Friday, February 23, 2018

Winding Up for the Pitch--How to Craft a Winning Query Letter

Several of my private clients are completing their manuscripts this month, getting ready to pitch to agents at one of the large writing conferences happening in April:  The Loft Literary Center's Pitch Conference, April 20-21, in Minneapolis, and Grub Street's The Muse and the Marketplace, April 6-8, in Boston.
Writers can meet with agents and "pitch" their book--or give a short description designed to spark an agent's interest.  Some pitch sessions permit a written query letter and sample of your writing, others just allow you to pitch verbally. 
Most writers agree that crafting a winning query letter is all important.  Even if your pitch is verbal, the query can help you figure out how best to describe your book in a unique, interesting way.  Agents often receive hundreds of these a week.  How do you make sure that yours stands out?
One of my clients forwarded me this excellent article from Sarah Jane Freymann's agency.  "The Perfect Pitch," it's called, and it's worth a read--not just to get an insider view on agents and the process of reading queries but also to know what to avoid.
Your weekly writing exercise is to educate yourself--and enjoy the smart writing in this article about crafting queries.  Then try one yourself.  You may not feel nearly ready to pitch your book, but just the act of writing the hook and other parts of a query can help you focus on what that book is actually about.

And if you're at Grub Street's Muse on Saturday, April 7, stop by my workshop and say hello in person.