1. General Advice - stuff I've gleaned over the years
- Keep the pitch portion of the query to 250 words.
- Try writing the query in first person as your main character in order to inject your voice
- Write the query about the first third of the book only
- Don't wear pants while writing your query. "Pants" here is defined as restrictive bits of cloth that make you feel uncomfortable. Take those off! Wear happy, loose fitting pants and then tackle that query. (Fine, I made this one up. But I feel passionately about not wearing pants.)
- Janice Hardy has a series of really excellent posts on all things query, starting with How to Write a Query. See her lists here in her Submission Process index.
- Elana Johnson has a great collection of posts on all parts of the query.
- Ugliest Tattoos. Not technically a query site, but we all need a break now and then from query instruction--and staring at the screen with your mouth hanging open at these atrocious tattoos is a good diversion.
3. Query Deconstructions
- Gabriela Lessa is a literary agency intern who does query critiques every Wednesday.
- Lauren Ruth is a Bookends agent and she does query critiques called Query Dice.
- Of course there is the Query Shark if you like your chum fresh and bloody (I kind of do) or else there's the kiddie pool, the Public Query Letter Slushpile.
4. Twitter Query Rejects or Accepts
The following agents do live query responses on Twitter.
- @AgentJessicaA (Jessica Alvarez at BookEnds)
- @Saramegibow (at Nelson Lit) - 10 queries, every Thursday
- @Ann_Collette (at Rees Lit) - she does 12 queries in 12 tweets, perhaps on Wednesdays
- @LizaDawsonAssoc (Hannah Bowman) 10 queries, perhaps on Mondays
and the following hashtags: #query and #10queriesin10tweets (typically done on Thursdays)
For a look at rejections from editors, follow @AngelaJames who does the popular Edit Report, which details the weekly reports from her editors and why they ended up rejecting.
If you have any to add let me know in the comments and I will update the post! And let me know if you wear pants!