2021 Annual Contest Editor ✓
2020 Annual Contest Editor ✓
2019 Annual Contest Editor ✓
Mini-Event Editor ✓
Kyra Nelson is a YA author and freelance editor. She is a recovering academic who has studied linguistics, editing, literature, and rhetoric. As a graduate student, she researched 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.
This year I’m open to all genres of YA and MG that is contemporary or historical. For MG, I’m particularly drawn to books that deal with hard topics in ways that are accessible and appropriate for the target audience.
In the YA space, my tastes are really widespread. The past couple years I’ve been very into contemporary, and have a real soft spot for cute romances that pair a love story with character development and self discovery themes. For fantasy, I’m interested in premises I haven’t seen before. I still like a good magical upraising against a corrupt power, but I’m really interested if your book follows a totally different formula. Also if you have a setting I haven’t seen before, I want to read that.
I love a good romance, but I also love stories that focus on platonic relationships. If you can give me the intensity of Paul running after Ellie’s train in The Half of It, please submit to me.
Across the board, I’m interested in diverse and OwnVoices works. I don’t ask authors to disclose or confirm their OwnVoices status.
Things I’d especially love to see in my inbox:
- Works set outside the United States
- OwnVoices disability rep
- Fat positive protagonists
- Characters anywhere on the asexual spectrum
- A heist story
- Geek romance
- Cinnamon Roll love interests
- Fun twists on familiar tropes
- Fake dating
- Cunning, mischievous characters
- Political intrigue
- Friendship stories
- Stories that deal with complex family dynamics
- Strong sibling relationships
- Enemies/rivals to lovers
- Entertaining character banter
- Stories built around extracurricular activities (Debate! Robotics club! School Paper! Etc.!)
- Characters with interesting jobs
- Nonstandard narrative formats
- Unreliable narrators
- Ensemble cast of misfits
- Sunshine x Grumpy
If you don’t have those elements, but your book is YA or one of the MG genres I’m taking, 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 (first person, present is fine as is third person, past)
- Stories where the protagonists are animals
- Grimm fairy-tale retellings. I am interested in stories based on non-Western folklore, mythology, and fairy-tale. I’m also in retellings of classical lit. I’ve just read enough Cinderellas and Twelve Dancing Princesses to last me awhile.
How can a manuscript’s first five pages make you sit up and take notice?
If I get to the end of your first five pages and feel like I've known the main POV character for years, I'm interested. That's the kind of emotional connection that will keep me reading late into the night.
What can writers expect from working with you during #RevPit, including communication?
My approach to editing is very focused on author vision. I always want to see what the author envisions for the book and then work with them to get the manuscript to that place. I never want to turn the book into my thing, so I'm always checking in with authors to see how they feel about the suggested changes and proposing different solutions if something isn't clicking.
I'm also very solutions focused and try to make my action concrete and actionable. I don't just want to analyze what isn't working, I want authors to have a game plan and feel confident that they can take the next steps.
In terms of communication, I lean towards email, though I am open to doing a video chat to talk about the edit letter. I tend to respond fairly quickly, though have a bad habit of tackling my inbox at weird hours of the night. You'll also be subject to my ~unique~ sense of humor.
What do you expect from writers during the #RevPit revision process, including communication?
I'm looking for an author who is serious about craft and eager to make their project the best it can be. I also want my author to work hard while still making room to take care of the mental, emotional, and physical health. I'm not going to be overbearing, but I do want an author who will make the most of the time and resources I give them. That balance is important to me. Like, I said, I'm an email person but I don't need immediate responses.
What hobbies do you have outside of writing and editing?
Reading, hiking, baking. In high school and college I did like 500 extracurriculars, but I'm much more boring now.
What was your favorite show to binge watch in the last year?
Dash and Lily. So cute!