Jessica Leake

So for those of us who attended WriteOnCon, we received not only great advice from literary agents, but also from fellow writers in the forums. Maybe after all those critiques, our WIPs are finally ready. We feel confident that our concept is unique, and we’re excited to get it out there. Now what??

Well, first—resist the urge to send out ten queries today (I have trouble with this!). We have to practice some patience (booo). Why? Because if you only send a few queries out and receive all rejections, you'll still have the chance to edit. 

Before sending out anything, we need to turn a critical eye to our query. Here are a few things to ask yourself:
  •   Formatting! Is it professional? Does it include the genre and word count? There are so many resources out there for this. It just takes a little time searching on Google. 

  • Content! Is it concise? This is one of the biggest things I learned from the forums of WriteOnCon. I took one look at the query letters already up there and realized mine was way too long. Can you imagine reading hundreds of these things every day? I bet they take one look at a long query and not even bother. That’s where a logline comes in. I’m really terrible at them. I mean, you expect me to condense my whole manuscript into a single sentence? Yes, yes they do. It’ll give your query its hook. A logline answers the question: what is your story about? An example from my own MS would be: Seventeen-year-old Huntress Ciera Fulbright has never felt she belonged in the supernatural world until she rescues the mysterious Altair de la Rosa. My logline is by no means perfect, so what are some examples of yours?

  •   Awesomeness! Have other writers read it and agreed it is as awesome as it can be? It has a hook, it’s short, it’s snappy, and it accurately conveys the main plot of your book. Not yet? Then revise, revise, revise. 

  •    I leave you with one of my favorite posts on writing a query letter by author Jodi Meadows: Writing a Query Letter

  •  What other query-writing tricks have helped you?
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