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Q is for Query


19 Apr Q is for Query


Before I really understood the purpose of a query letter or how to write one, I hated query letters. Most authors hate them. But after I started to research them, write them, learn what works and what doesn’t, I fell in love with query letters. I know, crazy, isn’t it? But there’s something really remarkable — to me — about being able to entice someone to read a 80K word book in only 250 words.

Regardless of whether you like them or not, they are a necessary evil. You’ll have to write one to get a literary agent or editor interested in your work. If you’re self-publishing, you’ll need a good blurb. The principals behind a good book blurb and a good query are essentially the same.

Because I adore them, I want to help anyone out there struggling. For free, I will critique any query letter sent to me (kimgraff . com @ or you can use my contact form.

Here Are A Few Rules/Disclaimers:

  1. I will be publicly critiquing them on my blog. If you send me a query letter to critique for free, you are giving me permission to publish it on my blog. I am willing to change character names/titles/leave your name out if you would like. I would recommend you sending me a bio so I can tell you my thoughts on it, but I will remove that from the version going on my blog if you’d like.
  2. am not a literary agent. I cannot assure you that your query letter will get a literary agent’s attention. I can, however, give you my opinion on what works and what does — and blog visitors will comment in order to help you to the best of their abilities as well.
  3. I cannot guarantee a speedy reply. I would like to critique one letter a week (at most). I will notify you that I received it and the potential date of the critique.
  4. For a private critique, please review my Critique Services. I have a Submission Package and Partial Package critique. Both packages include a query critique. However, if you would like simply a query critique, contact me and we can talk.

Query Tips:

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Freelance Editor at Wild Things Editing
I'm a designer, a freelance editor, a book blogger, and a YA writer represented by Carrie Pestritto of Prospect Agency. I am currently interning for Bree Ogden at Red Sofa Literary. I've interned for D4EO. and P.S. Literary Agency in the past. I offer critique services. I am a member of the SCBWI, HWA, AWP, and HNS. You can find me on Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and on YA Asylum.
  • charlotte
    Posted at 13:19h, 19 April Reply

    I hate writing pitches and query letters. Nice to meet and connect through the atozchallenge.

  • Lexa Cain
    Posted at 13:48h, 19 April Reply

    I hated queries until I tried to write a synopsis – then I learned what true pain was. lol Great tips, Kim! I always write the query blurb before I even start writing the book now. :)

  • Michelle Stanley
    Posted at 14:05h, 19 April Reply

    Good post on witing query letters. Authors must do this, whether they like it or not, and your helpful tips are great. AtoZer http://www.

  • Melanie Stanford
    Posted at 14:18h, 19 April Reply

    I did Q is for Queries too. Queries are such an iffy thing, I’ll definitely be emailing you mine, once I improve on it. I posted it in my A-Z post today and have already gotten some helpful tips. :)

  • Patricia Lynne
    Posted at 17:17h, 19 April Reply

    Queries are hard. Thankfully, I have a friend who is good at them and we always swap and help each other improve ours.

  • Stephanie Scott
    Posted at 11:14h, 22 April Reply

    You pulled together some great resources! While there’s no perfect query, there are lot of basics we writers need to understand just to get our foot in the door.

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