Friday, January 4, 2013

Forging Fridays Query Critiques - I Did WHAT?

I've seriously been so excited for these query critiques. I really enjoy polishing queries. And I've had a few brave souls send in their queries already.

THANK YOU! Keep them coming!

But, before I put you awesome people under the microscope, I thought it would be unfair not to show you a bit of where I started. This way you'll know there is no need to be embarrassed, because I've done it all. I learned the hard way. 

You'll see...

A few months ago, I was dared to post my very first query on the Friday the Thirteeners blog. When I say query, I use the term VERY loosely. Some of you may have seen this before, but I'm going to re-post it here so you can see/remember the numerous mistakes I made. I'll post my color commentary in red so you can see just how mortified I am about this now and feel all shiny-good about yourself and your query. :)


Dear Kristin Nelson, (undoubtedly the best part of the email, unless your name is Kristin Nelson)

Hello! (*sigh* at least I was enthusiastic) My name is Jenn and I'm considering writing a book. (Yep. You read that right -- considering) I've never done much writing, but I'm a fast learner and I have faith that I can figure it out. (OH! I have faith! Well, I should've led with that. It's a game changer) I'm sure you hear this kind of thing all the time because from your website, I see that you're a literary agent. (...apparently I just read her title and quickly closed the browser. Otherwise I would've learned that SENDING THIS WAS A BAD IDEA) You seem like you might be the perfect person to help me with this! (Please, kill me now)

Is there any particular place you'd recommend starting when learning to write? (*head desk*) How does the publishing industry work exactly? Do I hire an agent and then start writing? Or is that backward? (There's really nothing to do but shake my head and laugh at this point)

Anyway, as you can see, I have many questions! Let me know if you'd prefer talking on the phone and we can schedule a call. (Yes! And then we shall have tea with the Mad Hatter, but bring a jacket because HELL has frozen over!)

Thanks so much!


Seriously. Reading this now, I want to grab newbie-writer-me and shake some sense into her. Good thing more-experienced-writer-me has a sense of humor or there would be some kind of time-travel violence going on. 

Now that we've all had a good laugh at my expense, here is my point. Did I make mistakes here? I think we can all agree - YES! Did it ruin my chances in the future? No. In fact, I think writing queries and pitches has become a strength of mine. 

So, there you go. Making mistakes helps you learn. We'll be diving full force into the volunteer queries starting next week. If you've been hesitant to send one in, do it!

In the meantime, your Laugh of the Day is on me. ;-) Have a great weekend!


  1. LOL. Wow. Makes me feel better about my sub letters. :D

    Thanks for being honest!

    1. Andrew - You are very welcome. Umm...happy to help? ;-)

  2. I think Kristin Nelson needs to read this blog! I'm sure it would make her laugh. She may even remember your query. In fact, it may be hanging on her wall in a frame for all to see. :)

  3. I love your side commentary! I totally laughed. Sorry.

  4. That was the best query I have ever seen. EVER. :) :) :)