UGh – The Fiction Query Letter

No April fools here!  Just helpful information for the writer!

What is a query letter?  A cover letter and resume all rolled into one.  Don’t get fancy.  Don’t get kitschy, just follow the basic rules and let your writing shine.  Very few can break the rules and get attention.  Sure that could be you, why not right?  But if you aren’t positive it is you, or you have tried and gotten nowhere, stop and go back to the basics.

So to beat a dead horse here we go:

Here’s the basics:

Stick to one page and make sure your fiction manuscript is complete!


Dear Miss., Ms., Mrs., Or Mr. (Name a Specific Agent),

Opening:  My Story is a 80,000 word contemporary romance.  I love Smith Jones and saw you represent him (OR personal connection of some sort. I follow your blog.  I love Sci-Fi also, etc.)

Hook: What is the overall point of your story?  Ex: Independent woman has a secret that could destroy her relationship and her life if it ever got out.

Pitch paragraph: One or two paragraphs that are short and to the point.  Go up to about your first inciting incident for your pitch.  DON’T give  away the ending. Make the agent want more.

Credentials:  Make sure they pertain to your writing.  Include pub credits (self-publication is dicey – if you’ve sold millions of copies okay add it).  Include writing experience, any BIG names contests – something that the agent would have heard of.  Yes it’s great I am a mom, but I write romance and unless my story is about motherhood that isn’t pertinent.

Closing: Thank you for your time and consideration.





I have heard this from a few agents.  I have sat through workshops on queries.  There are other formulas that have worked, but this is one that seems to be consistent.  Show your voice in your pitch paragraph.  That is your time to shine.  Any other people have successful suggestions or stories on the query?


2 thoughts on “UGh – The Fiction Query Letter

    • M. Ziegler says:

      Oh that is a great point!! Maybe we should pool out knowledge and do a, “How not to write a query.” I have heard the ‘don’t use a question’ repeatedly. Did a rejection actually give you feedback?

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