Welcome, traditional route writers!
We’ve all struggled through our query letter at least once. For many of us, it’s been a masochistic rehashing of the same 250 words over and over. And over. The worst part isn’t writing it, at least not for me. It’s reading your summary and thinking, “Is this the most succinct way to tell an agent how wonderful my story is?” Or, “Does this make any sense?” Or maybe, “Will an agent even like this?” That doubt is going to end here.
As much as we can work on our query letters (until we’re blue in the face) and hope for the best, what is really needed is a new set of eyes. Someone else to look over our pitch and ask the tough questions: Does this draw me in? Do I understand the conflict and stakes? Do I get a feeling for the main character? Those secondary opinions are what can help clear up any lingering problems potential agents might find when your query crosses their desk.
The point is to ensure that your letter stays out of the slush pile and sparks a fire in the agent’s mind enough that they choose to request more. Whether it’s a partial or a full sampling, your chances at hooking an agent begin (and sometimes end) with your query letter. I figured- what better way to help other queriers out than to have a query roundtable where anyone who wants open and honest feedback on their pitch can receive it?
Here’s the deal:
1- Let me know in a comment here or on twitter @rachelhwrites that tells me you want to submit your query letter and participate in the roundtable.
2- Take a last look at your letter and get it ready for the event on May 22nd. That’s less than a week from now (as to prepare for other contests but not interrupt them)!
3- Post your query on your blog (or renew your post from The Writer’s Voice Contest- if you participated) and give me the direct link to your post so I can compile the list here on my blog.
4- When the roundtable list goes live here on the 22nd, be sure to comment on as many other submissions as you can (preferably everyone so all of our unique perspectives can help each other refine our queries).
5- Use #QueryRoundtable on twitter for any discussions outside of the blogs related to queries where we can share experiences and best practices.
There’s not exactly an end date, or any sort of prizes, this is a way for us to assist each other down the traditional publishing path and encourage each other in our joint venture to get agented! If this sounds like something you want to participate in, let me know!