Mentor Nia Davenport

Caitie Flum, Liza Dawson Associates

Science Fiction/ Fantasy

THE BLOOD TRIALS (2022) Harper Voyager

Nia “N.E.” Davenport is the Science Fiction/Fantasy author of The Blood Trials and its sequel (Harper Voyager). She’s also a member of the Hugo-nominated FIYAHCON team, in which she helps organize the SFF convention’s programming. 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, on Twitter @nia_davenport, or on Instagram @nia.davenport, where she talks about binge-worthy TV, fun movies, and killer books. She lives in Texas with her husband and kids.

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 BLOOD TRIALS, an adult science 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 April 5, 2022.

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.

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 super excited to be mentoring in the Adult category this year. I’m hoping to find a thrilling, action-packed, high stakes fantasy, science fantasy, or urban fantasy set in a deadly world with lots of heart, magic, myth, and complex characters. I’d also be open to a riveting fantasy romance or hilarious romcom with paranormal/ fantastical elements. Some examples of Adult SFF books I love are Hannah Whitten’s FOR THE WOLF, S.A. Chakraborty’s DAEVABAD TRILOGY, Pierce Brown’s RED RISING books, R.F. Kuang’s THE POPPY WAR series, and Nicky Drayden’s TEMPER.


  • Romance
  • Fantasy
  • Sci-Fi
  • Urban/Contemporary Fantasy

Blood feuds, political intrigue, mythological gods, extraordinary and deadly magic, and explorations of war and rebellion are all story tropes that I love. I also am delighted by reading ensemble casts, morally grey characters, and multi-faceted characters. Romantic subplots are usually a huge bonus for me. Enemies-to-lovers, friends-to-lovers, arranged marriage-to-lovers, allies-to-lovers…throw any and all variety of romantic entanglements at me!

My taste in stories under the SFF umbrella are extremely varied in that I enjoy most anything including urban fantasy, military fantasy, high fantasy, space fantasy, science fantasy, historical fantasy, etc. The most important thing to me is that the stories have heart, are voicey, and feature sprawling worlds with compelling protagonists.



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

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!

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!


  • Anything with rich, vivid, sprawling worlds.
  • Nuanced and intriguing characters with a ton of agency and clear, compelling motivations, wants, and goals.
  • I’m a sucker for good warring/ fighting/ stabby scenes.
  • Ensemble casts where the secondary characters are just as intriguing, compelling, fleshed out, and richly drawn as the main character.
  • I really like kickass, deadly MCs that aren’t afraid to get into a brawl when people piss them off or commit wrongs against them. I also like assassins, mercenaries, soldiers, lethal royals, merciless immortals, and any other variety of powerful, deadly characters. GIVE THEM TO ME!!!!!
  • I’m also looking for diversity in setting and characters. I very much want to see #ownvoices novels.
  • Intrigue, romance, blood feuds, brewing wars, grudges to settle, and vengeance to enact are all FOR ME.
  • I’m also a sucker for mythology, lore, and staggering, sweeping magic.


  • 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.

THE POPPY WAR (R.F. Kuang), CITY OF BRASS (S.A. Chakraborty), THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS (N.K. Jemisin), THE UNBROKEN (C.L. Clark), and FOR THE WOLF (Hannah Whitten) are all some of my fave Adult SFF books.