Okay. You guys know how against guest posts by strangers I normally am, and I know I bombarded you with one last week. And with Barbara linking to her online education website at the end of this post, it's clear this is all about SEO, but she took the time to write a useful post that is actually relevant to my blog and my readers, so I'm letting her take over today.
Please do not assume that because I'm putting this post up, I personally vouch for any of these workshops, or even that I recommend paying for query advice at all. There are plenty of links to free query letter resources on the sidebar to the right, and there are, of course, always the critiques I do myself.
But, for those who have the money, or are just curious to hear a professional's opinion, a paid query workshop might be worth considering.
Take it away, Barbara.
Writing a Query Letter? Consider Attending An Informative Course or Workshop About It
When aspiring writers want to get their work seen, read, posted or published, they must first send a query letter to the literary agent or editor in charge of those decisions. For those unfamiliar, a query letter outlines the author's intent and often an outline of his or her intended piece.
Being such an unfamiliar first step, query writing often thins the herd of potential writers, as many shy away from it. However, you no longer have to struggle in the dark over how to approach this daunting task. Many colleges and institutes now offer workshops and seminars on the subject, giving you and others like you the opportunity to fraternize with others in the same position you find yourself in. Before I get into any of the specific programs offered for those interested I wanted to explore some of the benefits of partaking in a query-writing workshop.
Benefits of Query-Writing Workshops
First and foremost, attendees will learn exactly what makes a good query. This is important, especially for those just starting, because how can they be expected to know where to begin if they don't know what "right" looks like. Granted there is no end-all, be-all for queries, as it inevitably depends on the person reviewing it, but there are certain things one should try to implement and these workshops will cover just that.
Also, attending a query-writing workshop allows you to get honest, unbiased feedback. The people there likely have no personal tie to you. They are just professionals in the field who know their stuff. So they will not sugar coat when something doesn't work or could be approached in a different way.
Think of all of the tips you'll be walking away with. Learning what you're doing wrong now will save you loads of time and effort in the long run by helping to decrease the likelihood your work will be rejected. So, now that you know some of the benefits these sessions offer, let me list some examples of opportunities—both past and present.
Workshops and Seminars
Numerous schools, writing groups and more across the world hold regular sessions, courses, seminars and workshops on various topics of interest to aspiring writers. One of these topics happens to be query-letter writing, because nothing will squash potential success like a poorly constructed query letter. After all, it's the first impression a potential editor or literary agent gets of your work, so it better be good, right?
Many workshops have already taken place this year, but there are still a few left for those looking to perfect or improve their approach. For instance, there's the First Impressions: Query Critique Workshop taught by Marisa A. Corvisiero of Literary Powerhouse Consulting.
Taking place in November, this workshop will allow aspiring authors to submit their queries for honest feedback and criticism. Numerous literary agents and industry professionals will be available to offer their own tips and tricks.
The Arts Center in New York also offers a workshop entitled Perfect Your Pitch: Writing Killer Query Letters. From sizing up potential editors to marketing your talent and credentials, this event aims to cover it all. Attendees also have the option to bring a query letter for review with them.
The Heritage Writers Guild of Utah will also be tackling the all-important subject of query writing at an upcoming conference taking place in October. In it they will discuss the dos and don’ts of good query-letter writing, as well as offer examples to attendees. It should be an informative event for all.
Overall, if you have a completed work or two you would like to see published but are unsure of how to go about that, do consider attending or at the very least further researching these options. You never know what you might learn.
Barbara Jolie is a full time freelance writer and blogger for onlineclasses.org. She writes about advantages of online classes and is particularly interested in writing and language education. If you have any questions email Barbara at email@example.com.
And that also ends my experiment with allowing strangers to write guest posts for me. Please don't email me about guest posting unless you actually know me.