My query letters to agents. Please help

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#1

I’m attempting to get an agent for publication for two of my completed novels on here. I’ve looked at hundreds of queries online and have ended up with these below. After a many rejections I want to know what I’m doing wrong and would love help to refine them if anyone has the time.

I know about self publishing and have done it in the past. I want to go professional this time around. I know it’s tough, but any tips at all will help. When I’m comfortable with the final product I’ll send it out to more agents and put it on querytracker.


Dear [Agent],

_1ST DRAFT L̶i̶v̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶a̶ ̶h̶o̶m̶e̶ ̶w̶h̶e̶r̶e̶ ̶m̶i̶r̶r̶o̶r̶s̶ ̶a̶r̶e̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶b̶i̶d̶d̶e̶n̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶a̶ ̶g̶l̶a̶n̶c̶e̶ ̶a̶t̶ ̶o̶n̶e̶’̶s̶ ̶r̶e̶f̶l̶e̶c̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ ̶c̶o̶u̶l̶d̶ ̶b̶r̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶d̶i̶s̶a̶s̶t̶e̶r̶,̶ ̶H̶o̶p̶e̶ ̶M̶a̶r̶t̶i̶n̶e̶z̶ ̶h̶a̶s̶ ̶f̶o̶u̶n̶d̶ ̶h̶e̶r̶ ̶l̶i̶f̶e̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶b̶e̶ ̶f̶i̶l̶l̶e̶d̶ ̶w̶i̶t̶h̶ ̶u̶n̶a̶n̶s̶w̶e̶r̶e̶d̶ ̶q̶u̶e̶s̶t̶i̶o̶n̶s̶.̶ ̶S̶h̶e̶ ̶w̶a̶n̶t̶s̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶b̶e̶ ̶a̶ ̶n̶o̶r̶m̶a̶l̶ ̶h̶i̶g̶h̶ ̶s̶c̶h̶o̶o̶l̶ ̶g̶i̶r̶l̶,̶ ̶b̶u̶t̶ ̶h̶e̶r̶ ̶f̶a̶m̶i̶l̶y̶’̶s̶ ̶m̶y̶s̶t̶e̶r̶i̶o̶u̶s̶ ̶p̶o̶w̶e̶r̶ ̶h̶a̶s̶ ̶a̶w̶o̶k̶e̶n̶ ̶w̶i̶t̶h̶i̶n̶ ̶h̶e̶r̶.̶ ̶F̶o̶r̶ ̶t̶h̶r̶e̶e̶ ̶l̶o̶n̶g̶ ̶y̶e̶a̶r̶s̶ ̶s̶h̶e̶ ̶h̶a̶s̶ ̶a̶v̶o̶i̶d̶e̶d̶ ̶m̶i̶r̶r̶o̶r̶s̶ ̶f̶e̶a̶r̶f̶u̶l̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶m̶o̶n̶s̶t̶e̶r̶ ̶i̶n̶s̶i̶d̶e̶.̶ ̶N̶o̶w̶ ̶s̶i̶x̶t̶e̶e̶n̶,̶ ̶H̶o̶p̶e̶ ̶l̶e̶a̶r̶n̶s̶ ̶s̶h̶e̶ ̶h̶a̶s̶ ̶a̶n̶ ̶i̶n̶c̶r̶e̶d̶i̶b̶l̶e̶ ̶d̶e̶s̶t̶i̶n̶y̶.̶ ̶H̶o̶p̶e̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶d̶e̶s̶t̶r̶o̶y̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶w̶o̶r̶l̶d̶.̶ ̶ ̶O̶n̶e̶ ̶d̶a̶y̶ ̶H̶o̶p̶e̶ ̶m̶a̶k̶e̶s̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶m̶i̶s̶t̶a̶k̶e̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶g̶l̶a̶n̶c̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶i̶n̶t̶o̶ ̶a̶ ̶m̶i̶r̶r̶o̶r̶.̶ ̶S̶h̶e̶ ̶s̶l̶i̶p̶s̶ ̶t̶h̶r̶o̶u̶g̶h̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶g̶l̶a̶s̶s̶ ̶i̶n̶t̶o̶ ̶a̶ ̶p̶a̶r̶a̶l̶l̶e̶l̶ ̶w̶o̶r̶l̶d̶.