Sunday, March 1, 2009

HOW TO WRITE A QUERY LETTER

I'm an odd bird. I like writing query letters.
  • I like to do my research on whomever I am querying and find an interesting way to not only include what I have learned but let the reader know why I chose to query them.
  • I like to sum up my manuscript in a succinct and compelling paragraph or two and show that I know who my target audience is and why.
  • And, I like to talk a little about me.....a little since it is the manuscript that the agent must sell or the editor will publish, and not my past accomplishments.
Agents and editors have blogged about this topic to the point that most of us should be writing fantastic queries. If your query is not a knock-out, then read the following posts and good luck with your rewrite.
  1. Agent Nathan Bransford's THE BASIC QUERY LETTER FORMULA plus 90 more informative posts on how to write a query letter.
  2. Agent Rachelle Garnder's BASIC FORMULA FOR FICTION QUERIES plus 25 more informative posts.
  3. Agent Janet Reid's WHAT WORKS IN A QUERY LETTER plus 85 posts labeled QUERY PITFALLS.
  4. Agent Kristin Nelson's TOP 5 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO MAKE YOUR QUERY STAND OUT plus 85 more informative query-related posts.
  5. Agent Lucienne Diver QUERY DOS AND DON'TS.
  6. Agent Jessica Faust's A QUERY OVERVIEW.
  7. Agent Colleen Lindsay's QUERY DISSECTION, WHY I MAY HAVE REJECTED YOUR QUERY, and WHAT NOT TO DO WHEN YOU GET A REJECTION plus 77 more helpful query posts.
  8. If you are interested in seeing queries critiqued, be sure to check out QUERY SHARK and Editorial Anonymous' QUERY CLINIC.
  9. From the Harold Underdown's fabulous PURPLE CRAYON website, Jacqueline K. Ogburns' RITES OF SUBMISSIONS: COVER LETTERS AND QUERY LETTERS
Now that you've written your killer query, follow the legendary Miss Snark's advice: Write well, query widely. Ignore anything that says otherwise.

14 comments:

  1. Wow, thanks for all the links. Lots of great info here!

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  2. I'm going to send my critique group buddies to this blog entry, Jill. Thanks for the info! :-)

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  3. This post is a keeper. I've been working on pitch and query for awhile now. I'm better than I was, but not quite there yet.

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  4. Great info and links, Jill! I will be coming back to this as I revise and write more queries!

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  5. I adore you. Thanks for putting this list together. This will help A LOT of people.

    Deb

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  6. Jill, Thanks so much for this list. I don't like querying. I'm new to it and bad at it ... sigh! But query we must, so I'm going to study all these links, and try to get better at it. Thanks again!

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  7. Rena, Amber, Sarah, Kelly, Deborah and Nandini---so glad the post is helpful.

    This is a tough biz but I love and appreciate our kidlit community and I'm so glad I can give back.

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  8. I am NOT fond of queries. This is great information so thanks for the links. Maybe my next batch of querying will get me farther :^)

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  9. Wow--great post, Jill! Thanks for doing all of this legwork. The V/SB SCBWI is doing a workshop called "Taking the Pain Out of Writing Queries and Synopses" this weekend in Bakersfield, so I'll definitely bring your post to the group's attention!

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  10. This is such a great collection. Thanks for putting it together (here from the SCBWI yahoo group).

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  11. Jill,

    Thanks so much for sharing this valuable informtion. For someone like myself new to querying, all the links you provided are great.

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  12. Thanks for the advice. I was a little late seeing this but I'm definitely going to use the information now.
    I also thought you might like Nicholas Sparks advice for writing a query letter. :)www.nicholassparks.com/WritersCorner/Query.html

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  13. It was extremely interesting for me to read this blog. Thanx for it. I like such themes and everything connected to them. I definitely want to read a bit more soon.

    Anete Simpson
    lisburn escort

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