Please welcome Kate, RANDOM’s young author for the day. Be her fan! Kate has written a MG novel and needs help on her query letter. Her goal is to find an agent. As many writers know, finding an agent can be a daunting experience. Imagine if you’re twelve and trying to find one!
Below is the query letter Kate wrote. Below Kate’s query is a list of questions I asked her about her novel and the characters. Below that is my revised pitch based on her first query and the answers to the questions.
Here’s where you come in. Kate needs your professional opinion about this query. Do you have any additional suggestions? Based on this query would you read her book? Can you offer her any other encouragement?
To Whom It May Concern,
Cassandra Day is a unicorn. She lives in a world called Fantasya where magical creatures from royal pegasi to tiny elves live in peace. Well, they used to live in peace. Gargamouth, a giant with a hot head, wants to take over Fantasya and rule all of the creatures living in it by killing off the unicorns and Pegasi using his army of trolls and elves. Cassandra knows she must she must stop Gargamouth, and her best friend Cornelia, who is also a unicorn and is a bit better about plan-making than Cassandra, wants to help her.
But before either of them can do something about this gigantic problem, they are both whisked away to Earth where they must blend in with the humans. Cassandra and Cornelia disguise themselves as humans and search for a way to get back, meeting all kinds of danger along the way, such as nearly getting captured by trolls and exposing themselves to the human race. Can they defeat Gargamouth and bring Fantasya to peace once again?
I would love it if you could represent my book Fantasya: A Giant Problem. It is a complete 25,501-word manuscript and the first book in a fantasy trilogy intended for middle-grade kids, but I think all ages will enjoy it.
I am a twelve-year-old homeschooled girl who loves to write. I won our local library’s poetry contest in 2010, I write for our local library’s newsletter, I won an honorable mention for the Hershey Story Contest, I have a blog (themagicviolinist.blogspot.com), and I write a monthly post for The Write Practice (thewritepractice.com).
Thank you for your time and consideration and I hope to hear from you soon!
Kate, Age 12
The Questions I Asked Her
1.What is Cassandra’s goal? What does she want?
2.What is her story problem? What stands in the way of her getting what she wants?
3.What are the stakes?
4.What will happen if she doesn’t get what she wants?
5.Does she have a decision to make? What are her choices?
6.If she makes the wrong one what will happen?
7.How many subscribers does The Writing Practice have? (This will help your bio. Didn’t they win one of the ten best writing blogs in 2012?) Share anything positive about that blog that you can.
8.Who is your intended audience for the book? Male or female? Mid-grade, but what ages?
9.Has anyone read the book? Did you distribute it to other kids your age to test the market?
10. Did you have it professionally edited?
The Revised Query
If someone doesn’t defeat Gargamouth the giant, all the unicorns in Fantasya could die.
Cassandra Day, a unicorn, needs to defeat Gargamouth if Fantasya, a world full of magical creatures, will ever be at peace again. Cassandra and her best friend, Cornelia, another unicorn, devise a plan to conquer the hot-headed giant, but when they accidently touch the Earth Flower they’re whisked away to Earth where they must blend in with humans to survive.
How will the unicorns hide from humans, escape from the trolls who threaten their lives, and return to Fantasya to defeat Garamouth? If they don’t will Fantasya fall into ruins? Will it be the end of their species?
Fantasya: A Giant Problem is a 25,500 word MG novel intended for children ages 7-12. It’s a story of how friendships and teamwork can conquer all.
I’m a twelve-year-old homeschooled girl who loves to write. I write for the Annville Free Library’s newsletter, and won a poetry contest there in 2010. I post at my blog, The Magical Violinist two to three times a week, and am a monthly contributor at The Write Practice, a blog for writers. The Write Practice has over 6500 subscribers and nearly 30,000 monthly readers and was voted one of the Top Ten Blog For Writers in 2012.
I look forward to the possibility of hearing from you soon.
Below is Kate playing the violin:
Please leave Kate your professional opinion. Should she add or delete anything to her query? Does the new pitch pique your interest? If you were an agent would you request her book?