Hey people – I’m part of a query workshop at LTUE on Friday at 10 AM. I’m putting this post together primarily as reference material for that event, but it should be useful for anyone writing a query letter.
- Try to keep it as close to 250-300 words as possible. Shorter = Better.
- I like to use a lot of spacing. Short sentences. Short paragraphs.
- Have a complete work to pitch if you are a debut author
- Follow the damn submission guidelines
- Prepare your favorite anxiety remedy. I like chocolate.
- Check out:
- See my query that worked HERE
Here’s the basic structure I used for my query:
1st Paragraph: Intro, or the Personal Hook
- Personalize the Letter:
- Address it to the agent
- Have and mention the specific reason you are querying them
- Also, have a specific reason to query them
- Intro your work:
- Status (Complete?)
- Length in word count
2nd/3rd Paragraphs: The Story Hook
- Intro your primary character(s)
- Use the same tone/style as your manuscript
- Intro the scene/setting
- Present the conflict/inciting incident
- Dramatic statement
4th Paragraph: Summarize the theme
5th Paragraph: Info about you/your work
- Compare your work to similar works, if you wish
- Is this your first work, or do you have other published works of note?
- Do you have some relevant qualification to be writing what you are? Mention it.
- I chose to also mention that I’m working on the next book in the series to signal that it is not a standalone novel
6th Paragraph: If attachments or inclusions are asked for in the agent’s/publisher’s guidelines, mention them here and ask to send a full MS.
Sign off w/ your personal info
Good luck! Go query, my friends.