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Example Query Letter for Writers

Most writers will get to know the query process all too well. And a quick glance through Writer's Digest's successful query letters will show you that there are a few very simple "dos and don'ts" when it comes to writing a query letter that will get an agent's or editor's attention fast.

A few things you should do

  • Do keep it under five paragraphs (one page).
  • Do use the agent's/editor's name after "Dear".
  • Do write it so the reader can hear your work's "voice".
  • Do follow a typical formal letter format.
  • Do include important details of the book, such as word count and genre.

And a few things you shouldn't do

  • Don't forget a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope).
  • Don't use odd font/text color/paper color.
  • Don't oversell yourself.
  • Don't make it generic; show that publisher or editor why it's a perfect fit for him/her.

Example query letter

Dear Mr. McCarthy,

You remember it, don't you? That rush of excitement in the air when it was almost summer break? The feeling of impending freedom, counting down too slowly on the calendar, and moving at a snail's pace closer to you? Josh Baer, a junior at Valleydale High School, was feeling exactly that when he made a quick decision that would change the course of his summer—and his life!

Awaiting the end of another school year that was a complete drag, the Josh accepts a last-minute invitation to an end of the school year bash at Megan's place. Since she was the most beautiful girl at school, and his hardcore crush at the moment, he decided to go. And that's when things got weird.

First, he found a room he wasn't supposed to find. Then he found out a secret that would lead him and Megan on an adventure with a questionable motorcycle gang through back alleys and empty warehouses, all to find out that Megan's family wasn't everything it seemed.

Coming of Age is YA fiction that combines the melancholy love story of Twilight with the high-speed adventure Dan Brown is best known for. Coming of Age is my first novel and is just over 60,000 words.

I would be delighted to send a sample or full manuscript at your request. Thank you for reading, and I look forward to hearing from you.

All the best,
Shiloah Garret

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