Query letters suck.
Learn all about them here: what they are, why you need them, how to write them. If you've written a query letter, put it up on FP, link it to us here, and we'll go critique it.
Useful links and resources are collected in post #2, below.
1. Ask for query letter critiques here.
2. Posts about query letters only, please! For discussion about the submissions process (to agents, editors, journals et al.) go to Rain Dance. For discussion about synopses, go to Squall.
3. Off topic posts will be moved or deleted.
4. DISCLAIMER: Even though I am in fact a literary agency intern, I cannot give advice about how to submit to the agency I work for (or even tell you which one it is). My opinions are my own, and are my opinions as a writer, not as an intern.8/9/2010 . Edited 10/12/2012 #1
1. What is a query letter?
A query letter is something you write to a literary agent in order to seek representation. It's usually about 250 words long, and contains information about you and your book.
2. What's a literary agent?
If you want to be published by any major publishing house, you'll need a literary agent to represent you. An agent's job is to sell your work and to handle your career as a professional writer. They're like managers.
3. Why do I need to write a query letter?
Literary agents get a lot of submissions. They often ask for query letters so they can figure out whether or not they want to represent you without having to read your work. It sucks, I know.
Links to Help You
1. How to Write a Query Letter
An excellent, comprehensive summary of the entire process.
2. Query Shark
Hundreds of query letters, edited and critiqued by a successful literary agent named Janet Reid. Reading her comments will help you write a better query letter. If you're brand-new to query writing, read the blog's archives in order (starting with the earliest entry). This is the best way to learn how to write a query letter short of getting an internship with an agent.
3. SlushPile Hell - http://slushpilehell.tumblr.com/
A literary agent posts snippets of hell from his pile of unsolicited queries. Many examples of what not to do.10/4/2012 . Edited 10/12/2012 #2
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