My Sample Query Letter

Hi again – This is my second post (I promise to stop announcing the number of posts I’ve written once I’ve hit a respectable number like five or six…) 

Since a few folks both in the comments and in e-mails to me have asked me what my book is about, I figured the easiest way to explain would be to post a copy of my sample query letter.  Aside from providing a quick outline of the book and myself, this gives me an opportunity to shamelessly solicit feedback on both the book idea and the presentation of the query letter.  I’d love some constructive feedback!

Dear (Insert Name of Literary Agent):


My novel, Next Year I’ll Be Perfect, is a completed 65,000 word work of contemporary women’s fiction set in Portland, Maine.


On Sarah Bennett’s 29th birthday she is confronted with a list she wrote years ago outlining the goals she would reach before she hit thirty.  Devastated by just how far she is from her dreams of marriage, partnership in a law firm and being able to fit into a size six purple suede miniskirt, Sarah embarks on a strategy to transform her life.   


Sarah’s plans are in turn supported and unintentionally thwarted by her quirky circle of family and friends including:

·         Livvie – her best friend and voice of reason who – despite her every instinct – loyally goes along for the ride;

·         David – her solid, comfortable childhood pal who is more than a little threatened by Sarah’s search for the perfect man for reasons she refuses to see; and

·         Morgan – the irritating, but undeniably attractive co-worker who spends his days gunning for Sarah’s job at a time when she is trying to prove her value to the curmudgeonly boss.


Every chapter is another month in Sarah’s yearlong journey toward perfection.  As the year unfolds, she will challenge her own ideals of success and achievement, all while searching for a sexy pair of elastic-waist jeans. 


Next Year I’ll Be Perfect is my first novel.  I began it while working as a litigation attorney before moving to my current job working for a national insurance company.  While my writing has earned me a living for many years, unless you comb District Court filings or read internal insurance manuals for amusement, it is likely you may have missed my work.  I am currently writing my second novel.


I would very much like to send you a synopsis and sample chapters from my novel, or a copy of the completed manuscript.  I look forward to hearing from you, and have enclosed a SASE for your reply.


So…. what do you think?



One thought on “My Sample Query Letter

  1. I like the idea of every chapter being one month in her life. I don’t think I’ve seen that before. But I read mostly fantasy or detective stories and stuff like that, my only experience with ‘women’s literature’ (though I’m not really sure what belongs to that genre) are Jane Austen’s books. So here’s your task *evil grin*: Convince me to buy your book once it’s out. Even though there are no weird creatures or murders in it (are there? Hmm…).
    But seriously, I think it definitely sounds like something that’s got potential to be published since as far as I know there’s a big market for books like that. That’s probably also the problem though, huh? Lots of books about women for women, so publishers might think: “yeah, so what’s special about that one?” Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to bash it, I just guess that’s what it’s like.
    Do they ever tell you their oppinion or do you just get it back with a “Thank you very much, but not what we’re interested in right now. Please don’t call.”
    Well, don’t give up. Remeber, ever the first Harry Potter book got turned down… Don’t you want to point at the people who made that decision and laugh? *g*

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