Mentor Nia Davenport

nedavenport.com
@nia_davenport

AGENT
Caitie Flum at Liza Dawson Associates

WRITES
Science Fiction/ Fantasy and Contemporary

DEBUT
THE PRAETORIAN TRIALS (Fall 2022) Harper Voyager

BIO
Nia “N.E.” Davenport is the Science Fiction/Fantasy author of the forthcoming The Praetorian Trials and its sequel (Harper Voyager). She attended the University of Southern California and studied Biological Sciences and Theatre. She has an M.A. in Secondary Education, and she teaches English and Biology. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys vacationing with her family, skiing, and being a huge foodie. She’s an advocate for diverse perspectives and protagonists in literature. You can find her online at www.nedavenport.com, on Twitter @nia_davenport, or on Instagram @nia.davenport, where she talks about binge-worthy TV and great books. She lives in Texas with her husband and kids.

PUBLISHING BACKGROUND
I wrote and queried two books before being signed by my agent, Caitie Flum at Liza Dawson Associates. The second book that I queried was the one that resulted in an offer of representation. It was a YA Contemporary Fantasy that I worked with my agent to revise and place on submission but ultimately did not sell. THE PRAETORIAN TRIALS, an adult fantasy, is the subsequent book that I worked with my agent to revise and submit to publishers. It sold to Harper Voyager in a two book deal. The first book in the duology will be published in the fall of 2022.

EXPERIENCE
I’ve mentored in a previous AMM round, and I am also currently mentoring for the Pitchwars 2020 class. I’ve completed major developmental revision overhauls for my own work alongside both my agent and editor. In addition, I frequently exchange work with critique partners at all stages of the publishing journey.

OVERVIEW

I want to be a mentor because I know how grueling and daunting the querying process can be. When I was in the query trenches it proved invaluable to find a mentor writer that was both a cheerleader and professional peer that was available to offer feedback on my manuscript and provide advice on publishing.

I’m mentoring MG this year. I’m looking for a thrilling, whimsical, adventurous fantasy with lots of heart, spunk, and magic. Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia, Mystwick School of Musicraft by Jessica Khoury, and Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston are a few of my most recent favorite MG stories.The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen is another favorite of mine, though it could arguably be classified as either upper MG or YA.

  • Fantasy
  • #ownvoices
  • Urban/Contemporary Fantasy
  • Horror

I love immersive settings with diverse worlds and diverse characters. Quests, magic schools, portal fantasies, saving the world, solving a mystery, and battling an evil nemesis are all tropes I adore in MG. My tastes in MG are very varied and broad so as long as it’s a fantasy drenched in magic and wonder, throw it at me!

I WILL PROVIDE:

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

WORKING STYLE

I promise I will be your greatest cheerleader! I’ll work hard with you to revise your story and polish it up into the best, strongest version that YOU want it to be. I want you to work hard and gain the tools you need to elevate your story to the next level, and in the end I want it to be a story that YOU love and that YOU are proud of. I will always make suggestions and lend help according to your vision for the story first. It will never be about me. It will always be about you.

I’m a huge developmental editing person. I’ll be focusing on your plot, tension, pacing, characters’ motivations, needs, wants, and desires, character arcs, and overall worldbuilding. I want to make sure all of these things are working spectacularly independently and as a unit to make your book as strong as possible.

Twitter DMs, email, Zoom/ Google Meet, and texts all work for me! We can absolutely schedule a phone chat or Zoom/ Google Meet chat to go over your edit letter and other important things/ questions if you like. For any smaller, minute things I communicate best via DMs, texts, or emails. I understand the terrible feeling of being accepted into a mentor program then having minimal contact with your mentor. It feels like striking gold then being stranded on an island all by your lonesome. I promise not to do that. I’ll stay in touch with you regularly throughout the Pitchwars process, and it’s my hope to not only gain a mentee but to also gain a friend!

IDEAL MENTEE
My ideal mentee is a writer who is passionate about their story, receptive to feedback and positive critique, and eager and willing to dig into their story, rip it apart if necessary, and revise it with the goal of making it the best, most stellar version that it can be!

SEND ME:

  • Anything that comps to TRISTAN STRONG, MYSTWICK SCHOOL of MUSICRAFT, or THE FALSE PRINCE.
  • Anything that also might comp to the Netflix show THE WORST WITCH.
  • I am also super interested in portal fantasies that plunge readers into a new, diverse, and whimsical world brimming with magic.
  • Contemporary and urban fantasies with lots of magic are my jam too.
  • I’m a huge fan of stories that are drenched in mythology/ lore and the supernatural.

DO NOT SEND ME:

  • Any novel that excludes people of color, ignores them, uses them as props, or uses them as plot devices.
  • Any story that deals with racism, enslavement, brutality, or oppression toward the Black diaspora and isn’t written as a nuanced, thoughtful, careful portrayal by a person of the Black diaspora.
  • Any story that deals with a terminal illness in any form.
  • A manuscript full of typos and grammatical mistakes. Please make sure your submissions are polished.
  • A manuscript that is a first draft.
  • Please don’t send me any hard sci-fi or books about zombies.

FAVES

I feel like I’ve mentioned these a dozen times but Tristan Strong, Mystwick School of Musicraft, The False Prince, The Worst Witch (the Netflix show), Wizards of Waverly Place, My Baby-sitters a Vampire, and Stranger Things are all faves.