̶ ̶T̶h̶e̶r̶e̶ ̶s̶h̶e̶ ̶m̶e̶e̶t̶s̶ ̶h̶e̶r̶ ̶r̶e̶f̶l̶e̶c̶t̶i̶o̶n̶,̶ ̶a̶ ̶b̶o̶y̶ ̶n̶a̶m̶e̶d̶ ̶O̶w̶e̶n̶,̶ ̶w̶h̶o̶s̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶e̶v̶e̶r̶y̶ ̶h̶a̶s̶ ̶g̶o̶t̶t̶e̶n̶ ̶h̶i̶m̶ ̶i̶n̶t̶o̶ ̶a̶ ̶d̶e̶a̶d̶l̶y̶ ̶c̶h̶a̶s̶e̶ ̶w̶i̶t̶h̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶H̶a̶l̶f̶-̶L̶i̶f̶e̶,̶ ̶D̶e̶s̶i̶r̶e̶.̶ ̶T̶h̶e̶ ̶t̶w̶o̶ ̶e̶s̶c̶a̶p̶e̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶a̶r̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶r̶u̶s̶t̶ ̶i̶n̶t̶o̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶s̶t̶a̶r̶t̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶a̶ ̶w̶a̶r̶ ̶b̶e̶t̶w̶e̶e̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶r̶e̶e̶ ̶r̶i̶v̶a̶l̶ ̶k̶i̶n̶g̶d̶o̶m̶s̶.̶ ̶N̶o̶t̶h̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶w̶i̶t̶h̶o̶u̶t̶ ̶c̶o̶n̶s̶e̶q̶u̶e̶n̶c̶e̶,̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶h̶e̶r̶ ̶a̶r̶r̶i̶v̶a̶l̶,̶ ̶t̶h̶o̶u̶g̶h̶ ̶o̶n̶c̶e̶ ̶a̶ ̶b̶l̶e̶s̶s̶i̶n̶g̶,̶ ̶h̶a̶s̶ ̶b̶r̶o̶u̶g̶h̶t̶ ̶a̶ ̶d̶e̶v̶a̶s̶t̶a̶t̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶p̶r̶o̶p̶h̶e̶c̶y̶ ̶i̶n̶t̶o̶ ̶a̶c̶t̶i̶o̶n̶.̶ ̶H̶o̶p̶e̶ ̶l̶e̶a̶r̶n̶s̶ ̶s̶h̶e̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶a̶ ̶M̶i̶r̶r̶o̶r̶b̶e̶n̶d̶e̶r̶,̶ ̶p̶a̶r̶t̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶a̶ ̶g̶r̶e̶a̶t̶ ̶f̶a̶m̶i̶l̶y̶ ̶w̶i̶t̶h̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶p̶o̶w̶e̶r̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶m̶a̶n̶i̶p̶u̶l̶a̶t̶e̶ ̶r̶e̶f̶l̶e̶c̶t̶i̶o̶n̶s̶.̶ ̶T̶h̶e̶ ̶t̶e̶n̶ ̶p̶o̶w̶e̶r̶f̶u̶l̶ ̶H̶a̶l̶f̶-̶L̶i̶v̶e̶s̶ ̶h̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶b̶e̶g̶u̶n̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶i̶n̶f̶i̶l̶t̶r̶a̶t̶e̶ ̶h̶i̶g̶h̶ ̶s̶o̶c̶i̶e̶t̶y̶ ̶s̶p̶r̶e̶a̶d̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶i̶r̶ ̶e̶v̶i̶l̶,̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶H̶o̶p̶e̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶k̶e̶y̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶i̶r̶ ̶s̶u̶c̶c̶e̶s̶s̶.̶ ̶A̶s̶ ̶s̶h̶e̶ ̶c̶o̶m̶e̶s̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶l̶e̶a̶r̶n̶ ̶m̶o̶r̶e̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶h̶e̶r̶ ̶p̶o̶w̶e̶r̶,̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶H̶a̶l̶f̶-̶L̶i̶v̶e̶s̶ ̶s̶e̶t̶ ̶t̶r̶a̶p̶s̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶a̶s̶s̶u̶r̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶p̶r̶o̶p̶h̶e̶c̶y̶ ̶g̶o̶e̶s̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶i̶r̶ ̶w̶a̶y̶ ̶l̶e̶a̶v̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶H̶o̶p̶e̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶c̶h̶o̶o̶s̶e̶:̶ ̶ ̶a̶c̶c̶e̶p̶t̶ ̶h̶e̶r̶ ̶d̶e̶s̶t̶i̶n̶y̶ ̶o̶r̶ ̶f̶i̶g̶h̶t̶ ̶a̶n̶ ̶i̶m̶p̶o̶s̶s̶i̶b̶l̶e̶ ̶u̶n̶c̶h̶a̶n̶g̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶f̶a̶t̶e̶.