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 on: Yesterday at 11:19:12 PM 
Started by gjdevlin - Last post by gjdevlin
Thanks and no need to apologize. :-)

 on: Yesterday at 05:54:30 PM 
Started by jjf3rd77 - Last post by Gobbo
Sorry, I've been gone for a few days to settle some personal affairs. Somewhat surprised no one has said anything, and that's made you nervous, but unfortunately . . . there's a reason. Your query is riddled with clichés. So much so, I'll mark each instance in bold blue.

LAPD detective Henry Wilson gets a front row seat to the birth of the time travel industry as he tries to track the suspicious movements of legendary elusive time traveler Johnny McIntyre, a brash man of impeccable intellect and (the normal ending is of this cliché is 'tastes' to be fair) wealth.

When an anti-aging bomb strikes Israel Falls Nursing Home Johnny suddenly finds himself working to expose his former secretive lifestyle in order to clear his conscious. Quickly getting in way over-his-head, Henry teams up with a mysterious femme fatale from Johnny’s past (from his past is the real cliché wording) and she wants nothing but revenge for breaking her heart and sending her to jail in his place. As they work to corner the market using ever questionable methods, an evil force from the future attempts to stop them before they go too far.

Past, Present, and future collide in Israel Falls a high concept science fiction novel at 80,000 words. It’s every man for himself, in this high-stakes chess match as the two would-be friends try to outmaneuver the other.

My apologies, but you'll need to rework the query with fewer clichés if you want an agent to take you seriously. Again, my apologies if that stings, but it's also only my humble opinion.

 on: Yesterday at 05:37:51 PM 
Started by davidofengland - Last post by JeanneG
You don't need query letters for short stories, poetry, personal essays, or creative nonfiction, but you do need query letters for collections of the same if you are pitching the collection to an agent or small press. Your best bet in publishing a collection is to publish many of the individual pieces in literary magazines first. This gives you street cred and/or connections. More than one writer has been discovered in a lit mag by an agent.

For submissions of short pieces, you usually include a short cover letter that indicates the genre (short story, flash, cnf, etc.), the title, and the word count. Depending on the guidelines, you either attach the story or paste it into the body of the email. If they ask for a short bio, you include that as well. And make sure you have current contact info in your signature. That's it for a cover letter.


 on: Yesterday at 05:30:57 PM 
Started by FSHAW17 - Last post by JeanneG
For most lit mags, previous publication credits rarely make a difference for getting your work accepted. They can point to a professional approach, but the most important thing is the writing itself. If you have no prior publishing credits, you can put in something personal, such as: XXX lives in Wonderful City, State, with her husband and 15 dogs, where she spends her free time working on her fabulous novel-in-progress.

*I'm being silly here, but you get the idea. Just include a tidbit about yourself that is interesting.


 on: Yesterday at 09:01:58 AM 
Started by jmundy-castle - Last post by jmundy-castle
THANK YOU! Here's another round:

Mother’s “fits” and the bizarre terms of Selah and her younger sister’s imprisonment behind barred windows and doors nailed shut only worsen when their father leaves. Her sanity slipping in the fog of isolation and abuse, Selah must leave, abandoning still too-young Lavanya.  Selah swears her sister will not spend another birthday in that house, as she flees to New York City, hoping to find asylum with their estranged father. Instead, she discovers the heroin-addicted shell of the man she remembers.

   Lavanya’s birthday passes once, then twice, commemorated only by Selah’s mounting pain and guilt as she must scrape together enough money to survive. Lavanya makes her own escape, blaming Selah for years spent locked in a single room with a chamber pot for a toilet, their mother’s misery and torment her only company. Selah learns more about her sister’s circumstances and again finds Lavanya imprisoned, this time in a self-destructive cycle of porn-funded addiction and semi-legal prostitution. Her sister’s life at stake, Selah once more swears to rescue Lavanya from a world more dangerous, even, than it appears. It isn’t just Lavanya’s life she must save, but her own. 

Complete at 85,000 words, CRAWLSPACE is upmarket fiction that examines fault, forgiveness, and the effects of emotional abuse. At Columbia University, I was editor for the literary magazine “Quarto,” graduating with a degree in literature and writing, magna cum laude.

 on: May 27, 2017, 09:09:41 AM 
Started by Patrick - Last post by Patrick
Hi Bob,
Eric Lupfer is now listed at https://querytracker.net/agent.php?agent=8585.

Thank you.

 on: May 26, 2017, 07:24:24 PM 
Started by jmundy-castle - Last post by 007 fan
I know I haven't been here in FOREVER (I've been too busy for two straight years with the super hot boyfriend I found on this site to spend much time here  embarrassed2 ), but I'm retooling a query I've run by you guys before, now that the book's done and CPed and all. I promise I'll help out on a few queries to repay the help.

First off, formatting. Do it like how the other queries are here. I'm going to adjust things here.

“If you don’t get in your room, your door is going to look exactly like hers.” The hammer in her mother’s hand sliced the air. “No more escape hatches. No more late night jaunts to Dale’s. No more sex,(period)No quotes from your MS for your query. I'm sure someone could find an example or two where a query garnered requests with one, but most people would say not to do this.

