Query Letters

Tips for writing a query letter:

1. Make your friends read your novel.

2. Make your friends right a ‘back of the book’ summary of your novel.

3. Write your own ‘back of the book’ summary of your novel.

4. Write your query letter using a composite of the best parts of all of the ‘back of the book’ summaries and a little blurb about your own literary accomplishments (you can find examples online for reference).

5. Make your friends read it, review it, tear it apart.

6. Start over.

7. When they finally have nothing to tear apart, you have a usable query letter. Congratulations.

I’ve just finished my first draft of my query letter and am about to send it off to my friends to tear apart. I’ll probably have to make it longer. I’ll probably have to change it six times. But that’s okay, because it’s better to know what’s wrong with it now than to not know and send it off to twenty or so agents who would have otherwise loved your story. Don’t make those mistakes. QUERY LETTERS MATTER.

That is all. Have a lovely day. If any of you have your own query letter writing experiences, please, feel free to share them! It would be very helpful to those of us in the processes now!




About Charlotte Blackwood

Charlotte Blackwood is a self-employed aspiring author working on perfecting her first novella/ first novel. She is a current student at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, CA. If you're looking for a reading list (someday she'll add her own works to the list), she's currently supporting Anna Karenina, anything by Dickens, anything by Tolkien, anything by JK Rowling, A Song of Ice and Fire, and The Hunger Games.

2 thoughts on “Query Letters

  1. Cassie says:

    Query letters are the first introduction to an author and your book – I’m excited to see how this goes for you. Sounds like you’re working really hard on it though. Thanks for the tips.

    • Thanks, I’m working very hard at it, it’s true. Failure happens, but I feel you can always diminish your failure by preparing as best you can. You’re welcome on the tips! This blog is really all about sharing my research and my process so that other writers can get ideas, find out what works and what doesn’t. Thankfully I have a lot of friends to help me navigate these waters, and I’m excited to share my experiences, good and bad, with anyone who wants to know!

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