Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Before and After--The Process of Creating a Query Letter

As requested by my mom, I have decided to write a post about my query letter. The first draft and the final draft (at least I think it's the final draft) will be posted below. But first a few tips that I've learned:

1. Go to this site for everything you need to know about query letters. The woman doing this is brutally honest, but very effective and helpful. She definitely knows what she's doing.

2. Start your query letter with a bang. You need a nice hook that will get an agent's attention.

3. Be specific. Don't use words like "some" or "very." A sense of mystery is okay, but you don't want to be too vague. The agent will be left feeling clueless!

4. Thank the agent for their time and consideration. Apparently a lot of people neglect to do this. You can't just hand over a query letter without thanking them for taking the time to read it. Then you'll come across as cocky and entitled.

And now for the query letter finale:

BEFORE

 To Whom It May Concern,

Cassandra Day is a unicorn. She lives in a world called Fantasya where magical creatures from royal Pegasi to tiny elves live in peace. Well, they used to live in peace. Gargamouth, a giant with a hot head, wants to take over Fantasya and rule all of the creatures living in it by killing off the unicorns and Pegasi using his army of trolls and elves. Cassandra knows she must she must stop Gargamouth, and her best friend Cornelia, who is also a unicorn and is a bit better about plan-making than Cassandra, wants to help her.

But before either of them can do something about this gigantic problem, they are both whisked away to Earth where they must blend in with the humans. Cassandra and Cornelia disguise themselves as humans and search for a way to get back, meeting all kinds of danger along the way, such as nearly getting captured by trolls and exposing themselves to the human race. Can they defeat Gargamouth and bring Fantasya to peace once again?

I would love it if you could represent my book Fantasya: A Giant Problem. It is a complete 23,541-word manuscript and the first book in a fantasy trilogy intended for middle-grade kids, but I think all ages will enjoy it.

I am a twelve-year-old homeschooled girl who loves to write. I won our local library’s poetry contest in 2010, I write for our local library’s newsletter, I won an honorable mention for the Hershey Story Contest, I have a blog (themagicviolinist.blogspot.com), and I write a monthly post for The Write Practice (thewritepractice.com).

Thank you for your time and consideration and I hope to hear from you soon!

Sincerely,

Kate XXXXX
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AFTER

To Whom It May Concern,

If someone doesn’t defeat Gargamouth the giant, all of the unicorns in Fantasya could die.


Cassandra Day, a unicorn, needs to defeat Gargamouth if Fantasya, a world full of magical creatures, will ever be at peace again. Cassandra and her best friend, Cornelia, another unicorn, devise a plan to conquer the hot-headed giant. But when they accidentally touch an Earth Flower they’re whisked away to Earth where they must blend in with humans to survive.

How will the unicorns hide from humans, escape from the trolls who threaten their lives, and return to Fantasya to defeat Gargamouth? If they don’t, will Fantasya fall into ruins? Will all of the unicorns die?

Fantasya: A Giant Problem is a 23,500-word middle grade novel intended for children ages 7-12. It is a story of how friendship and teamwork can conquer any task.

I am a homeschooled girl who loves to write. I post at my blog themagicviolinist.blogspot.com two to three times a week, and am a monthly contributor at thewritepractice.com, a blog for writers. The Write Practice has over 6500 subscribers and nearly 30,000 monthly readers and was voted one of the Top Ten Blogs For Writers in 2012. I write for the Annville Free Library’s newsletter and won a poetry contest at the Lebanon Community Library in 2010.

Thank you for your time and consideration and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

Kate  XXXXX
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I'd like to give a little shout out to our family's friend Dave and also to Michelle from Random Writing Rants. Thanks so much for helping me out! :D

So be honest. If you were an agent and saw this query letter would you ask for more pages? Would you even be interested at all? Would you think I'm not experienced enough and have no idea what I'm doing? Leave a comment! :D

5 People Made Me Happy By Commenting! :D:

Boquinha said...

You certainly don't come across as inexperienced at all. I love seeing both letters side-by-side like that (well, you know what I mean).

What about adding that The Write Practice also won that prestigious award in 2011? AND that you won the poetry contest in 2013, too.

It looks so good! Check you out - racking up the honors and résumé builders!

The Magic Violinist said...

Thanks, Mommy! :D I just added those things.

Zelia said...

I would publish your book immediately.

Jimmy said...

Your last paragraph, before you thank her, would definitely catch my attention. You're amazing!

Dr. Mark said...

I'm finally getting to reading your letters. I can tell you've been working hard on the letter, as well as your writing. Great letter!