Kit Haggard

Kit Haggard - Editor

Boston, MA, USA

Queer editor ▪ reader at Bywater Books ▪ copy editor at Ploughshares ▪ interested in LGBTQ+ fiction, magical realism, and YA ▪ she/her

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Overview

I started in this industry almost ten years ago, as an intern at Macmillan. There, I had the enormous good fortune to work with Roaring Brook, the young adult and middle grade imprint, as well as with First Second, which produced some of the most incredible comic books I've ever read. Working in that environment, interfacing with authors, putting my eye for detail to good use, really shaped the way I saw the industry. Not as authors sometimes see it--as an impossible staircase riddled with trap doors and inexplicably locked gates--but as a place that was fundamentally collaborative, creative, and above all, one that valued good books.

From there, I moved to a literary agency, where I was a personal assistant for just over a year. My favorite part of that work was sifting through the dozens of emails we received daily for the queries that really grabbed my attention. As I gained responsibility in that role, I had the autonomy to work directly with authors, particularly those who were just starting out. There, I found what I was best at: collaborating individually with writers to help tell their stories. As a creative writing major and an author myself, I had an eye for the ways in which the pieces of narrative could come together, and I really enjoyed the opportunity to provide detailed feedback.

After a while in that position, it became clear to me that for the good of my own work, I could benefit from an MFA. I attended Emerson College, where I learned so much more about my craft from a technical perspective. I was encouraged to read broadly and to step back every once and a while to get a real sense of the machinery that went into making stories.

But I was never able to fully let go of my work in publishing. I joined the staff of Ploughshares, one of the world's premier literary journals, where I served as an editorial assistant and eventually senior editorial assistant. This gave me such incredible opportunities to survey the state of fiction today, to see up close the emerging talents, and to travel and attend events like AWP that put me in direct contact with writers. During this period, I also began teaching--something I continue to do today and love deeply--and working one on one with writers with my own freelance editing practice.

I got my start with an unfortunately now-defunct publisher of YA novels, Merit Press, providing detailed developmental edits on novels slated for publication. Shortly thereafter, I began taking on additional clients of my own. These projects ranged far and wide: memoirs, novels, nonfiction books, stories, one memorable space opera with sections written in verse. I loved them all.

Throughout this time, I've continued my own writing practice. I've been published in the Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, and Electric Literature, among other places, and have received the St. Botolph Emerging Artists Award, the Rex Warner Prize, and the Nancy Lynn Schwartz Prize for Fiction. I've also written essays on contemporary fiction, particularly fabulist and queer fiction--two themes that are extremely close to my heart. This part of the work is very important to me--and not just because I love it. One thing I bring to all of my projects is the perspective of a writer--with all the complicated, confusing, fantastical messiness that entails.
Languages
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
Education & Reference
LGBTQ Non-Fiction
Fiction
Coming of Age
LGBTQ Fiction
Magical Realism
Short Story
Young Adult

Awards

  • St. Botolph Emerging Artists Award
  • Rex Warner Prize
  • Nancy Lynn Schwartz Prize for Fiction
  • Stanley and Evelyn Lipkin Prize for Excellence in Ancient Studies

Work experience

Developmental Editor

Bywater Books
December, 2021 – Present (about 1 year)

Copy Editor

Ploughshares
October, 2021 – Present (over 1 year)

Teacher

Emerson College
September, 2016 – December, 2021 (about 5 years)

Senior Editorial Assistant

Ploughshares
January, 2016 – May, 2018 (over 2 years)

Freelance Editor and Copyeditor

Self-employed
March, 2015 – Present (almost 8 years)

Assistant

Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency
May, 2014 – July, 2015 (about 1 year)

Intern

Macmillan
January, 2014 – May, 2014 (4 months)

Portfolio (7 selected works)

Fred: An unbecoming woman

Annie Krabbenschmidt

As she recounts the journey from the blissful non-committance of her “straight” origins, to falling in love, to her years spent (shockingly) alone, Annie Krabbenschmidt’s debut book is both wickedly funny and heartbreaking. More autotheory than memoir, Fred deconstructs the institution of “womanhood,” defying gender and genre. Krabbenschmidt charts their adolescence through a constellation of ... read more

As she recounts the journey from the blissful non-committance of her “straight” origins, to falling in love, to her years spent (shockingly) alone, Annie Krabbenschmidt’s debut book is both wickedly funny and heartbreaking. More autotheory than memoir, Fred deconstructs the institution of “womanhood,” defying gender and genre. Krabbenschmidt charts their adolescence through a constellation of ... read more

Ploughshares Solos Omnibus Volume 5

Randolph, Ladette, Lowenthal, Michael, Coyle, Hugh, Payne Mandel, Eli, Ferrell, Carolyn, Okonkwo, Uche, Horiuchi, Lisa, Parrish, Timothy, Kondo, Rachel, Hamlin, Edward

Hell Bent

Lynne, Calista

Kit has 21 reviews

Professionalism
Professionalism
Quality
Quality
Value
Value
Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

David Pantaleoni
Kit has been prompt, professional, and a wonderful resource throughout this project. I can't recommend working with Kit enough.

David Pantaleoni, July 2022


Pamela Jane
Kit is a rarely sensitive, empathic, and highly skilled writer and editor. She is responsive, intuitively insightful, and generous with her time and attention to detail. To add to all this, she has a delightful sense of humor. In short, Kit is a treasure. I can't recommend her highly enough.

Pamela Jane, July 2022


Cassandra Wheeler
Kit was amazing! This was my first time getting a professional edit and I was terrified that I wouldn't find an editor that would understand the uniqueness of my magical realism short story collection, but Kit truly did. Her feedback was so useful, detailed, honest and constructive! Throughout the process, Kit was responsive, professional and super friendly. I will absolutely work with her agai...
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Cassandra Wheeler, June 2022


Robert Thaggard
Kit was the perfect editor for my work. I consider it a true blessing that we worked together. She totally "got" my book, and her edits and suggested changes were spot-on. She provided me with great feedback throughout the whole process, and her overall feedback about the books was very encouraging. I'd work with her again in a heartbeat!

Robert Thaggard, June 2022


Michael James
Kit's input and editorial guidance continue to be an important part of my writing. Her recommendations are thoughtful and expressed in a manner both succinct and supportive.

Michael James, June 2022

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