Kit Haggard

Kit Haggard – Editor

Queer editor of a New York Times and Tor best book of 2023 ▪ interested in LGBTQ+ fiction and genre (sff, spec fic, romance) ▪ she/her


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.
Biographies & Memoirs LGBTQ Non-Fiction
Coming of Age Fantasy LGBTQ Fiction Magical Realism Young Adult
English (US)
  • St. Botolph Emerging Artists Award
  • Rex Warner Prize
  • Nancy Lynn Schwartz Prize for Fiction
  • Stanley and Evelyn Lipkin Prize for Excellence in Ancient Studies
  • MCC Aritst Grant
  • Bread Loaf Scholar

Work experience

Bywater Books

Dec, 2021 — Present


Oct, 2021 — Present

Emerson College

Sep, 2016 — Dec, 2021 (about 5 years)


Jan, 2016 — May, 2018 (over 2 years)


Mar, 2015 — Present

Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency

May, 2014 — Jul, 2015 (about 1 year)


Jan, 2014 — May, 2014 (4 months)


A Long Time Dead

Breger, Samara

Developmental Editing
Developmental Editing
Made with Reedsy
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 wi... read more
Developmental Editing
Made with Reedsy
The odd uneven time

Stanley, Emma

Developmental Editing
Made with Reedsy
Sugar, Spice, and Spellcraft

Paulson, D. E.

Copy Editing
Touch of the Bone

Trautman, Baxter Clare

Developmental Editing
Hell Bent

Lynne, Calista

Copy Editing

Kit has 27 reviews





Rebecca P.

Rebecca P.

Mar, 2024

Kit was an incredible editor and overall thought partner on our project. She has a very balanced method of delivering feedback, making sure you understand what was and wasn't working in the manuscript, and truly incredible insight into characterization, worldbuilding and journey/arc. It felt like she had been sitting with the manuscript for months, with how accurately she understood the charact...
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V. R. D.

V. R. D.

Jul, 2023

Kit was incredibly professional and passionate, an absolute delight to work with! She did developmental editing on my novel and delivered high-quality feedback in a very timely manner. Very easy to communicate with, loves what she does, and is certainly someone that I hope to keep in touch with for future projects. Would highly recommend!
Sara S.

Sara S.

Mar, 2023

Working with Kit got me to a place that would have taken me months and months if I had done it on my own. I felt like she really understood what I was trying to do with my story (maybe better than I did!) Her feedback on the structure of my novel and how she interpreted the central theme was like a lightbulb moment that laid out everything in front of me to make sense finally. I honestly don't...
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Nathan S.

Nathan S.

Jun, 2024

Kit gave me much-needed confidence in my manuscript while also suggesting relevant revisions. She is quick to respond to messages and bent over backwards to meet my individualized needs and goals. Her communication style is friendly and empathic. I do not regret for a second trusting Kit with my work.
elizabeth P.

elizabeth P.

Oct, 2023

Kit was amazing. The feedback I got has already helped me better my story. Every message was respo ded to promptly and her communication can't be beat. I received an 11 page detailed review of my story as well as notations left throughout the manuscript. In addition, she also left me notes about how to accomplish different things, as apposed to simply saying something should be fixed. I'd gi...
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