Today I'm going to share another bad query letter because I promised myself I would do at least one each week. They were the original impetus for this blog and I don't want to go back on that. Still, I am running out of funny things to say about them, mostly because they are each so similar. Sometimes I almost want to make up some new terrible ones, just so we can all have something (or someone, me) to laugh at together.
I won't though. As much as I'm tempted I do believe honesty is the best policy. So, today's is going to be one of the shortest ever. The rejection certainly is short and sweet. The reason for this (in addition to my laziness) is that I was interviewed by Jessica AKA The Alliterative Allomorph today. Well, actually it was a couple of days ago, but she's posting it today. So be sure to head over to her blog and read it.
Oh, also if you don't follow Jessica, what's wrong with you? She is a very funny blogger, an excellent writer, and an Aussie living in Greece; so there is really never a dull moment over there. For that matter if you're here, reading this and you don't follow me (or my blog rather) what's wrong with you? Please follow us both we'll love you for it forever.
Now, the query:
May 29th, 2009
Dear Ms. REDACTED,
I am writing to you seeking representation for my young adult novel, which has the working title WARRIOR-MONKS and is complete. I feel obligated to inform you that this is not an exclusive submission and although I do not yet have an offer of representation there are several other agents who have requested and are currently reading full or partial versions of the manuscript.
Hey, here is a new thing I can point out, not sure why I never thought of this before: there is no point to saying "working title". Every title is just a working title until it's approved by the publisher, or at least your agent. In my correspondece with the Roecker sisters they shared a story with me about how their agent suggested they change the title of LIAR SOCIETY. She told them the previous title they had selected was "wet".
The admission of non-exclusivity is okay. I mean the idea is good. It is professional and polite to be honest about these things but the way I worded it sounds pretty arrogant reading it back now.
The book is about a teenager named Lee, who is from a broken family and who eventually ends up being sent to a unique reform school in Northern Idaho after he is expelled from a normal boarding school and kicked out of his aunt and uncle's home. He is very worried about what will go on at this school but eventually discovers that he enjoys the curriculum. They teach him things like Aikido, Meditation and Calligraphy and take him and several other students camping and backpacking in the mountains in Montana as he grows and puts his self-conscious and shy tendencies behind him. It is an introspective and character driven novel in which the plot is not necessarily the focus but still has enough interesting occurrences to move the tale along as the reader comes to know and love the characters.
This is very blah. I mean it's better than some earlier examples but it all sounds very dry and boring put this way. Probably because it's all telling. Give it some voice for god sakes man!
Oh, was I talking to myself? Sorry.
I have never been published but I am confident that many authors like Christopher Paolini and Brunonia Barry have proved that you do not have to be a highly experienced or best-selling author to write an incredibly entertaining book.
Yeah ... don't do this. Is you must make comparisons at least don't do it this way. See earlier query/rejection posts for more details if you don't already know why.
Please feel free to reply to this email, or to call me on my mobile phone at any time at 206-555-1212, or even to write to me at home at:
Thank you for your consideration of this proposal. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Matthew M. Rush
Thanks for your submission query. I’m sorry, but I don’t feel it is one for me.
I actually like this rejection a little. Just a little. I mean a rejection is a rejection is a rejection, why waste any more time than necessary, right?
You didn't like my idea? Okay, forget you, it's your loss, let's move on.
Okay, it's not quite that simple, but trust me, if you never give up one day you will look back on all your rejections with this attitude.
So that's it. Go here and read the interview I gave Jessica NOW. Please? It's really fun. I promise you'll enjoy it.
Thanks for visiting!