Erin Clyburn at The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

YA Horror

WAKE THE BONES (Summer 2022)
Wednesday Books


Elizabeth Kilcoyne is an author, playwright and poet, born and raised in Kentucky. She currently lives in Lexington, Kentucky. Her first novel, WAKE THE BONES, a YA Southern Gothic, coming Summer 2022 from Wednesday Books. Elizabeth uses she/her pronouns.


I worked as a ghostwriter for a few years before I started querying my first manuscript. I got my agent (Erin Clyburn, JDLit) through PitMad roughly six months after I began querying. We went on submission in January of 2020 for only a few days before we received our first offer. Vicki Lame at Wednesday Books acquired WAKE THE BONES, and it is currently slated for publication summer of 2022.


I majored in theatre and graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2014. I worked professionally as a ghostwriter for several years before I queried. I currently teach at the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning and will be teaching a class on Twitter pitching contests early next year. I was a mentee at the Author Academy in 2017 under Mary Knight, so I have experience on both sides of the mentor/mentee relationship where the goal is acquiring an agent and traditional publication. Several of my critique partners have gotten agents after we’ve worked together.


I’m so grateful to be part of the AMM community. As a young author, being mentored was key to my publishing experience. Having a mentor to reach out to with every success and failure, who helped me to develop my story and my understanding of what I wanted from the industry made my experience querying and going on submission all the more special. I want to share my experiences and knowledge with someone whose story gives me goosebumps and support them through the process.

In a nutshell: YA horror. Gothic horror, contemporary fantasy with horror elements, surprise me, but freak me out.

  • Fantasy
  • Horror
  • #ownvoices

I love gothic stories, queer stories, ghost stories, monsters, blood and gore. Eye horror, tooth horror, et cetera is all fine. I like scary fairies, uncanny creatures, and dark magic.


  • Edit Letter (Big Picture developmental feedback)
  • Line edit (dropping notes into a Word Document)
  • Skype or phone call
  • Freestyle in chat


I’m a fairly relaxed mentor in terms of timeline, with the availability to work around your schedule and needs. When it comes to revision, I am hands-on and in-depth. I ask lots of questions and can give recommendations that will strengthen your plot as well as help you find structures and methods that will work for you as you revise. I’m not a plotter, per say, but I do believe in having a plan and can help you formulate one that works with your goals and needs. I have no preferences as to whether you submit your manuscript in one go or chapter-by-chapter. I prefer to schedule calls via email as opposed to text message.


Communicative and excited to get the job done. Not afraid to ask questions and make mistakes. Open to feedback, and willing to say no if advice I give doesn’t fit.


  • Contemporary fantasies.
  • Gothics deeply rooted in place.
  • Folk horror.
  • Anything with strong relationship dynamics, be they romantic, familial, or close friendships.
  • Anything queer.

I like books that will frighten me and/or make me cry. Above all, I want compelling stories and beautiful writing.


  • clowns
  • serial killers
  • mental hospital horror
  • military
  • detective stories
  • hard sci-fi
  • werewolves.

It’s not a no for me, but I prefer advanced warning if your book contains hanging/nooses.


The Magnus Archives, The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson, Howl’s Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones. Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir, Mexican Gothic by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia. Season three of The Magicians (TV) is my comfort rewatch.