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Query that got me 18 full requests and 5 offers of rep

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#1 jmalone


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Posted 11 October 2012 - 07:43 AM

Queries are hell. It's a basic fact of life. But in the interest of paying it forward, I wanted to share an upper-MG query that ultimately received 18 full request and a dizzying 5 offers of representation. While I recognize those are kind of wild numbers (believe me, I am humbled by them), let me assure you, this is version #22 or so of this query. In between version 1 and 22, I had lots of CP's eyes on it, entered it into about five different online "secret agent"-type contests and took all those comments to heart.

Good luck to everyone querying- sometimes even crazy dreams come true!

Dear Agent X,

(Personalization here). I’d like to offer my 54,000 upper MG novel, CAN’T BUY ME LOVE for your consideration.

Thirteen-year-old Marnie Mercer thinks middle school would be perfect if she could just address a few critical issues. The lack of cell phone thing, for one. Her yawn-inducing social status, for another. And would it be too much to ask for a first kiss to knock her (discount store) shoes off? But when she inherits a fortune from an unknown great-aunt, she discovers a brand new set of complications.

Now, her best friend is convinced money corrupts, her parents need a loan, and a group of popular girls offer Marnie access to the top of the social pyramid, but first she’ll have to complete their zany pledging checklist. Soon she’s sneaking locks of her principal’s hair, stealing her teacher’s beloved laser pointer, and throwing a sure-to-get-her-grounded-for-LIFE party.

To make matters worse, she’s finally met a guy worth his weight in gold—only he might not be so interested if he finds out how many commas separate their allowances. Marnie needs to find a way to manage her money and her life while staying true to herself. Otherwise, she can say goodbye to her best friend’s respect, her parents’ trust, and any chance of getting her first kiss from a boy who makes her feel priceless.

Life as a teenage heiress is one mixed bag of crazy.

CAN’T BUY ME LOVE will appeal to fans of Lauren Barnholdt, Wendy Mass’ FINALLY and Lauren Myracle’s The Winnie Years series.

I am a member of SCBWI and two critique groups. In addition, I have a strong background in promotion as the former regional Head of Publicity and Promotion for 20th Century Fox and Miramax Films.

Thank you so much for your time and attention.


#2 albrock


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Posted 11 October 2012 - 07:45 AM

Congratulations! I think I remember seeing this elsewhere and thinking it sounded so snappy! :smile:

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.




...on Goodreads

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#3 kimmie


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Posted 11 October 2012 - 08:49 AM


#4 Caterina


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Posted 11 October 2012 - 08:59 AM

Wow that is amazing! and your query is amazing! congrats :biggrin:

#5 JayMG


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Posted 11 October 2012 - 09:27 AM

ENORMOUS congratulations to you. Well deserved, and good luck for the next exciting steps to publication!!

#6 Decreed


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Posted 11 October 2012 - 10:34 AM

That is a beautiful query.
In good writing, there are two kinds of sentences. Ones that lull the reader into a false sense of security, and ones that punch the reader in the mouth.

#7 alance07



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Posted 11 October 2012 - 10:44 AM

I agree with everyone else here, it seems to be all in your positive attitude. Congrats again and good luck with everything.
Pathetically plugging my own query for critque http://agentquerycon...a-contemporary/

#8 J. Lea Lopez

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 04:34 PM

Fantastic query for what sounds like a fantastic book! Congrats.

#9 Lori Sjoberg

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 04:51 PM

Great query. Congrats!

#10 Jemi


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Posted 11 October 2012 - 05:12 PM

Congrats!!! Sounds like a great book - I think the kids in my class would love it :biggrin:

#11 MarcyKate


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Posted 11 October 2012 - 07:26 PM

Congrats! I saw this on twitter earlier - so exciting and the book sounds fabulous! :D


#12 SC_Author


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Posted 11 October 2012 - 09:40 PM

Great, GREAT job! I think I saw this from before too, and it is amazing :)
SC_Author on Twitter

and SCWrite.blogspot.com for my blog :)

I am blogging about all things writing and JK Rowling. I also divulge secrets about the craft.

Because writers are insane. Being a writer is misery. And, as we all know, misery loves company :)

#13 Kryista


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Posted 11 October 2012 - 09:40 PM

Congrats! The QL sounded amazing! You have shown with hard work and dedication, that dreams can come true. :) Haha I know its cliched, but it works!

If anyone has a moment to spare, I, too, am in need of a critique. Thanks for the help!



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#14 Mia K Rose

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 04:47 AM

Congrats! Read the blog post as well. Good luck with the next steps.
Follow me on twitter.
Take a look at my blog.

#15 mammaMia


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Posted 12 October 2012 - 09:03 AM


AWAKENED (YA science fiction) -- shelved

WHO'S THE MOST POPULAR OF THEM ALL? (upper MG contemporary) -- shelved

GUNPOWDER, SPARKLES, AND JUST A LITTLE BIT OF RUM (MG fantasy) -- writing first draft (Query here)



#16 Aightball



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Posted 13 October 2012 - 09:37 PM


Most girls are made of
sugar and spice and everything nice; they
screwed up the recipe for me: I'm made of
bat wings and broken things.

Query: http://agentquerycon...3-love-and-war/

Blog: http://aightball.wordpress.com


Twitter Hook(s):

Short Story "Anguish", in Winter's Regret: http://www.amazon.co...winter's regret


#17 JessTheDreamer


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Posted 17 October 2012 - 01:12 PM

This is wonderful! Congratz! :)



It would mean A LOT if you could check these out:

Duplicate: Undead-->>--http://agentquerycon...-urban-fantasy/

Write on. ツ

#18 Alys Cohen

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 03:48 AM

Amazing query! If I were an agent, I'd offer too!

#19 Diana O.

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 11:12 AM

Wow, what a fantastic query! I can really tell you put a lot of effort into it, and it paid off brilliantly. Congratulations!

"I dwell in Possibility." ~ Emily Dickinson

Website: Presently in the Past

#20 J Jones

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 09:51 PM

Ah man, I was all excited to see what magic this letter had and then I read this...

I have a strong background in promotion as the former regional Head of Publicity and Promotion for 20th Century Fox and Miramax Films.

Well obviously those are things I don't have so can't use them to my advantage! No wonder there were so many offers! I don't know why you left that job, but good for you for changing to this career!

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