Query Critique

Dear all,

On May 23 it was decided that queries should be explored in a private setting.  The private group is located here.  

Location: #Workshop
Members: 118
Latest Activity: Oct 17, 2015

Discussion Forum

After a Rejection, Should You Resubmit to the Same Agency?

Started by Candy Fite. Last reply by Tom Dark Jun 14, 2013. 11 Replies

Can you believe I received an emailed form rejection letter less than 45 minutes this morning after emailing my query for my Acorn story? Wow! The agent was either sitting at her computer when it came across or she doesn't have time to fool with it…Continue

How Can I Make this better? Shorter? More specific?

Started by Perri. Last reply by Sakki selznick Dec 5, 2012. 20 Replies

Hi everyone, This is draft 5 of my miserable query. It's still lousy. How can I improve it? "As children, Claudette and Leanne Taskett played “swamp girls” in the empty rooms of their father’s dilapidated Florida motel and in the sulphur-smelling…Continue

Query Feedback Requested - Stormland

Started by Sharon Bayliss. Last reply by Aidan Larson Nov 30, 2012. 8 Replies

Hi everyone! I'm new to She Writes, and am looking for feedback on the latest version of my query.  Thank you for your help! -Sharon I read in an interview that you like (x), so I hope you will enjoy my 70,000 word upper young adult science fiction…Continue

Tags: critique, query

Stewart novel with aliteracy query letter

Started by Sakki selznick. Last reply by Aidan Larson Nov 30, 2012. 1 Reply

I decided to keep that fabulous first graph you guys got me to,but i decide to try to jump into the idea that this is a literary novel (where plot is less important than character and how it is written)and write a query "literarily."Here's what I…Continue

Tags: last, my, is, time, to

B&N refusing to stock any books published by Amazon

Started by Alle C. Hall. Last reply by Sarah Pinneo Feb 1, 2012. 1 Reply

The New York Times is reporting the above. What do you think, ladies? Will this dissuade you from using CreateSpace to publish?I've been watching this battle for a while, wondering how B&N was going to respond to the newer industry big'un. Fold…Continue

Why haven't I sent out my first query letter yet?

Started by Nancy Hinchliff Jan 20, 2012. 0 Replies

OK. My manuscript, query letter, and proposal are essentially done. I'm ready to send out my first query letter. Right? Well, you would think so. But Instead of systematically sending out letters to potential agents, I keep going back to my proposal…Continue

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Comment by Carol Clouse on July 29, 2013 at 11:44am

Nancy ... wow.  Well, when a 'community' gets as large as she writes, there's bound to be all sorts of energy out there!  I say shake it off and stay away, and keep seeking out supportive people, like this group and blooming late ... etc.

Comment by Carol Clouse on July 29, 2013 at 11:40am

Hope it's okay to post a CALLfor stories here, Nancy!  Post... and ask questions later.

Anthologies are a good way to practice submitting, and ...get exposure!

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Comment by Nancy Hinchliff on July 8, 2013 at 5:36am

Hi guys, I've been gone way too long. So glad to be back in a supportive environment. I started the query process and was getting some good, supportive feedback, so I stopped querying and began a series of re-writes. My MS definitely improved, but I decided to give a critique group I found on-line a try, to get some perspective on what I was re-writing. Wow! what a mistake. It turned out to be totally unsupportive and the group started turning on each other, even the monitor was playing favorites, and was accusatory and cantankerous. I actually got accused of being rude because I was questioning something she said, so she prevented me from joining a more advanced critique group on the site. I couldn't believe how unsupportive she was. Anyone have this experience? If so, what did you do about it?

Comment by Sakki selznick on April 5, 2013 at 10:46am

Hi, guys, 

This is not technically a query letter. I have to include a synopsis with a mentorship application and writing sample. I slightly extended my rough query for this novel. Could anybody take a look and tweak and or hack it? 

Synopsis for The Book of Lilith

The Book of Lilith is a novel about Katie Schwartz-Warshaw, an ex-promising opera singer who in her late twenties accidentally begins writing an opera--not just any opera, but a supposed lost version of Genesis viewed through the sharp eyes and sly tongue of Lilith, the ancient succubus, (or misunderstood feminist) who, in Jewish legend was Adam's wife before Eve. Katie was raised to be her anxious mother’s caretaker/confidante/spouse. Divorced from Ma now, Katie is still fighting for a healthier place within her family-of-origin, currently thrown even further off balance by Dad’s developing dementia and Ma’s incipient hysterectomy. 

Meanwhile, Katie's best buddy, the world-famous black opera diva, Neddra Chase, not only believes The Book of Lilith is brilliant, but has taken it upon herself to shove it out into the world of grants, commissions and staged singings.

This sends Katie’s hypochondriacal, accountant husband, Matthew, into overdrive, as he injures more and more body parts to keep Katie home taking care of him.  

Soon, Good Girl Katie is fighting lust for the handsome director of the Los Angeles Municipal Opera, and worse--the fear that her arias may let slip family secrets, thus forever alienating both family and husband, leaving Katie with only outrageous Neddra as a bastion against the dangerous world Ma taught her to fear.

And yet, the music is bottled up inside Katie, and it keeps coming out. . .

Set in the equally over-the-top worlds of Opera and a modern Jewish family, told with a two-lane structure of Katie-past and Katie-present, The Book of Lilith is a belated coming of age story with equal parts drama, slapstick and pathos, not Wagner or Verdi or even Puccini, but Mozart at his wildest.


Comment by Erin Emerson on December 6, 2011 at 2:09pm

Hi Nancy,

I didn't read your post, as it looked like the similar emails several groups have received with holiday promotions.  

When you post these as comments on a group, many of us receive those comments as email.  Looking at the number of groups where you made the exact same comments, this would by definition be Spam, as it is unsolicited and sent in bulk.  I don't know how the exact same comments would be appropriate for every group, but perhaps a better place to post links to your blog would be on the home page.    

Comment by Nancy Mueller on December 6, 2011 at 1:49pm

Ouch! Oh, dear - my sincere apologies for ruffling any feathers here. My intent is certainly not to spam the group, Erin. Groups and group members respond differently, of course. At least two other members (in different SheWrites groups) have expressed their appreciation for receiving this information.

I am open to receiving feedback, but please remember, a little kindness goes a long way . . .

Comment by Erin Emerson on December 6, 2011 at 10:53am
Comment by Nancy Mueller on December 5, 2011 at 10:32pm

What if your $10. had the power to totally transform a child's life?

See how here:

Comment by Nancy Mueller on November 29, 2011 at 6:48am

A very timely blog by guru-marketer Seth Godin today:

And if you haven't seen Sarah Key's TED talk, be sure and click through the link in Seth's blog. What an extraordinary young woman!


Comment by Regina Y. Swint on October 30, 2011 at 3:15pm
Hi, everyone!  Just joined the group today, recommended by Julianne.  Looking forward to chatting and sharing.  :)

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