Renee Nyen

YA sci-fi/fantasy

In Revision

Katelyn Larson is a YA science fiction and fantasy author hailing from just north of Boston. She recently graduated from Rice University in Texas, where she studied Skyrim under the guise of an English major, learned far more about insects than she ever thought she could stomach, and determined the precise relationship between the degree of humidity and the size of her hair. Now back home, she spends her time obsessing over the Patriots, fangirling over YouTube gamers, and losing herself in fantastical worlds—both of her own creation and others.

In college, I earned a degree in English, participated in workshop intensive creative writing classes, and mentored fellow students in both creative and technical writing. In the three years since, I’ve been CPing regularly for writers at all stages of the publishing process, including querying and debuting. I’ve helped craft numerous queries and assisted in agent research, and I’m a veteran of multiple contests, such as the Writer’s Voice.

I’m looking for a mentee that I can support and bolster throughout the wild journey of revision and querying and beyond. I’d like to work with someone dedicated and driven, but I also know this road can be hard and that everyone needs a cheerleader in their back pocket. So in addition to helping hone your manuscript and query into the best versions of themselves, I’m happy to answer questions and be honest about all my experiences in the industry so far. No one should have to do this alone!
I love fantasy and sci-fi in all their forms. Give me odd, unique magic systems; complex political maneuverings; new and different fantastical creatures; worldbuilding that drags me into the scene and never lets me leave; funky, imaginative technology; or some wonderful amalgamation of all those things.
More than anything else, worldbuilding will draw me into a book and make me fall in love, but closely following that are relationships and all the complexities they bring. Found family and friendship stories will always have a special place in my heart (I especially love girl-and-boy friendships were romance is never a part of the equation).
Some bits and bobs I’m intrigued by: antiheroes, animals (the bigger the better!), criminals, underdogs, ensemble casts, teamwork!!!, climate change, AI, genetics, slow-burn romance, banter, parents who aren’t dead/MIA, sibling dynamics, magic in all forms, hidden societies, governments that are actually doings things right, spring/autumn (bring me all the seasonal atmosphere!), pirates, morally gray choices, and a million more things besides.
Beyond SFF, I do love a good contemporary story and magical realism is finding a very cozy place in my heart. I’m not the best fit for horror and the like.
I’m a firm believer that the best critiques pose questions and highlight potential problem areas, but don’t offer concrete solutions. Often readers can spot issues the author might be unable to see, but I think the best fixes come from the mind of the creator. (That said, I’m more than happy to brainstorm ideas and work collaboratively to find new paths forward.)
With that in mind, my critiques tend to take shape in an overall edit letter as well as a document with my chapter-by-chapter thoughts as I read. While the edit letter will highlight both the major strengths and weaknesses, the chapter-by-chapter notes will hone in smaller questions, like what was going through my mind at any particular moment (including on things like plot twists so that you can track whether your reveals are hitting right).
I intend all my critiques to be honest but kind. I want to be there in the trenches beside my mentee, cheering them on but also being truthful about any flaws I see. My biggest strengths are worldbuilding, description, and action scenes. Though I love a clever, beautiful sentence, I am not the best at crafting them myself.
In books, some recent favorites are: Cristin Terrill’s ALL OUR YESTERDAYS, Sabaa Tahir’s AN EMBER IN THE ASHES, Jay Kristoff/Amie Kaufman’s ILLUMINAE, Susan Dennard’s TRUTHWITCH.
In TV: Chuck, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, The Flash, Code Geass (Anime), Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (Anime), Avatar: The Last Airbender, Veronica Mars.
In movies: The Martian, Pacific Rim.