodson's first manuscript out of a drawer.
Jacqueline also was a former faculty member of the Goddard College Master of Fine Arts Writing Program, and a former fellow at the MacDowell Colony and at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Moreover, she has worked as a drama therapist for runaway children in New York City.
She then enrolled in Bunny Gable's children's book writing class at The New School, where Bebe Willoughby, an editor at Delacorte, heard a reading from "Last Summer with Maizon" and requested the manuscript. Delacorte bought the manuscript, but Willoughby left the company before editing it and so Wendy Lamb took over and saw Woodson's first six books published.
As an author, Woodson's known for the detailed physical landscapes she writes into each of her books. She places boundaries everywhere — social, economic, physical, sexual, racial — then has her characters break through both the physical and psychological boundaries to create a strong and emotional story.
She is known for her optimism. But still she usually had sense of not really belonging to one community.
Woodson lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with her partner Juliet Widoff, a physician. The couple have two children, a daughter named Toshi Georgianna and a son named Jackson-Leroi.