Thursday, April 8, 2010

Great Contest — Fabulous prize!

You can tell from Max's expression that he's as shocked as I am by the results of our poll on the right sidebar. When we saw where it was heading, Max and I had a discussion. It didn't take long to figure it out — you don't like queries. It's obvious.

You. Don't. Like. Queries. In fact, with only four pitiful votes, the query letter is clearly your least favorite thing to write. It's apparent that the majority of you are leaning toward that 250-word snippet. So that's what we're going to do.

But not this time. What?

Not this time. This time we're going to do that thing you hate. That dreaded, despicable, hateful query letter. Come on, you're saying, why do we have to do that? We hate queries. You know we hate queries. I suck at queries. My dog ate my query.

I know you hate queries. Every writer I've spoken with hates queries. I'm guessing that even agents hate queries, sometimes. But they're a necessary part of landing an agent, getting published, and getting your wonderful writing out there and into the libraries and book stores where readers can get lost in your beautiful words and fall in love with you and your story.

But no matter how well you write a scene, how believable your dialogue is, how clearly detailed your visual elements are, you have to be able to use that ability to create a query letter that's going to pique an agent's interest enough for them to request a sample of that writing. That's why doing it well is so important, and that's why we're having the query contest. This post is simply an advance notice so you can create that query and polish it to perfection. Have others read it. Visit and post it there for comments and suggestions, and revise it until it shines like a rare gem. There's time for that, but none to waste.

So stop groaning already. You haven't heard the good part yet. This is one very special query contest. This one might get you published. Although our previous contests have been helpful because of the reader comments and suggestions for improvement, we're not going to judge the queries ourselves this time. We hate queries, right? And since we hate them so much, we're going to have someone much more knowledgeable do that ominous task of judging. (I can hear your sighs of relief.) Now, get your faces right up to the monitor —  closer — because you don't want to miss this next part. Ready?

We're having a real literary agent judge them. But wait —it gets even better! This agent, herinafter referred to as the Mystery Agent, is from one of the most prestigious agencies in the country. If you haven't heard of this agency, you've been living in a cave with a lava lamp, drinking Ovaltine, and listening to an 8-track tape of James Brown and the Famous Flames Live at the Apollo Theater. Or something equally distant from the real world. Enough of your lame humor. Give us the details!

Sorry. That's all I can tell you at this point except that it's a done deal, and it's Game on! I will have the rest of the story tomorrow morning, so be sure to tune in to find out exactly what's going on. Same bat time. Same bat channel.

Now get to work on that winning query I know you can write. If you haven't read the two previous posts below, you might want to do that first. Both could provide a spark to ignite that bonfire of a query letter you're capable of writing. That's all for now, but check back tomorrow for the rest of the story.

Also, look for a special post this Saturday regarding something serendipitous. You're going to love it!


  1. I'm psyched. Then again I was one of those four votes...

  2. Don't knock the Ovaltine, Michael.

    Hoorah for another contest!!!

  3. I was undecided in the vote, so I'm not complaining with the outcome. Can't wait for tomorrow's post!

  4. What age group does YA adhere to? I have a story that is for early college age does that fall under that category?


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.