Kat Enright, (they/them), is a writer of fantasy and sci-fi, as well as a freelance editor. They were previously an Associate Agent at the Seymour Agency, and they have worked in a variety of departments in publishing, including Sales and Editorial at Skyhorse Publishing. When Kat is not working, they are often found playing video games, cooking, or suffering through grad school. They live in New Jersey with their husband and their black cat, Zuko. They are represented by Jennifer Azantian of the Azantian Literary Agency.
Brittney Arena’s (she/her) passion for storytelling leads her to write emotional and immersive fantasy for both YA and adult audiences, with a focus on chronically ill characters like her. In addition to writing, she runs an Instagram account where she talks about all things writing, reading, and illness/disability awareness. She is represented by Jennifer Azantian at Azantian Literary Agency.
Kat: I’ve worked in publishing, both in-house as an editor and as a literary agent. Due to health concerns, I had to leave agenting at the start of 2020. Since then, I’ve applied for and entered grad school, looking to pivot to a new–but still bookish–career. From the writer’s perspective, I’ve been writing with the intent for publication since around 2014. I wrote three novels before I started querying, learning all that I could from them and then sliding them into the trunk where they belong. With the help of my amazing CPs (shoutout to my Guillotine Queens), I revised and revised and revised my fourth novel and I signed with the incomparable Jennifer Azantian in July 2019. Alas, that book did not sell, and we’re preparing to go out with my next novel sometime in Spring 2022.
Britt: My first book was written in IV chairs, hospital beds, and one solitary recliner in my house, thanks to the illness that toppled my life. Writing became a solace, an escape, and more so, a way to release all of my pent-up creativity. My first book managed to snag a mentor in Round 3 of AMM, and though I sat that book aside (for now), it gave me the courage I needed to write sick and disabled characters like me in a fantasy setting where disability representation is almost nonexistent. I quickly poured my energy into a new book, and fast forward to October 2020, I suddenly found myself trying to choose between amazing agents. In the end, I signed with Jennifer Azantian, and we are currently on submission.
Kat: Outside of my professional experience, I am part of an amazing writing group, the Guillotine Queens. We have 11 members, and we communicate through slack, video chats, and in-person retreats. The GQ have given me the support I’ve needed to continue working on my craft, and they have been there through all the ups and downs of my publishing journey so far. I could not have done what I have done without them, because in this field, you really need a team in your corner. And having people you trust, who will give you sympathy when you’re hurting and a kick in the butt when you need it, is key.
Britt: As an avid reader and book reviewer, I’ve spent years analyzing books of all kinds. I’m the type of reader who highlights and takes meticulous notes, and I make it a priority to stay up to date with publishing trends and releases. Additionally, I work with several critique partners in various stages, from published authors to both agented and unagented writers. I’m also in an incredible writing group with endless resources and industry knowledge (shoutout to my Guillotine Queens!), and we are in constant contact through Slack and video calls. As a former AMM mentee, I know the process well, and I’ve also given and received multiple edit letters. With my marketing and social media background, I’ve helped several authors market and promote their books, and I keep in touch with industry publicists on a regular basis.
Having a mentor in your corner can be a game changer. Writing is often solitary, the process is full of ups and downs, and it’s easy to get discouraged and want to throw in the towel. We have both felt the pressure of an industry that normalizes certain voices while pushing aside others. As mentors, we hope to use our knowledge and success to continuously lift up voices who have not had the opportunities we’ve had. We are both passionate advocates, avid encouragers, and we know the trials and pitfalls of the industry and can help you navigate them.
We love stories in all their forms and we love studying them, looking for what is working and what is not working, especially across formats. (Why do certain things work well in film, but not in a novel?) As editors, we find the holes and we poke at them, making you think about potential solutions. We don’t believe in prescriptive suggestions – if something doesn’t work for you, please, push back. It’s your story, and only you can know what is best.