Selah’s mother’s “fits” and the emotional and psychic abuse she <--- The "she" reads like your MC's mother suffers abuse, though at the end people can gather to whom you are referring. I suggest rephrasing this sentence. and her younger sister suffer only grow worse after their father leaves. Selah realizes she, too, must leave, abandoning still too-young Lavanya, swearing her sister will not spend another birthday in the house. Selah runs to New York City, hoping to find asylum with their estranged father, instead confronting <--I think 'finding' would be better, but I suspect you used your word because of the 'find' just before this spot. a heroin-addicted shell of the man she remembers. I think it would be better if you started your query by introducing your MC, not the mother. This also has a telling feel, passive. Also, I don't know what you mean by 'psychic' abuse. Do you mean abuse that damages her psyche? Is that different than emotional abuse?

With the help of her father’s connections <--- I wonder how he can do that in his state. For the query, it might be better to say, 'with luck on her side' or something like that, though my example is likely a cliche...so something different., Selah secures work in one of Time Out Manhattan’s top restaurants a top Manhattan restaurant, earning enough for a small apartment. Lavanya’s birthday comes and goes once, then twice, as Selah’s pain and guilt mount. When Selah discovers Lavanya has made her own escape, and is working in the porn industry, the two are reunited (sounds passive). Selah learns her sister’s self-destructive cycle of porn-funded addiction and semi-legal prostitution has again imprisoned her, and once more swears to rescue Lavanya, this time from herself. I think you need to be more clear about the stakes. Will your MC never be able to forgive herself if she doesn't intervene. Maybe her sister will die at the hands of her lifestyle. Whatever is accurate for your story.

Complete at 85,000 words, Crawlspace (title in all CAPS)is adult (I don't think you need to say 'adult', not when you don't say MG or YA or have an age listed in your query, but I could be wrong.)commercial fiction that examines fault, forgiveness, and the effects of emotional abuse. At Columbia University, I was editor for the literary magazine “Quarto,” landing a degree in literature and writing, (I suggest rewording here. It sounds like being an editor landed you your degree. magna cum laude.  For your genre, the plot seems more internal here, and commercial is more for a big/busy plot. I think upmarket, literary (if you really focus on the writing), and possibly women's fiction might be more appropriate.

I think the query needs more work than what I've pointed out. I suggest really focusing on the 4 c's and making this more showing and more active. Good luck with this. Sounds like a very sad story, bet I'd cry, and I remember enjoying reading an opening some time back.

 on: May 26, 2017, 06:44:39 PM 
Started by 007 fan - Last post by 007 fan
Thanks, gushags16, and I like your method. A karma and a thank you for sharing.  Smiley

 on: May 26, 2017, 05:49:26 PM 
Started by tjduck - Last post by robev333
First off, the story sounds super interesting. I love the idea of 1890s cut-throat, Western capitalism mixed with some fantasy. I don't think it'll scare off anyone given modern societal concerns about corporate greed, it's apparent your protagonist isn't siding with the capitalists. In fact, I think it will resonate a lot better in today's market than it would in say the 80s or 90s.

I do have a few questions and concerns, though.

In an alternate 1890, sixteen-year-old Helena Reeve walks in the dreamplanes of her father’s business rivals every night, using nightmarish magic to torture them until they agree to sell their railroads to her family at bottom-dollar prices.
This is a dense sentence, and your query is lacking in detail. I'd extend it out into a paragraph. Go further into depth on who Helena is and why she's different from her father so we can empathize with her better. The hook (In 1890, sixteen-year-old Helena Reeve walks in the dreamplanes of her father’s business rivals every night) is great though, so I'd try to keep that in some form.

Also, I deleted "an alternate" because that's apparent. As far as I'm aware, there were no dreamplane-walking railroad heiresses in America in 1890.

But when her latest target disappears from the dreamplanes
Is this target important or distinct in some way? Why did they disappear when none of the others did?

her father asks her inventor brother, Henry, to create a sleeping serum that will bypass reality altogether.
I'm not sure what this means. It seems she's already bypassing reality by entering people's dreams. She's literally going to another reality, the dreamplane.

Horrified by the prospect of becoming an eternal nightmare, Helena must fight her way through her brother’s dreamplane – and its dizzyingly surreal illusions – to stop Henry before her family forces their city to sleep forever.
Good, but kind of comes from no where. First you say the father's plan is to bypass reality, then you say it's to force the entire city to sleep forever. Why is the father suddenly targeting Helena? Is her brother using the serum on her, or on the city?

It's a good start, and a great concept, but it needs a lot more detail. I get a vague hint of why I should care about Helena, but her motivations and arc needs to be more apparent. I also don't really know what the story is at this point, what the stakes are, what the villain's plan is, who's at risk, etc.

I'm a novice to query writing myself, so take all this with a grain of salt. I hope some of the advice is useful to you, though.

 on: May 26, 2017, 05:21:46 PM 
Started by GVonCarstein - Last post by pipinglion
Hi, I would be very interested in joining an active group. Although at present I just got a new computer that I will try to download skype. Right at this time I am currently writing a YA, epic fantasy that is well into ten volumes.  I am currently trying to get my act together to query my first book in this series.

I to belong to a writing group that meets once a week but there are so many writers attending I feel as if I am drowning. We read our work and only have a five minute discussion on things to improve our work. But I leave feeling empty. I would be very interested in submitting my work, if you'd have me.  I must warn you though, by tenses are off and I am told my punctuations really suck. Outside of the obvious I could really use the help.

 I am very serious about improving my craft and one day being published. My current work is set in a medieval world five thousand year in our future. My main Character is a mute girl that is destrin to become a knight and bring magic back into the world. First book is little under 115,000 word. a bit long in the tooth.

Let me know if I pass muster.

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