̶_̶ ̶_̶I̶ ̶h̶o̶p̶e̶ ̶m̶y̶ ̶b̶o̶o̶k̶,̶ ̶M̶I̶R̶R̶O̶R̶ ̶M̶E̶ ̶w̶i̶l̶l̶ ̶i̶n̶t̶e̶r̶e̶s̶t̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶.̶ ̶I̶t̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶Y̶A̶ ̶f̶i̶c̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ ̶w̶i̶t̶h̶ ̶s̶e̶r̶i̶e̶s̶ ̶p̶o̶t̶e̶n̶t̶i̶a̶l̶ ̶f̶e̶a̶t̶u̶r̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶a̶ ̶L̶a̶t̶i̶n̶a̶ ̶g̶i̶r̶l̶ ̶p̶r̶o̶t̶a̶g̶o̶n̶i̶s̶t̶ ̶c̶o̶m̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶t̶e̶r̶m̶s̶ ̶w̶i̶t̶h̶ ̶l̶o̶s̶s̶,̶ ̶h̶e̶r̶ ̶e̶t̶h̶n̶i̶c̶i̶t̶y̶,̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶b̶u̶d̶d̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶s̶e̶x̶u̶a̶l̶i̶t̶y̶ ̶b̶e̶f̶o̶r̶e̶ ̶b̶e̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶t̶h̶r̶u̶s̶t̶ ̶i̶n̶t̶o̶ ̶a̶ ̶p̶a̶r̶a̶l̶l̶e̶l̶ ̶w̶o̶r̶l̶d̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶q̶u̶i̶r̶k̶y̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶u̶n̶u̶s̶u̶a̶l̶ ̶c̶h̶a̶r̶a̶c̶t̶e̶r̶s̶.̶ ̶T̶h̶e̶ ̶n̶o̶v̶e̶l̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶c̶o̶m̶p̶l̶e̶t̶e̶ ̶a̶t̶ ̶a̶b̶o̶u̶t̶ ̶8̶6̶,̶0̶0̶0̶ ̶w̶o̶r̶d̶s̶.̶ ̶ ̶I̶ ̶h̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶l̶i̶v̶e̶d̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶s̶o̶u̶t̶h̶ ̶a̶l̶l̶ ̶m̶y̶ ̶l̶i̶f̶e̶ ̶w̶o̶r̶k̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶b̶o̶o̶k̶s̶t̶o̶r̶e̶s̶,̶ ̶s̶e̶t̶t̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶u̶p̶ ̶a̶u̶t̶h̶o̶r̶ ̶s̶i̶g̶n̶i̶n̶g̶s̶,̶ ̶p̶a̶n̶e̶l̶ ̶d̶i̶s̶c̶u̶s̶s̶i̶o̶n̶s̶,̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶w̶r̶i̶t̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶w̶o̶r̶k̶s̶h̶o̶p̶s̶,̶ ̶a̶s̶ ̶w̶e̶l̶l̶ ̶a̶s̶ ̶v̶o̶l̶u̶n̶t̶e̶e̶r̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶a̶t̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶L̶o̶u̶i̶s̶i̶a̶n̶a̶ ̶B̶o̶o̶k̶ ̶F̶e̶s̶t̶i̶v̶a̶l̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶s̶t̶a̶t̶e̶ ̶l̶i̶b̶r̶a̶r̶y̶ ̶e̶v̶e̶n̶t̶s̶.̶ ̶I̶ ̶l̶i̶v̶e̶ ̶w̶i̶t̶h̶ ̶t̶w̶o̶ ̶P̶o̶m̶e̶r̶a̶n̶i̶a̶n̶s̶ ̶w̶h̶o̶ ̶l̶o̶v̶e̶ ̶c̶r̶e̶e̶p̶y̶ ̶s̶t̶o̶r̶i̶e̶s̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶d̶a̶d̶ ̶j̶o̶k̶e̶s̶.̶_̶

