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How To Write The Ideal Query Letter To A Literary Agent

Jun 30th 2014 at 5:24 AM

You have to know the ideal way of penning down a query letter before sending it to a literary agent. It takes a lot of research before you submit the work of representation. First, you have to narrow down your search on the potential agents whom you want to send the query letter. Remember, the letter should be well-constructed in a cohesive format. Make sure that the letter is divided into three paragraphs followed with four main criteria.

Your letter begins with your contact information- your full name, phone number, email ID and address on the extreme top left-hand corner of the page. Then, you start with the first paragraph where you intimate the agent about your book and spotlight on any unique matter. The second paragraph incorporates the title of the book, genre and its length. This is followed with a small synopsis described in not more than 300 words. The last paragraph highlights about you, so you have to include your qualification and writing credit. Also, mention why the particular agent should choose you.

Indeed, this strict format executed with an air of professionalism will help you capture the attention of your literary agent. Remember, a query letter is the glimpse of your work to your agent and so it has to be rightly constructed and in the best taste. Try to be concise and straight to the point so that the agent misses nothing or get bored while going through the letter. Once the agent likes what he reads you will be asked to send a longer synopsis, sample chapters and may be the entire manuscript. Always, avoid sending mass query letters instead do your research well about any particular agent so that you can write a letter to properly convince him for submission of your work.

Remember, there are different formats to be followed when writing a query letter. The above format is for fiction manuscripts sent to agents, whereas there are query letters for unsolicited fiction manuscripts, which to incorporate contact information of the writer, followed by a synopsis of the story, names of key characters, plot, title and genre of work. A query letter for non-fiction book is usually a book proposal, which follows details of every chapter in the book over twenty pages.

Again, a query letter to a literary contest or journal covers three points. First, you start by addressing the editor and also thanking him for submission of your work. Then, you write about your qualification and publishing credit. In the end, you sign your full name or pen name along with an email address.

Hence, the format of a query letter differs depending upon its purpose of writing and for whom you are writing.

About the Company: is a nonprofit literary journal dedicated to nurturing new and established writers. They publish exceptional works, offer free, professional edits, provide up-to-date publishing resources, and host a lively global community of writers, readers, and editors.

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