So Query Letter…We Meet At Last

I’ve jumped headfirst into the Query Letter maelstrom, and I have to admit it’s daunting.  As I sorted through multitudes of resources that aimed to help me, I became increasingly less confident that I understood the expectations of the agents that I would be sending this meticulously crafted letter.  To make matters worse, I even came across conflicting guidance from several sources that all seem undeniably credible.

So as the dust settles around my first drafts (I have three “paragraph 1”s so far, with more rolling around in my head), I decided to pick the most useful query resources that I’ve come across and put them on Sojourner Mountain’s resource link.  But I also thought it would be good to share them here as well. These sites have done the best job so far in helping me understand the Query Letter.  They don’t all necessarily agree across the board, but after going through them I feel I’m heading in the right direction.

The fundamentals:
These two articles are both excellent in breaking down the essential elements of a query letter.  The WD article is particularly good at demonstrating how to succinctly and effectively craft the paragraphs on your query letter.

How to Write a Query (from
Writer’s Digest – Basics of a Solid 3-Paragraph Query

Query Basic Training:
Query Shark – go here to learn.  The Shark often takes huge bites out of new writers as they swim out on the Query Ocean, but the heart is in the right place.  There is a ton of advice on tightening a query before sending it to your target agents.

Nelson Literary Agency – FAQ Mixed in with a lot of other good nuggets are seven actual query letters that caught the eye of one of the agents at NLA.  You can’t argue with success, so this is a great tool.

Query Letter Samples:
Just as it says…it’s always good to see more samples.

Sample Query Letter
Query Letter Sample from James Russell Publishing

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