Posted by: Kathy Temean | September 24, 2009

Successful Query Letter

Last week on September 14th, I posted an example of a good query letter that is up on Upstart Crow Literary.  I liked the fly outs that provided additional information.  David Caruba posted some comments on why he did not think it was the best example to follow.  I of course, said I would like to see his example and he sent it to me.  I think we all know that there is never a perfect anything, so I offer his example in hopes that it will help you with your query letters.  Thank you David for sharing.

March 4, 2006

Ms. Jennifer XXX
Jean X. XXXXX Literary Agency
New York, NY 10021


Dear Ms. XXXX,

I am seeking representation for On Butterfly Hill, a distinctly Southern middle grade novel about two sisters in the Shenandoah Valley struggling to both win Virginia’s softball championship and keep their farm and family intact.

Jessica (the narrator) and her older sister Kar dream of winning the state title, but first they must best the champions—the toughest and meanest team they’ve ever played.  On the field the sisters are challenged by increasingly higher stakes, while off they face their family’s disintegration and the traumatic move from their farm into town.  A foolish stunt by the younger sister, motivated by revenge, puts the older in great jeopardy with devastating consequences.

It’s hard to capture in a single letter how Southern communities band together to invest so much heart and soul behind a sport and in this case, two sisters who play it.  Ultimately, On Butterfly Hill is a story about friends and rivals, forgiveness and redemption.  Above all, it is about the power of baseball, of the Shenandoah Valley, and of the family and town to heal and bind.

May I send you On Butterfly Hill?  I am a full-time writer with one children’s book to my credit.  Thank you for your time and consideration.


David Caruba

Have you been successful with something different? I will be glad to show it off, if you send it to me.



  1. I think David did an excellent job with his blurb.



  2. This looks likle an excellent letter. I’ve been searching for a good model. Thanks.


  3. This looks like an excellent letter. I’ve been searching for a good model. Thanks.


    • Mary,

      Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. If you hadn’t I wouldn’t have known about you and visited your site.

      Keep writing,



  4. Worse comes to worst, you could always resort to Query Letter Mad Libs –


  5. Jim,

    Thanks for pointing this out. I’ll have to mention it on my blog.

    Thanks for visiting,



  6. Kathy:
    Please check out my website, and take a look at my first children’s book, “Mom’s Story, A Child Learns About MS.”


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