Posted by: Kathy Temean | September 14, 2009

How to Write A Query Letter

This was written by Michael Sterns at Upstart Crow Literary.  I think it is one of the best examples of writing a good query letter that I have seen.  Michael has made it simple.  Here is the link to Michael’s example.  It is easier to read on their site.

Thanks Michael for lending a helping hand.



  1. Awesome info, Kathy! Especially relevant now–I heard a bunch of the folks from last week’s (fantastic!) NJ SCBWI First Page last week asking about how to draft a great query letter… TA DA! Thanks to you and Michael Sterns–great work!


  2. OOPS! Last week, last week, last week! (When was it? It was last week!) Yeah, I need to start proofing my posts! 😉 (Further proof that Ame is not a robot–a robot would not have made such a silly mistake. Unless Ame actually IS a robot, and is purposely making humanish mistakes to throw you off-track.)


    • You are just too funny. Great seeing you the other night.



  3. I actually feel this is a POOR example of a query. First, it technically ISN’T a query letter as it ends by revealing the manuscript is enclosed. A real query is just that–a request of the agent to allow the writer to submit a manuscript.

    I agree it’s important to identify any connection to the agent in the first paragraph, but not in a snarky way. Connections often make or break agent consideration, in my opinion.

    The second paragraph, the actual story pitch, runs too long for my taste in the sample query.

    The third paragraph, known in journalism terms as the “Get out of town,” should simply thank the agent and end the query. I’m not real convinced including page count, or agent exclusivity details makes or breaks the letter.

    These are just my thoughts–what do others think?


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