How to Write a Great Query Letter

  Lucky writers are breaking into highly-esteemed journals and quality magazines without paying their writing dues through smaller publications. Think I’m joshing you?  You are begging for an example.  I truly shun vanity, but I myself am proof of this plausibility.  After querying seriously for less than 5 weeks, I had editors ASKING me to query them.  Imagine that!  

 

Did this happen perchance, or did it require my poring over the 2011 Writer’s Market while dredging up every contact in my dusty rolodex?  Who needs a business card these days since Facebook is the social media network of choice.  Still, I invested scores of hours to hone my query strategy before tremulously mailing that first query letter. Jumpstart your querying quackery with these three tips.

 

1. Create a basic query template.

Determine your writing style.  If you can capture an audience through wit, you should implement that tactic within your first two sentences of your query.  Are questions your forte?  Plant a seductive question within your editors’ mind, which will compel them to read the remainder of your query.

 

2. Set a query quota weekly (or monthly).

Commit yourself to query an article once per week (or month) to start.  Once you become more comfortable with the process, you can increase your target audience.  This depends upon the combination of your time restraints and your ultimate goals.

 

3. Query. Query.  Query some more.

Are you willing to do whatever it takes to get into that supermarket aisle magazine?  Sending query letters are vital to get your name known amongst editors.  Set yourself apart by mesmerizing the editor with your word hypnosis. Queries are your first impression upon a magazine.  Make your letter irresistible.

  What struggles do you have with the dreaded query letter?  Do you find yourself stumped with the blank page?