2ND DRAFT
Living in a home where mirrors are forbidden and a glance in one could bring disaster, Hope Martinez has found her life to be filled with questions. Struggling to survive as a Latina family in South Texas, Hope never believed her family was anything special that is until her family’s mysterious power awakes within her. For three long years she has promised her mother to avoid mirrors fearful of the consequences. Now at sixteen, Hope learns she has a terrible destiny. Hope is to destroy the world.

One day, after a fight with her mother Hope breaks her promise and glances into a mirror. She slips through the glass into an alternate world where she meets her reflection, a boy named Owen. His thievery has gotten him into a deadly chase with the Half-Life, Desire, one of ten cursed humans who lack reflections and claim incredible power. The two escape and are thrust into a war between three rival kingdoms.

Hope’s arrival, though once a blessing, has brought a devastating prophecy into action. Hope learns she is a Mirrorbender, part of a great family whose power to manipulate reflections allows them to see the future, heal the sick, and alter the balance of magic. The ten Half-Lives have sought to tip that balance in their favor and after generations of waiting a Mirrorbender has come again. With her family exposed, a war brewing, and all life at stake, Hope must choose: accept her destiny or fight an impossible unchanging fate.

CURRENT DRAFT
Living in a home where mirrors are forbidden and a glance in one could bring disaster, Hope Martinez has found her life to be filled with questions. Struggling to survive as a Latina family in South Texas, Hope never believed her family was anything special that is until her family’s mysterious power awakes within her. For three long years she has promised her mother to avoid mirrors fearful of the consequences. Now at sixteen, Hope learns she has a terrible destiny. Hope is to destroy the world.

One day Hope breaks her promise and slips through the glass into an alternate world where she meets her reflection. The two are thrust into dangerous lands where whispers of ancient evil beings have stirred the peaceful silence and turned its people to thoughts of war.

Hope learns she is part of a great family whose power to manipulate light allows them to see into the future, heal the sick, and even alter the balance of magic. This ancient force has long sought to tip that balance in favor of the wicked and after generations of waiting a Mirrorbender has come again. With her family exposed, a war brewing, and all life at stake, Hope must choose: accept her destructive destiny or fight an impossible unchanging fate.

My book, MIRROR ME, is a completed YA fantasy at about 86,000 words.

I have worked in bookstores, set up author signings, panel discussions, and writing workshops for aspiring writers both teen and adult. I have also volunteered at the Louisiana Book Festival and state library events. I believe my experience in the writing community has given me the tools necessary to develop my craft and hopefully become a published author.


Dear [Agent],

Merry Sister Mary is the world’s most happy-go-lucky nun, and where the nuns are concerned, possibly the worst. She has none of the qualities reserved for a traditional lady of the cloth: a fear of water, an odd relationship with an umbrella, and no talent in teaching or nursing, yet Sister Mary believes she has a special God given power, laughter. Such a belief has led her to be kicked out of her convent in Chicago for accidentally flashing a group of churchgoers and deemed in desperate need of reform. She is sent to a stricter convent in New Orleans, Louisiana, but in a drama fueled twist, God has different plans for the joyous nun. She is to solve a murder.

After heavy storms force Sister Mary to detour and seek refuge with a Catholic family in the small town of St. Francisville, a horrific murder occurs sending the town into a frenzy of bittersweet joy. The person killed has long been despised and so named the Stanton Witch for the mystery surrounding her husband’s death and the decades of misfortune since her arrival. In an effort to expose the truth, Sister Mary finds herself in the middle of one family’s terrible and insidious secret. As the bodies pile up she uses her gift of glee to uncover the clues missed by the police and hopefully stop the killer from claiming another innocent victim. Her goal-- prove to the world once and for all that one does not to be traditional to make a difference.

The novel, MERRY SISTER MARY AND THE ONE AND ONLY KILLER, is complete at about 50000 words. It also has series potential with a unique combination of comedy, poetic justice, and dark psychological thriller set in the history rich South Louisiana.

I have lived in South Louisiana all my life working in bookstores, setting up author signings, panel discussions, and writing workshops, as well as volunteering at the Louisiana Book Festival and state library events. I live with two Pomeranians who love creepy stories and dad jokes.


