Access a plain text version of my wishlist HERE
Pitch Wars is a mentoring program where published/agented authors, editors, or industry interns choose one writer each to spend three months with revising their manuscript. It ends in February with an Agent Showcase, where agents can read a pitch/first page and can request to read more. This year (2021) I’m mentoring Adult/New Adult Speculative Fiction. Checkout my mentor profile on the Pitchwars site HERE
ABOUT ME: Hello! I’m AM Kvita (feel free to refer to me as “A” or “Kvita”) (she/they), and I’m an Acquisitions Editor at a university press, artist (sometimes), and a YA/Adult speculative fiction writer. I have degrees in architecture and creative writing and I’ve worked in the Sales/Marketing departments of both trade and university presses. I signed with my agents, Paige Terlip & Laura Rennert at Andrea Brown Literary Agency, with my seventh (!) book. So for better or for worse, I’m very familiar with cold querying—Pitch Wars can be fast-paced and over quickly, but I’m also here for my mentee well beyond that and into the query trenches if necessary. I love all things speculative and am drawn to lush, lyrical writing above all else. Also I have three wretched little cats, my mentee will undoubtedly hear a great deal about them.
MY EDITORIAL STRENGTHS: Streamlining complex plots and synthesizing ideas. Give me your grandest stories and I’ll help you walk the razor wire between “so much happening it’s confusing” and “so much happening it’s amazing.” On the flip, I’m also good at taking a book with very little plot and finding a way to inject in high stakes and grand adventure without losing the focus on the characters. I prefer writing-driven stories, then character-driven stories, then plot-driven stories (in that order) but my main strength is producing a strong combination of the three.
Give me your lush, your lyrical, your metaphors, and your imagery. All vibes no plot is ok (though we’ll work on getting some plot in there). In all things, I am especially keen on seeing both protagonists and authors who are queer, BIPOC, and/or disabled.
- Adult/NA SFF (Feel free to submit “NA” but I ask that you be willing to firmly situate it in Adult or Adult crossover if so)
- Fantasy of all sorts
- Science Fiction of all sorts
- More specifically:
- Architecture/architecturally based stories. If you have a story based on an architectural style or organizing principle, or if the story uses architecture as character (think Susanna Clarke’s PIRANESI), or if you just draw on architecture to form stories, I want to see it
- Queer stories and stories from marginalized groups suit me best
- Found family/stories about the strength of family + twin stories
- I love ancient gods and ancient monsters, anything that really makes you feel the long stretch of history
- Stories that link generations, inherited magic and inherited conflict
- I appreciate a romantic subplot, especially when queer (though this isn’t strictly necessary for me)
- I’d be very interested in a SFF sports book, with the vibes of FENCE by CS Pacat (heavy on the rivalry vibes), or any sort of tournament structure (like MY HERO ACADEMIA—which also has those sweet sweet rivalry vibes)
- Rivals-to-lovers or friends-to-lovers are, dare I say, spicy and fun
- Loose retellings/mythology inspired books are very welcome!
- I love a good himbo in any form
- If you can comp your book to any of the following then please submit to me:
- HADES (the video game)
- NiER: Automata (the video game)
- Knights of Sidonia (the anime)
- CIRCE by Madeline Miller
- STRANGE THE DREAMER by Laini Taylor
- GIDEON THE NINTH by Tamsyn Muir
- AN UNKINDNESS OF MAGICIANS by Kat Howard
- THE MAGICIANS by Lev Grossman
AVOID SENDING: Neither romance nor historical fiction are my strengths, and I recommend you find a mentor who might be better suited to help you.
Due to the time constraints of Pitch Wars, I’m unlikely to choose a manuscript over 160k (anything above 200k will be an automatic no, sorry), as we won’t have enough time to get through thorough rounds of edits. That said, I love finding ways to streamline a book, so feel free to submit your manuscript regardless of length if you think we’re a great fit and you’re ready to cut a lot of words.
Know that I will try and find ways to bring your book down to max 110k. I prefer shorter books (85-90k is the sweet spot for me), but not everyone does, so if we are incompatible in this way I recommend you choose a different mentor.
— In the technical sense, I prefer email/writing to calls but can do either (also, I operate on EST). More generally, open communication is key! I want my mentee to feel comfortable coming to me with any sort of question, and with speaking up if they have an issue/disagree with a suggested edit. I never intend to be prescriptive or overly demanding in my suggestions, only highlight areas for improvement and help brainstorm ways to make the book more propulsive and impactful. Pitch Wars has an intense, crunched deadline, and you should be ready to dedicate yourself to revisions for three months. I’ll do my part to make this easier on you by being quick on turnaround times, and I’m available for talking through issues both big and small.
— Expect lots of overflowing enthusiasm from me: I’m not just here for your words, I’m also here to make sure you feel supported and ready to go out into the great big world of publishing and query. I aim to create a mentor/mentee relationship that lasts well beyond the formal time boundaries of Pitch Wars.
— Finally, I hope this is a great opportunity for my mentee to think about workflow: what works for them and what doesn’t. Process is very important (and individual) in writing, and I’d like to help my mentee settle on revision processes that help them feel best. This means if there’s something very specific that works for you (getting edits in a certain way, talking about things in a certain way) then please do let me know so I can accommodate and encourage.
I’ll send you an initial edit letter that focuses on big picture changes, ones that affect the structure and direction of the book. We’ll talk over specific points, and then it’s on you to turn around a draft. Ideally we’ll do 2 more rounds after this: a second edit letter to target more specific points and smooth out the wrinkles from round 1, and a polish round. How much we do depends on how long it takes you, the mentee, to turn things around. If we end up combining the second and third round for the sake of time that’s completely fine. We’ll also spend express time working on your query, PW pitch and Twitter pitch, and writing up a synopsis so you’re ready for any agent requests.
I am not looking for perfection (there’s no such thing)—I’m ready to work diligently with my mentee to get a book fully query ready, but please do make sure you’ve done your best on your own so that we know what bones we’re working with.
And if you submit to me, thank you for trusting me with your words. And to all—good luck, take a deep breath, and have fun!
Feel free to ask me questions on Twitter @AMKVITA
I won’t answer specifics (will you like my manuscript?) but can answer general questions (how do you feel about multiple POV? – the answer: I write it, I like it)
VISIT THE OTHER ADULT MENTOR WISHLISTS:
Pitch Wars 2021 Adult Mentors’ Wish Lists