Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Query letter #8: Cassandra B

Dear Agent,

Ben and his twin sister Emma
[I would put commas around 'Emma' but apparently my views on punctuation are OLD-FASHIONED so I will be rationing my remarks about it] move to the country and what they find in the woods will question [better to say 'will cause them to question- presumably the thing in the woods isn't doing the questioning] everything they've ever known about their dead mother.

In my 55k
[don't use 'k' - put 000 if you mean 'thousand'] word urban fantasy YA novel TINKERS [good title], Thirteen-year-old [I wouldn't capitalise the 'T' on thirteen - there's no full stop before the word - but perhaps that's an old-fashioned view] Benjamin Hawthorne hears rumors at his new school about a group of people called Tinkers who live in RV’s in the woods behind his house. [Run on the next paragraph - the description of the Tinkers should immediately follow the first mention.]

They’re thieves, drunks, uneducated, and haven’t taken a shower in weeks. When Ben actually meets a Tinker and he doesn’t fit this stereotype, Ben sets out on a course to uncover the truth about the people in the woods: that they protect a secret race of faeries [here's where I'm personally lost - anything with faeries, ARGH - but faeries float other people's boats so I won't judge] that may have been the inspiration for JM Barrie’s Peter Pan and that the Tinkers themselves may be closer to Ben than just a people living in the woods. [Closer? What does this mean? And think very, very carefully before you reference a classic like Peter Pan - this immediately invites others to compare your work to whichever classic you're folding into your story].

I have recently completed an MA in Creative Writing from Newcastle University in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. I have had a short story published in Lit by New Writing North in conjunction with Newcastle University. I have also had several works published in Blackberry Winter, the annual chapbook of Rochester College where I earned my BA in English and Professional Writing. This is my first novel. [This part is good - a nice amount of credits.]

Upon your request, I am prepared to send the complete manuscript. [But I don't know if I want to - you didn't give me a reason to read it. I would have been prepared to get past my horror of faeries if you just gave me one good reason to read this novel! When you don't pitch the novel, even a little bit, you're depending on the agent/publisher wanting to read more based on just your description of the storyline, and that's not enough. Tell me why you wanted to write this story - tell me WHY I SHOULD READ IT.]

Thank you for taking the time to consider representing my work.


Cassandra B


Cassandra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarahlynn said...

Is correct really old-fashioned? Sigh.