Do You Query Properly?

As editor of the webzine Glory and Strength, I received submission queries that ran the gamut from professional to spam. All too often, writers submitted emails that didn’t contain even the skeleton of a real query. Their email simply read “here is XYZ for your review.”

Sometimes I responded to them, but often I didn’t.

Increase your chances of editors reading your submission by learning to write a great query. Tweet this.

  • Address your query to a specific editor
  • Hook the editor with your idea in the first paragraph, then
  • Give a further description of the article and write it in the tone and style of the market you’re submitting to
  • Include the word count of your article (or anticipated count if you haven’t yet written it)
  • Include information about why you are the right person to write the article
  • Include your publication credits if you have them (if you don’t, then don’t mention it)
  • Tell them if this is a simultaneous submission (you have submitted this idea to other markets at the same time)

A proper query is as essential as following the publication’s submission guidelines (uh-oh, did you read those?).

There are whole books dedicated to how to write query letters. Grab one from the library and study it. The Writer’s Digest Writer’s Market includes a “Query Letter Clinic.”  It offers good and bad examples from which you can learn.  Or do a Google search on “query letter examples” and study several.  

Give the editor what he or she needs to catch your pitch, and you’re more likely to make a sale.

Want to get published but don’t know where to start?

Maybe you have a finished manuscript or just an idea stuck in your head. Email me today at Deb [at] DebraLButterfield [dot] com, and let's discuss how I can help you reach your dream of publication.

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