The Blogfest Query Letter

We are now at week 3 for the Gearin Up To Get An Agent Blogfest hosted by Deana Barnhart. Our task this week is to post a query letter of a finished work. Participants will stop by and leave helpful hints to improve the letter. This is scary and exciting. Good luck everyone!

 

Here is my attempt at a Query Letter:

Dear Agent:

My name is Kristi Bernard, and I’ve written a picture book of 762 words that fits most comfortably in the genre of fiction. It’s called Big Red, and I would very much like to send it to you for possible publication or representation.

Tameka is discovering she is a big girl now. It is time for her to trade in her tricycle for a bicycle. When her dad shows up with an old rusty bike that he bought at an auction she’s not sure she can learn to ride such a monstrosity. With a little determination and elbow grease, Tameka learns to ride her recycled bike and in return for taking such good care of it she receives a brand new bike.

I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 Sincerely,

Kristi Bernard

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22 comments on “The Blogfest Query Letter

  1. Thanks so much Michelle. I will rework this immediately. I am sorry you aren’t able to follow me. Can you join my FB Network?

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  2. I know very little about querying children’s books, but if it’s similar to a YA book, I’d echo the above and also suggest that you don’t tell the ending in a query–tell what she wants and the obstacle. If the agent wants to know what happens, they have to request it!

    I’d suggest stopping your plot description with dad bringing home an old monstrosity.

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  3. I don’t think you need the first paragraph as it is, especially saying it’s fiction. The query will show the agent that.

    it sounds like a cute story! Also, as a PB writer, you should mention if you’re also an illustrator and if there are sample illustrations included. Many agents will only rep author/illustrators or PB authors who also write novels or chapter books. So include this info.

    Good luck!

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  4. I’m with Michelle. I’d start with the pitch and then go into the facts about the word length, etc. I have seen it done both ways, but I like it better with the pitch first. Just a personal thing.

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  5. I love short query letters, Kristi, so yours immediately caught my eye. I would suggest flip flopping the second and first paragraphs. Something like this (suggested edits are included):

    Tameka is a big girl now. It’s time for her to trade in her tricycle for a bike with two wheels. When her dad shows up with a rusty bike he bought at an auction, she’s not sure she can learn to ride such an ugly, old thing. With a little determination and elbow grease, Tameka (This section needs rewriting, but I don’t know enough about your story to offer any suggestions …) In return for taking such good care of it, she receives a brand new bike.

    Written for X to X year olds, BIG RED is complete at 762 words.

    (A sentence or two about why you’re the perfect person to write this book.)

    I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your time and consideration.

    I love this concept and would definitely read the manuscript.

    Michelle

    P.S. I tried to be a new follower, but the cyberworld wouldn’t let me. 😦

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  6. I’m not an expert on querying picture books, so take this with a grain of salt.

    My favorite part of your query is when your MC calls her old bike a monstrosity. I felt like I was hearing her voice. If you have more phrases like that in your book I would work them into your query. Children’s books seem especially hard to get published and anything you can do to stand out would be great.

    I would also tighten up your first paragraph. You don’t need to tell them that you have written a book–it is implied. And do picture books have genres? Also they know you want to submit it to them–that is why you wrote.

    Good luck 🙂

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