#2

I only had time to look at the first one but found that rather good. You are close, but there are a few issues.
The minor ones are more stylistic in nature.
Punchy is key in a query letter, so “a glance in the mirror” is better than a glance at one’s reflection.
I don’t like the “normal high school girl”. Define normal
Now “at sixteen”, at is missing
I would put a comma after one day. I would also connect the second sentence via “and” to show the link.
“whose thievery has gotten him into a …” not only is it formulated a bit oddly, it is also obscure, but I will come to that.
Are thrust into the start of “start of” is cumbersome. Can they not be thrust into a war? And can they not start it i.e. be active rather than passive?
“Nothing is without consequence” That is meaningless. Hang on, I’m supposed to focus on style.
leaving Hope to choose - comma before leaving
I hope my book Mirror me will interest you. Take that out. Tell them what it is, what genre, how long and whether it is completed.
Cut your bio, apart from the book festival and the state library events if you really want to but then you need to explain what you did that helped you write a better novel.
Second part with the more general feedback to follow


#3

2/2 general feedback on Mirror Me
You write well, but you leave me with questions rather than answers. “filled with unanswered questions”. Poetic, but what does it mean. Instead of explaining it in the next sentence, which would probably still work, you tell me her power has awoken inside her. What power? How has it awoken? why does it cause questions if she know she has a monster inside? That doesn’t seem logical
The sentence starting “Now (at) sixteen” I like, though I’m not sure the adjective “incredible” works with destroying the world. Feels a bit tame.
Why does she make a mistake, what triggers her? It’s okay-ish but again a bit mild given that this seems to be your inciting incident. Is this where the story starts? Then your query should start here as well.
Don’t understand Half-Life. Who or what is that and why is it a problem
How does manipulating reflections become dangerous. How is she a key to their success.
The mirror benders set traps? Which ones? These must be crucial plotpoints so name them.
I like the fact you have a choice here “As she comes to learn…” but unfortunately the choice itself is not clear to me. What does she have to do, what will happen if she does it and what if not.
Forget about the series potential. Is it standalone and complete? Name that and only that.
The Latina bit threw me. You have diversity and perhaps a potential for ownvoices in your novel. Much sought after at the moment. But, but but - how is this a key part of the story? The whole time I saw the typical blonde high school prom queen! This needs to come up front and you need to explain how her being a Latina is crucial to the plot.
Sorry if that sounds tough - you certainly understand how a query letter should look like, the structure is good, but you need to oomph this up, make it clearer and rejig the focus so the reader can understand what choice your novel is about and why her being a Latina is key.


#4

Have you read Queryshark? If not, go and read it - all of it.


#5

I took all your advice into account and included an edited version. Thank you so much. I’ve been needing something like this for a very long time.


#6

I’m going to focus only on the first query. It’s recommended that you query only one book at a time, and this appears to be the most commercially viable.

First, I wouldn’t call it a parallel world. It may be visually similar, but there doesn’t seem to be anything remotely parallel about it. How is her reflection a male? It sounds more like everything in that world is a reverse, not parallel.

I played with the beginning of your query to punch it up a bit. But I wasn’t really sure how to work in the second part because I had so many questions. (This is NOT great. But it’s a starting place.)

Sixteen-year-old Hope lives a pretty normal South Texas life. Except for that mirror thing. Three years ago her mother forbade her from even glancing in a mirror. Weird, but parents, right?

But sixteen year olds aren’t always obedient. After a fight with her mother, Hope looks in a mirror – and finds herself in a visually similar, but very different, world on the other side. Hope discovers that she and her family are Mirrorbenders, and their ability to manipulate reflections allows them to foresee the future, heal the sick, and alter the balance of magic.

Hope also discovers that her coming was foretold in a prophecy, and she has a terrible destiny: to destroy the world. One thing is consistent between the two worlds though: Hope isn’t really good at doing what she’s supposed to do.

What do the Half-Lifes want and WHY?

By calling these kingdoms, it sounds like we’ve walked into a medieval fantasy. If that’s true, there’s NOTHING parallel, and it really needs to be clear that that’s what’s happening.

“Accept her destiny or fight an impossible, unchanging fate” doesn’t work." First of all, it’s not a choice. It’s clear without reading the book that she’s going to fight. She needs a real choice, with real consequences.

What’s her personal skin in the game?

Also, as said above – go read the Query Shark archives start to finish.


