Q is for query letters

Who totally loves rejection? Raise your hand.

The business of sending query letters is brutal. Ask any writer. Ever heard of the slush pile? Well, when you’re an unpublished, unagented author, it’s NOT where you want to be. (Seriously, my stomach churns at the very thought!)

I’m a novelist. It takes me pages and pages (and pages) to say anything. To be asked to describe my story in 300 words is practically torture. But I did it. And it worked. Sure, it took me five years and about a hundred drafts of said query letter. But still.
I’ve heard that there are writers out there who actually excel at drafting query letters. Who are these elusive people? And where were you five years ago?
So, hey, my writerly friends….what has your experience been with querying agents? Sucky? Fun? And what did you learn?

6 thoughts on “Q is for query letters

  1. M.J. Fifield says:

    I used to teach English and one day the kids found out I was an aspiring author (the social studies teacher told them) so I brought in my query letter and rejection letters for them to see. One kid read the query letter and said to me, “You actually send this out?”

    I retired that particular letter after that.

  2. Ophelia London says:

    Hahaha! Oh, wow. But, good for you for sharing with your class. Captive audiences are nice that way. I've put my poor family and friends through so many horrible drafts of my QLs and manuscripts. It's a wonder anyone is still speaking to me. 🙂

  3. Buffy Armstrong says:

    I am in the process of preparing a query letter for a novella I'm hoping to have publish. The manuscript has already been rejected by one editor, but I am hopeful there is a home out there for it. It's about a Faerie king. I love my faeries.

  4. Tracy says:

    I haven't begun querying yet, but I've got a letter ready! 😀

    Now, the synopsis? That's a whole different ball of bad dreams! o_O

  5. David Macaulay says:

    one day I will surely get to the query letter stage, only to be promptly rejected. You shouldn't be too down about it, though, because it really is almost the norm for novelists. It's not like a job interview were you have a 50/50 chance – good luck

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