Thursday, April 19, 2012

A-Z Challenge: Q is for Queries

Q is for Queries

I bet this is going to be a popular subject today!

There are lots of posts out there that can help you write a better query letter (my agent, Kat Salazar, has one, and Nathan Bransford offers a great how-to on his blog), so that's not what this post is going to be about.

Instead, I wanted to share with my first query with you. It's a doozy.

The novel that finally landed me an agent is my FIFTH completed novel. I queried three of the other ones, and learned a lot each time.

The first query letter I ever wrote was in 2010. It's for a novel that I completed in NaNo 2008. I posted this to Evil Editor for brutal feedback, and it helped me learn. Follow the link to read the really, really bad query (plus flames of feedback!) This is the query, basically, that I then sent out in a halfhearted attempt to find an agent before I was ready.

I've learned a lot since then. Each time I queried, I revised, and each conference I went to, I received critical feedback about my queries. I'd love to post the progression of queries for my current novel, and plan to someday in the future once it's moving further on its way.

Stop by the challenge blog and catch up with the other participants!

What experiences have you had with querying? Is too much or too little information worse to include in a query? Any tips you can offer?


  1. I've submitted poetry but haven't sent any novel queries. I hope to do so soon, though.

    1. Dana, I'd started with poetry before querying novels: a whole different process! My poetry queries are nice and short, whereas with a novel, I feel like I need to pack in EVERYTHING about the story. Good luck when you get ready to query!

  2. EE is kind of mean. But also, really funny, and actually very helpful. I've never sent a query there, but I have often wondered what would come of it.

    New follower, so nice to meet you!

    1. EE is a bit mean, but that's why I used him: I really wanted honest feedback (with a side of snark!), and in all honesty, it helped a lot.

      Thanks for following! Welcome to my mad world.

  3. Yes it is!

    I have seen a lot "Query" posts today.

    I am trying to read all the A to Z blogs, but coming back to the ones I really like.
    Looking forward to seeing what you do all month!

    The Other Side
    The Freedom of Nonbelief