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How to Write a Query Letter

2 Jun 2019

 

 

 

Queries differ between the US and UK, but here is the general structure I go with:

 

Dear Agent,

 

I am a British Author living in France seeking representation for my first novel XXX. This is a crossover mystery of around xxxx words, set in the Australian outback. I believe the story would appeal to backpackers, students and readers who like an element of mystery. It was inspired by a real event I heard on the news whilst in Australia.

 

Short synopsis of 1–2 SHORT paragraphs introducing:

the main character(s) and where/when they start the story;

the setting;

the main dilemma incurred after the first turning point and the ensuing story goal;

the main obstacle to that goal;

how they PROPOSE to tackle it;

what they risk losing (or what needs protecting/saving);

an idea of where the character arc starts and where it might lead (E.G. Suzie is an angry teenager out for revenge of her family's massacre>> Suzie must control her anger if she intends to resist the lure of the dark side of the force.)

 

A brief paragraph about yourself, your writing and publishing history, or anything that is pertinent to your ability to market yourself or suggest you are serious about your writing and a career as a novelist, such as:

 

- ‘I am very active in the backpacker community and have a gazillion followers on BackpackersRUs.com SM platform.’

-  ‘This MS was long-listed in blah-blah comp.’

- ‘This is my first completed novel, but I have drafted and am revising three more.’

- ‘I’ve go