Archive for the ‘queries’ Category

i finally won something

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009


Yesterday I come back from my month long vacay from computering and today I find out that I FINALLY won a contest! How is that for luck? Maybe I should start sending out queries right away. I guess I should mention–before everyone points it out–that I won the contest by having my name drawn from a hat, not for my awesome writing skills. Hey, we take what we can get, right?

The prize: a 50 page critique! Not so bad. :)

punky mcpunkerton

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

If anyone has a specific question about writing queries, ask away and I’ll point you in the right direction…but for now I’m a little tired of the subject.  Yes, I know that I said that this week would be devoted to queries, but it’s my blog.  Most of the week was about queries anyway.

I ran across this link on Twitter.  It’s about the different sorts of “fill-in-the-blank punk” types there are.  How can there be so many sub-genres in a sub-genre?  It’s all speculative fiction anyway, right?  Why is it necessary to divide it up into so many pieces?  On the glass half full side, the article made for some pretty funny comments such as striker7770 who said, “you cant just take books and add punk to that, or else we would be living in earthpunk eating baconpunk while reading twlightpunk”.

Well said striker…well said.

On a completely unrelated note I’m a little freaked out right now that I’m enjoying a Jonas Bros. song on the Disney channel. **shuddering**

again with the queries?

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009


yes. again.

If you read this blog because you are a newish writer, like myself, then this post is for you.  If you’ve been querying endlessly and never seem to get a bite, this post is for you as well.  If you are super-awesome queryman/woman then read this anyway and add your helpful comments.  The topic of queries will be on-going throughout the week and the more info available, the better.

A Twitter friend and I were jabbering about the difficulty of condensing her 90,000+ word novel into two hundred much-too-short, must-be-stunning words.  The conversation eventually devolved to us writing “Dear Agent” letters–what is in on the surface of our hearts or pretty much for me, what I thought was funny.

7:56 PM Me: dear agent, please read my least ask for a partial so i wont cry myself to sleep. thank you.
p.s. you don’t have to read it really. just pretend.

7:57 PM My Twitter Friend: Dear Agent, You will be blessed with good luck and be able to sleep with a clear conscious if you read my novel. P.S. Ignore the stalker type chick following you. Really…she won’t hurt you.

7:59 PM Me: dear agent, my husband wants me to get a real job. help!

My Twitter Friend: Dear Agent, Don’t you want the warm fuzzy feeling that comes with helping someone like me?
MTF is so sweet, isn’t she?  Of course an agent would be appalled by these appeals.
K, back to business.

Excellent Links –-

Written by agents (these are the people who actually read the queries, so it’s a good idea to listen to what they have to say):

Rants & Ramblings On Life as a Literary Agent by Rachelle Gardner

Nathan Bransford – Literary Agent

If you learn better by seeing actual query letters torn apart by an agent try: Query Shark by Janet Reid

More visual learning can be found at Upstart Crow’s site

Query basics from

These are the best I’ve found.  What have you seen?

spotlight: aq connect

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009


Agent Query Connect is a website billed as “the internet’s most interactive social networking community for the publishing industry”.  I don’t know for a fact that it’s the MOST interactive blah blah…but it is very helpful indeed.  And best of all, IT’S FREE.

My favorite groups:

AQ Connect – Query Critique Corner- when you put your query up here people from all over will swoop in to give you advice.  Some of it is very helpful and some of it requires a thick skin.  But if you didn’t have a thick skin you wouldn’t be putting your writing out for all to see…right?  Take it with a grain of salt.  Use what sounds right for you and matches what the helpful literary agents say they want in a query.  Remember, some of the people commenting are just as novice as you, so don’t take everything to heart.  (Oh, and paste your query into the body of your discussion.  Many people don’t want to open attachments for obvious reasons.)

First Page Critique – Put your first page up and see how many people would like to keep reading.

First Chapter(s) Critique - Same as above, only you have slightly longer to hook a reader.

The five most popular groups:

AQ Connect – Query Critique Corner

First Page Critique

AQ Connect – Agent Updates

First Chapter(s) Critique

AQ Connect – New Member Shout-Out!

I spent quite a bit of time last week on AQ Connect polishing my query which was so covered in soot, it was really hard to know it was a query at all.  In other words, I learned a whole heckuva lot about query writing.  This is not to say that I’m an expert or that I can’t learn any more.  I’ve lived long enough to know that you never know everything about even one subject.  More on queries later this week…