We are also very responsive and we never want our mentee to feel worried about reaching out. We love brainstorming, so if you find yourself stuck, we’ll be right there to help dig you out.
We are open to all sub genres within adult fantasy (second world, historical, science fantasy, romance (romantasy?), etc, as well as fantasy with crossover potential. If you’re worried that your voice/story skews too young, don’t be. We’ll still consider it! We especially love dark fantasy, any and all romantic themes, and characters that unapologetically stomp on our hearts.
We are not the best fit for horror (Britt is a chicken), or real world settings unless the focus is more otherworldly (think Cruel Prince). Please, no white saviors or magical cures.
Most importantly, we are passionate about advocating for underrepresented voices!
As for tropes…Enemies-to-Lovers, There is Only One Bed, Villain Romance, Secret Identities, Slow Burn…basically all of them.
WE WILL PROVIDE:
- Edit Letter (Big Picture developmental feedback)
- Line edit (dropping notes into a Word Document)
- Skype or phone call
- Freestyle in chat
Our mentoring style is heavily based on communication. We believe, as editors, that our job is not to make our mentee’s book what we think it should be, but to help them achieve their vision. We will work with you to flesh out what you are hoping to achieve with this story, then come up with a game plan that will help you achieve these goals in concrete, clear steps.
We will offer a detailed edit letter and in-line comments, but we will also be available to talk—via zoom or DM—and help you work through the changes that we have requested. Our mentoring style will be supportive, as we will be there to help you through the difficult parts, but we will still push you to be the best that you can be.
Our ideal mentee is someone who’s as driven as we are to improve our craft. That means willingness to do homework, whether reading craft books or examining books similar to ours, and digging down deep into the ideas you’re playing with—not just the plot and the characters, but the why behind it all. It includes exploring different methodologies to discover what works best for your process—is it the three act or the four act structure? Do you prefer loose or hard outlines? If this process appeals to you, then we’re a good fit. Writing is a craft, and we treat it as such.
At the same time, though, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that writing should be fun! You can expect heavy doses of encouragement, possibly obnoxious cheerleading, and an endless supply of virtual hugs.
We tell these stories because they are what we want to see. Our aim is just to help you get better at doing that.
Please send us magic. Add in a scorching romance, lush writing, and/or gothic elements and we’re hooked. We’re dying for your morally grey, your complicated leads, your complex characters in complex worlds, your disastrous romances, and your twisted politics.
Other things we’d love to see include stories that center ill and disabled protagonists, stories with with nonbinary and trans characters, and anything that draws on a typically underrepresented culture or setting by underrepresented writers.
DO NOT SEND US:
Sadly, We are not the best fit for the following tales:
· Hard Sci-Fi (How does the hyperdrive work? Very well, thank you.)
· Stories with Angels
· Stories centered around eating disorders (sorry, it’s a trigger for Kat)
· Animal Protagonists
· Zombies (They freak Britt out. Again, she is a chicken.)
A few of Kat’s recent favorites:
THE DAEVABAD TRILOGY
A MARVELLOUS LIGHT
THE OBSIDIAN TOWER
THE WOLF AND THE WOODSMAN
FOR THE WOLF
THE LAST JEDI (come at me, bro)
ASSASSIN’S CREED: ODYSSEY
DRAGON AGE (all of them, but especially Inquisition)
A few of Britt’s favorites:
THE CHRONICLES OF THE BITCH QUEEN SERIES
THE WOLF AND THE WOODSMAN
RED RISING TRILOGY
THE TETHERED MAGE TRILOGY
THE GHOST BRIDE
SORCERY OF THORNS
THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE
SHADES OF MAGIC TRILOGY
Movies / TV:
THE LAST JEDI (I’m with Kat on this one)
THE KING ETERNAL MONARCH (Bonus points if you have seen this)
ITS OKAY NOT TO BE OKAY
HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE
World of Warcraft (Yeah, I played for years. Horde for the win.)