Kyra Nelson is a YA author and freelance editor. She earned her BA in English language and Editing from Brigham Young University before completing her MA there in linguistics. In her academic ventures, she has studied the language of fiction and query letters, with a special emphasis on young adult literature. Before becoming a freelance editor, Kyra spent several years interning at a literary agency and working in house for various publications. She has also taught university courses in composition, grammar, and editing.
Kyra is a recurring character on the WordNerds vlog. She likes keeping busy whether she's reading, writing, baking, hiking, playing violin, or just goofing off with friends. Kyra loves adventure, even if it's a small adventure like roasting Starbursts over the open flame of her stove top.
For the 2019 contest, I am focusing all my energy on YA. Any genre except horror.
Things I’d especially love to see in my inbox:
- Diverse and OwnVoices works
- Body positive books
- A heist story
- Geek romance
- Strong sibling relationships
- Enemies to lovers
- Entertaining character banter
- Nonstandard narrative formats
- Unreliable narrators
- Ensemble cast of misfits
If you don’t have those elements, but your book is YA, still consider submitting to me! My tastes run far and wide and this list is non-exhaustive. However, I am not a good fit for the following:
- Third person, present tense narration
- Stories with talking animals
- Fairy-tale retellings (but I love retellings of classical literature)
How can a manuscript’s first five pages make you sit up and take notice?
I’m all about character-driven books. I’m drawn into a book when in the opening pages I find myself thinking “I need to know more about this character.”
What can writers expect from working with you during #RevPit, including communication?
I don’t fix the manuscript for you. I sometimes offer possible solutions, but you’ll have to do a lot of the problem solving yourself. I’m probably also going to make you rewrite your query twenty times. That said, I will also be your number one fangirl, from day one and onward throughout your publishing journey. I prefer email communication, and I can be a little slow to respond on weekends, but otherwise am pretty available to brainstorm/answer questions/commiserate/celebrate/whatever.
What do you expect from writers during the #RevPit revision process, including communication?
I want writers who are willing to work hard and aren’t afraid to ask questions. In past contests, I’ve had writers go through as many as three drafts during revision time. Like I said, you’ll probably have to put up with me making you tweak your query letter repeatedly. I expect writers to respond to emails in a reasonable amount of time.
What hobbies do you have outside of writing and editing?
Reading, hiking, Pokémon Go, baking…I thought I had more hobbies before I started making this list. Can we move on to the next question before I feel super boring?
What published book did you love in 2018, and what did you love about it?
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. Like I said, I’m a sucker for books with a powerful cast of characters, and the ensemble in this book is just delightful. I also appreciate the complexity of the plot and the fact that the characters have agency and really drive the plot rather than letting the plot drive them. I was worried I wouldn’t like this sequel as much as I enjoyed the first book, but it had just as much heart, humor, and heist as the original, so it was a huge hit with me.