New and improve query letter
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I would love feedback on this re write of my query letter;

 

Dear

The themes and stories in LOVE OUTSOURCED evolved from my 30 years as a psychotherapist. I specialize in treating people who have experienced prolonged exposure to abuse and neglect. The multitudes of relational injuries caused by child abuse are well known. However the often-crippling impact of childhood betrayal on people’s capacities to forge loving relationships remains under-acknowledged.   


LOVE OUTSOURCED is a book of narrative non-fiction.  It is a sequence of stories from my clients’ lives interwoven with moments from my own life. The book is in three sections that highlight three themes: Lessons of Love, Betrayal, and Repair. Insights and information scattered through LOVE OUTSOURCED paint a coherent picture of the impact of abuse and the consequences for how one comes to understand or to misconstrue what is required in loving relationships. 


At the center of Love Outsourced is the radical yet obvious notion of child abuse as a traumatic experience of love. This viewpoint changes everything. It demands that love be central in the discourse about therapy, central in how we come to understand the complex relationships we forge with our clients. It will alter how we approach the treatment of the lasting effects of childhood trauma. 



I am a frequent presenter at local and international conferences including International Society for the Study of Traumatic Stress and the International Society of Trauma and Dissociation. I have written articles for professional journals and book reviews for the Journal of Trauma and Dissociation. I have had many opportunities to collaborate and participate on panels with my colleagues from many parts of the world. I am fortunate to have the support and regard of many of the leaders in my field. I believe my professional reputation will be an asset in promoting LOVE OUTSOURCED.

 

In addition to the art of therapy, I am deeply committed to the art of writing. I received my MFA in Creative Non fiction in 2010.


Presently my manuscript is 55,000 words. I will be adding an introduction and expanding the last section. 


I am interested in working with you because you care about creative non-fiction with a purpose. My book LOVE OUTSOURCED is filled with rich narratives that can also make a difference in peoples lives. 


Best,

 

 

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Replies
  • Laurie, No, don't trash it. I think you've got an excellent start here.

    "I worry the query  is too therapy focused and loses the focus on story and the compelling narratives."

    Maybe you're right. I'm so character based when thinking about queries, and I'm not sure if it's the same for non-fictions, but I wonder if finding a compelling voice (or a direct detail from the book) in the main graph where you explain the gist of the book would work.

    Whatever you do, don't change it on my comments, just give it some thought. Are there sources online to show you examples of narrative non-fiction query letters?

    Sarah says, "Make your points, hit them hard, and then close." Think about this statement when you're revising!:))
  • I think you are right the juice, the hook is not there. What do you think of this sentence to open; LOVE OUTSOURCED is about the rocky, poignant, and intimate relationships between a therapist and her clients, as they attempt to understand and repair damage from childhoods where what they knew as love was terribly flawed.

                 A. Better

                 B. worse

                  C. Trash, try again

     

    I will send my book proposal if it is asked for after the query is received.

  • Yes, I think you are right to start with the second paragraph. I worry the query  is too therapy focused and loses the focus on story and the compelling narratives.I attempted to be more bold with the TRAUMATIC  EXPERIENCE OF LOVE part but I am not sure I have succeeded yet.
  • I too think the second graf really feels like it wants to be first!

    Then I would take the 1st sentence from what is currently the misplaced first graf "...30 years..." and stick them onto the front of what is currently the 3rd graf, and then cut the rest of the first graf.

    Did I just confuse you?

    I like the concise wording of this version.  I just think you could pare back a little further.  Make your points, hit them hard, and then close.  (That's the idea, anyway!)

  • Laurie, For some reason your post appeared 3 times. lol. I'm responding to the first one!

    Again, I'm not an expert on non-fiction, however, I'd like to comment on a few things. I see you changed from "Creative Non-Fiction" to "Narrative Non-Fiction".

    I didn't check word count, but is it shorter? It seems to be. It feels tighter this round. I like graph two as a starter, again, my thoughts. It also sounds like some of the information you included in graph one could be part of your bio graph instead, leaving the rest to be included in graph two as your opener. I'm also left searching for a direct punch to hook me right off the bat. I attempted to come up with a one-liner hook to share with you, but they all came out flat, probably because I don't know your book as good as you!

     

    Because it's not complete and non-fic, are you sending this letter with a proposal? Just curious.

    You have outstanding credentials in your field of work:)) The research you did for this type of book, must've been exhausting & traumatic. I commend you! You're definitely an expert in your field.

    Let's see what some of the others comments are, so you can move forward with this. I'm sure there are others who write non-fiction and can give you some solid pointers. :))