#7

I would change your synopsis to something like this…

‪Hope Martinez always believed her family was just like any other working class Latino one, struggling to survive in South Texas. That is until her thirteenth birthday when her Mama makes her promise not to look into mirrors anymore and she’s told there will be dire consequences if she disobeys, but never given the reason why. For three long years she keeps her word. Then she has a huge argument with Mama, glances into a mirror out of spite, and immediately slips through the glass into a parallel world named (insert name). There she meets Owen, a petty thief and more shockingly her reflection. ‬

‪Owen is being chased by a deadly Half-Life, named Desire. He explains on the run that Half-Lives are ten humans who lack reflections yet have incredible power. The pair escape and discover that Hope is a Mirrorbender, a member of a great family whose power to manipulate reflections allows them to see the future, heal the sick, and alter the balance of magic. After generations of (parallel world Name) held hostage by the cruel Half-Lives, their long awaited Mirrorbender has come again. Hope’s arrival is the catalyst of a prophecy and a war between three kingdoms. With her family exposed, a war beginning, and every parallel life at stake, Hope must take a long look in the mirror and decide if she can live with what she sees.‬


#8

Very good points. I’m trying to soak all this in. Who knew writing a query would be harder than the book itself.


#9

Oh man, yes. Query writing is ridiculously difficult!


#10

And clearly what I had in the unedited version was not working for agents so I’ll take all the advice I can get. Hopefully it is improving.


#11

All these are great advice. I’m gonna check out queryshark and see what that is all about. I really want this book published so I’m willing to do, try anything.


#12

How’s it been going? I’ve been reading through query shark after reading this thread and have been practicing writing one myself. (I really think the first 100 or so are enough rather than 300+ query letters)
Have you tried writing one yet?


#13

I’ve been trying and trying. Perfecting these small few paragraphs have been the toughest writing I have ever done.


#14

I sent my query off to an agent. Fingers crossed.


#15

Good luck!


#16

I rewrote my query for my Mirror Me book. Wanting to know people’s thoughts if this one is better than my 2nd draft and what I can improve on.


#17

Gosh. It looks good to me but I’m currently unlearning what I learned from query shark (which turns out to not be the norm). I think what you have is a fairly standard query which is what is recommended on but Query Shark (aka Janet Reid) abhors.

You can see my thoughts on standrad querries vs the shark’s style here: Query writing: Q shark vs other styles.

Would you like to see my current query letter for comparison with yours? It’s leaning more towards the punchy one Query Shark asks for.


#18

Sure. Share away


#19

Dear XXXXX,

Xue Ge, delinquent transfer student, thought he just wanted to hook up with the most beautiful girl in his class. Because he’s 16.

But first there was the enigma of Matthias; What was he? Blue eyes, speaks in monotone, has something called autism? Spurred by curiosity, Xue Ge befriends Matt. And through Matt, Xue Ge manages to get closer to the girl. End of story, they live happily ever after. Right?

Kind of.

Well sure, Xue Ge got the girl. But he got the guy as well. As a bonus, he himself got to fall in love with both. Quite a bit more than what he bargained for.

Xue Ge’s changed his mind. Forget romance, now he just wanted to keep his two new best friends. He’d grown to value their companionship too much.

Valentine’s Day was going to be tricky this year. Especially since men from the Islamic council arrive in school to spirit Matthias away.

This is Malaysia. Matthias is half-Malay but not Muslim. In Malaysia, that makes him an apostate. And apostates are not treated kindly here.


I have autism. (REDACTED) My novel, “Special Someones” (80k words, teen fiction), features a protagonist that I can identify with personally. It is written as a Light Novel (ライトノベル, raito noberu) in order to stay relevant with young readers in East Asia. I have worked as (REDACTED)

Thank you for your time!

Sincerely,

(REDACTED)

Current version anyway.


#20

It’s definitely different and takes a unique approach; one I’m not used to seeing. I’m also not sure I can put my finger on the central plot of the story as it does seem to go in a couple directions and introduce a lot of information very quickly. What I do feel is Matthias character coming through as I can feel he could have wrote this and it sounds almost poetic to me. I do like the themes of Malaysia and Islam though why would the council be after him if he is not Muslim? Also where does this take place? My advice: keep the plot to a minimum and focus on the central themes, give me the setting (Malaysia?), and distinquish the main character. Xue Ge? Matthias? And who is this other boy he is falling in love with?