Twitter: @KyraMNelson
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.


In YA I'm looking for all genres and am interested in genre-bending narratives as well.

Things I’d especially love to see in my inbox:

  • Diverse and OwnVoices works
  • Body type diversity
  • A heist story
  • Geek romance
  • Cinnamon Roll love interests
  • Cunning, mischievous characters
  • Political intrigue
  • Friendship stories
  • Stories that deal with complex family dynamics
  • Strong sibling relationships
  • Fantasy with fresh settings
  • Enemies to lovers
  • Entertaining character banter
  • Stories built around extracurricular activities (Debate! Robotics club! School Paper! Etc.!)
  • 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.

In MG I also read across all genres. I'm particularly interested in:

  • Whimsical adventures
  • Creative worlds
  • Humor
  • Heartfelt books dealing with tough issues in sensitive ways
  • Books addressing mental health

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 want something happening on page 1. It doesn’t to be heavy action, but I want some sense of conflict right away.

What can writers expect from working with you during #RevPit, including communication?

I don’t fix the manuscript for you. I 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. My approach to editing is to focus heavily on the author’s vision and all my comments will be with the end goal of helping you write a book you can be proud of. I prefer email communication, and I usually respond within 24 hours. I work weird hours, so don’t be surprised if you get a response at 3 am.

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’m trying to learn to play Ukulele. Emphasis on trying.

What is your favorite book to reread, and why?

Honestly, I very rarely reread books. There are too many new ones to explore. I have been rereading Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows and paying more attention to narrative structure and how she develops her characters.

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