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A Query Letter Should Define The Voice And Strength Of The Writer And The Project

Apr 29th 2014 at 1:52 AM

If you want to sell an article to publishers successfully including newspapers and magazines then you need to master the art of writing query letters. Editors usually get impressed by quality writing and good ideas just like they are impressed by publication experience and credentials. Do not worry if you are an inexperienced writer, as you can also sell an article. The most important thing that will catch the eyes of an editor is a query letter. Let us see how a query letter should define the voice and strength of the writer and the project.

What a query letter should include

A good query, which includes the name of the proposed article and information about it, as well as the intended word count and the timeframe in which you can submit the completed product if you are accepted. If you really want to sell your idea, you should include as much captivating details as possible in the description of your article. Make sure that you make a note as to why this information will be useful to the publication’s readers. Writing a query letter is like preparing a sales pitch because you are selling your article, as well as yourself. Also ensure that you include information about yourself in the letter, mentioning your credentials and experience. You should also try to mention any information that proves that you are the best person to write that piece. The query letter should be written professionally and should be short and concise. Never exceed one page while writing a query letter. If the guidelines for writers ask for clips then be sure to include the ones that are most relevant to the publication. If none of your work has been published it is a good idea to send written samples.

What a query letter should not include

Never make demands or negotiations in a query letter, do not even state specific payment requirements or negotiating rights. You can negotiate the payment details once your proposed idea is accepted. Usually publications state their payment policies and rights up front. You can find this information in the writers/submission section and they usually do not bend these policies. Also do not include anecdotes or sentimental details about yourself in the query letter. This is because it is not only unprofessional; it also wastes the editor’s time. Make sure that you do not appear desperate or impatient. Do not implore the editor to publish nor should you threaten to take the work elsewhere if you don’t hear from them in a certain time frame.

About the Author:

Tethered by Letters is a nonprofit literary journal dedicated to cultivating writers of all ages, backgrounds, education, or genres. At TBL, they want to give every single writer the opportunity to become an indispensable member of TBL. Their members have formed a writing community and support system unlike any you've encountered.

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